Google's New Algorithm May Push You Underneath the 4 Big Dogs!

Reblogger Tammy Emineth
Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing

I was planning on posting something about this myself but this is such a well-done piece I thought I would let it speak for itself. Google is looking at brands and the big just keep getting bigger (Realtor, Homes, Zillow and Truila). How do we compete? With the serious leads.

"People are dumb, a Person is smart" and that's how we are going to compete... one person at a time. Let them decide what it the best result to choose - just make sure you keep pumping out the information that helps them make the right decision.

Original content by Katerina Gasset DRE# SL641317

Google Unleashing Penguin 2.0 Soon

The buzz all around the SEO forums and google webmasters forums is all about the anticipation of Google's actual announcement that they are rolling out a new update to their penguin update. It has been nearly a year since the last update to the algorithms so this has been expected. seo updates for real estate agents

Most of the time Google just makes updates and does not really announce that it is going to take place. However, this is supposed to be a big algorithm update, so big that Matt Cutts said you can you look at Penguin as 1.0 and the new update as Penguin 2.0. 

There has been some movement in the SERPS already since the announcement so most people who are keeping an eye on their SEO are noticing the shifts. 

Google did talk about a few things they wanted to work on in this update. It all remains to be seen for the most part. 

What we do know is that Google has made a HUGE shift towards brands. That is why they took out patents related to detecting brands. The bad part for the real estate agent is that that means the big 4 took over most of the top spots you used to dominate for in the SERPS. 

For hyper-local content this is not what the consumer, the searcher normally wants. When a searcher is looking deep for information on the hyper local level they are not interested in clicking on zillow or trulia. Those sites don't get to the real nitty and the gritty about lifestyle in specific neighborhoods and certainly don't have a voice that the searcher can relate to. 

Google says they are trying to work in this update to be able to discover sites that are not as authoritative as far as pagerank goes but that are more what the searcher is looking for making the smaller site the authoritative voice for that brand. The brand equals the keywords. The keywords when used correctly signal to Google that they are that brand. 

We hope to see some shift back to real estate agent and broker websites for the content that the searcher is looking for. 

But we saw something very unnerving in several areas this past week where most SEO folks believe the algo shift and update have already started to take place: 

1. We ranked for a keyword phrase for over 4 years now, totally dominate page one for this keyword holding 8 out of 10 spots. Two competitors each have one spot on this SERP. Suddenly, lo and behold, this past Monday- guess who showed up on page one? Yep, zillow. And they were given a spot without the keyword being in their title. The phrase match was not even in the description or the title tag. Google could only pull up a word here and there throughout a page that somehow they considered authoritative enough to rank on page one. This goes to our original theory that the fear is to make the big brands even stronger rather than the small companies have a shot at page one on the SERPS. 

2. The next concerning SERP situation was Debbie Gartner's keywords that she uses. She owns a flooring store. She sells hardwood floors and carpet, etc. She has ranked for a cherry wood flooring for a long time. She dominates the SERPS for this keyword. Suddenly there was zillow when you do a search for looking for hardwood cherry flooring in her town which is in New York. Zillow was given a spot on page one of the serps for a listing of a home in Boca Raton Florida with hardwood flooring. Now, the obvious search is that someone is looking to remodel their home in New York and wants to put hardwood floors in their house so they do a search for hardwood flooring in their town so that they can find a store that sells the wood flooring and get the prices, etc. So either Google is too stupid in their algorithm to be able to figure that one out or they are so far bent in preferring the big brands over anyone including Debbie Gartner who sells flooring. And the listing from zillow was not optimized either for the keyword phrase! 

3. The worst part came when Debbie posted about the flooring keyword on her google plus page. Google now assigns hashtags to your posts. You have the option to delete the hashtags that google puts there but most people don't know that. What really bothered me is that Google put the hashtag of zillow on Debbie's posting. Now, even if the algorithm could see that there was discussion about zillow why did Google choose that hashtag instead of the main topic hashtag which was hardwood flooring. 

I am hoping that I am wrong, very wrong. I am hoping this new shift is back to the good quality content websites that agents and brokers have worked hard to offer good content to consumers serious about moving, selling and buying homes and properties in their respective areas.

But I am not holding my breath in light of what we have encountered over this past week. 


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Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

Thanks for reposting this.  I missed it the first time.  I was wondering if Google would start doing something like this.  Perhaps it is time to get REALLY localized.

May 20, 2013 07:27 AM #1
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h
I can't imagine this algorithm being well-received in ANY industry so that there would be a broad-based opposition to something like this.
May 20, 2013 08:38 AM #2
Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker
Janisch & Co. - Conroe, TX
Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
People always get upset when Google changes their formula. But really the changes mostly affect those folks who try to game the system.
May 20, 2013 12:13 PM #3
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Great re-blog of some interesting information. Google is always implementing changes - hard to keep up.  This certainly helped!

May 20, 2013 12:51 PM #4
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Thanks for the reblog Tammy, it is a very imformative post. The shift is something that we may have to learn to deal with in the future.

May 20, 2013 02:27 PM #5
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Tammy- Thank you so much for the reblog! 

Jeannie and Ralph- You are absolutely correct because if you ever even write a post with keywords in it, you are "gaming the system". All SEO is considered "gaming the system". And the ONLY way that you can ever get a PR for your site is with traffic to your site which will ONLY come by 1 of 2 ways- you drive it there with paid PPC and off line directiives such as mailing and such or 2. you do SEO on your sites and blogs. Simply writing the best content in the world is not going to get you to the top of page one in the SERPS. 

May 20, 2013 10:04 PM #6
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

Google did a pretty good job of knocking me out last year and recovery has been slow but steady with Tammy in the driver seat!

May 20, 2013 11:02 PM #7
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Trial and error with the current template that is subject to change means eyes on the information highway. Always. Videos are the cats meow and getting the attention they deserve as a side note. Not all gloom and doom or glitches to fix, adjust with any change.

May 21, 2013 12:15 AM #8
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque

Matt Cuts posted that the update went live this afternoon. Looks like I fell one position to one of the big companies that a little guy like me, blogging away and trying to sell houses at the same time, can't compete with. Oh well, hopefully I'll be able to get it back. Call it gaming the system if you want, but I think that's a littl naive...

May 22, 2013 01:19 PM #9
Mike Young, covering the USA - Las Vegas, NV
FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809

Thanks for keeping us up on the changes and thanks to ActiveRain for findings ways to get us back up there on top. As always, I enjoy your blog Tammy

May 23, 2013 04:21 PM #10
Don Hintz
2D-enterprises / HAUS Design, LLC - Anderson, IN


Great insight on this topic.  No matter what, it sometimes just makes me say ARRGH FARRGH!  And some days it makes me question why I never took accounty in college and went a different direction.  But, it's always something new and I turn it into fun by learning something new ALWAYS!

May 29, 2013 12:57 AM #11
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