Google has begun implementing 40 changes and updates to its core search engine algorithms. Real estate agents that want to maintain high rankings in Google’s search results will need to make some substantial changes to their real estate websites. But keeping up with 40 tech changes is a lot to expect from even tech-savvy Realtors. The following checklist provides a useful guide for prioritizing website changes and re-optimizing your real estate website to take advantage of Google’s new search parameters:
- Open a Google+ account and start moving clients and prospects into friend circles. Google’s new search results algorithms place the greatest weight on social media connections, giving a significant edge to Google+, Google’s new Facebook competitor.
- Increase the amount and quality of original content on your web pages. In new algorithms, unique content receives the highest scores while using content available on other sites counts against you. Providing in-depth Q&A content is a fast way to increase unique content on your real estate website. Hiring a professional writer to create content is another option. Move valuable content from your parent company or other resources to subdomains to decrease its negative impact.
- Decrease the volume of offsite links and ads on your web pages. Both now decrease web page rank.
- Current topics and trends capture the greatest attention from Google’s freshness update. Q&As and blog posts on hot button and trending real estate topics will boost your search ranking, perhaps significantly; but the uptick will be fleeting, decreasing as the freshness of the topic fades. Regular posting on newsworthy topics will be required to maintain a high freshness rating.
- Accommodating Google’s new page layout algorithm may require a major overhaul of your real estate site landing page. Google now favors web pages that make value-added content instantly visible when a site visitor opens the page. Forcing visitors to scroll down to content or filling the initial page view with ads will lower your search rank. Unfortunately, so will glossy photo displays that attract customer interest.