March 10th, 2011
According to Google, 11.8% of search queries are significantly different after this not-so-subtle change in the formula.
What does this have to do with real estate? Real estate searches typically benefit most from what are referred to as “long tail searches” – searches with phrases, such as “homes for sale in San Mateo near downtown.”
Now these long-tail search queries will be treated differently by Google’s algorithm, though exactly how this will play out is unclear at this point. Real estate is an industry particularly affected by this change due to the nature of online searches regarding it, which tend to be pretty specific.
According to a recent press release, Google implemented the changes to their system in order to hamper content-farm sites (internet spam sites looking to gain traffic that lack quality content).
“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on,” stated the official Google release.
The major takeaway from this is that paid-for SEO (search engine optimization) is becoming less reliable, especially in the real estate field, and creating quality content is the most important thing with online marketing.