Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | March 1, 2011

Why the most recent Google Update can be good for Realtors

I have been arguing for years that a proper web platform for Real Estate Agents MUST include a proper “Blog Platform” with a separate CMS, Content Management System, but few listened and none acted. This arrogance by Website Vendors stuns me but I think finally I have gotten an ally – Google. The latest update to the Search Algorithm by Google targeted what are called “Content Farms,” which are basically websites made up of generic content from other sources aggregated for the purpose of ranking and selling advertising.

Well, believe it or not, Real Estate Websites are “Content Farms” as well; I have seen several Real Estate Websites lose their ranking since the update and this is going to spread fast; Let me illuminate this idea further:

Say you are Real Estate Agency A with an office in Anytown USA; you select a Website Vendor and they turn on your website with IDX (the MLS feed that allows your clients to search for properties in your website.) You now have all this content that comes from you feed; so if your MLS has 10,000 listings your website will have potentially 10,000 index-able pages – you think  this is cool.

Real Estate Agency B, in the same town, decides to use the same vendor, they saw your website and decided to have the same thing; of course the cosmetics of the site will be different. The website vendor integrates the IDX feed, tweaks the look and now you have your own website.

Well, Agency A and Agency B have the same content; in fact except for the domain name they have the same URLs; the same information which comes from the MLS; in fact with some Website Vendors they share the same navigation. The only noticeable difference sometimes is the logo and the name of the agency.

Google is saying: “Wait a second here; these two websites are identical; they use the same platform; the same feed; the same content; the same IP Address; the only thing that is essentially different is the domain and a few pages here and there.” – this is the purest definition of a “Content Farm.”

What does this mean? Some people are panicking thinking that their website will be banned from the Search – No. Google is not looking to punish; it is discounting the information. Discounting Content means that it will not accumulate link juice if it is already found somewhere else; in other words Google is asking you to give it something Unique and it will visit and rank your website.

This is why I say Google is arguing for my request; or fully Integrated Blog Platforms; You see when an agent or broker Blog they are adding unique content that they can direct with localized links to sections of their website; I argue that Marketing on the Internet is telling a Story – and Blogs are the best way to do so. (Video Blogs are included in my definition of Blogs.)

So let me end with this:

1. I call on all Real Estate Website Vendors to integrate a proper Blog Platform within their offering immediately. Stop telling agents that the Content Management System you offer is similar to a Blog; it is NOT. (When I say proper Blog Platform I want you to think something similar to WordPress or Movable Type.)

2. Real Estate Agents know how to post Blogs; stop insulting them by arguing that agents are ill-equipped to do it right. Your job is to offer the tools; let the agents and brokers use their creativity of grow their marketing; they are smarter than you give them credit.

3. This is for the Agents: These changes are awesome for you; You get to show your expertise and regain your proper place in Marketing. The Internet has been about reducing your presence through these giganitc websites who want to sell you listing enhancements – Do it Yourself and start gaining influence.

Happy Blogging Smile – Key Yessaad, Real Estate SEO Trainer

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