I'll be honest, this drives me nuts! When I research a community or area and find the first 10 spots on Google with NO CONTENT! What? Doesn't this break all the laws of SEO? Well, yes and no. There are about 200 factors when it comes to SEO rules and ranking factors so no content on a page is just one of those, albeit an important one.
But why do these pages rank?
And it could be any site too, Homes.com, Market Leader, Real Geeks, Wordpress, etc... That may not be the deciding factor at all. So what it is?
Well, it's a variety of things. For one, sites like this: https://homeswithjean.com/east-valley/gilbert/* may not have a lot of content in the form of text but it does have content. Each listing can be content, the menu, the text, the footer and then if there are any comments on it, those counts as well. But what if there is nothing but one listing? That certainly can't be enough to rank?
Well, there are other factors at work here:
- Heavy and high quality links to this page or the homepage
- Little to no competition so the page has to rank
- A well-established site that has been registered for years
- Excellent SEO on the other pages
- A new page that hasn't been properly indexed yet
- Fast loading time compared to competitive sites
- Property URL structure
- Optimized metadata - Title and description
Ideally, a great page on a community or topic should look like this:
Great information, calls to actions, internal and external links and listings (if it's a real estate page). And then you should make sure the URL is correct, the metadata is well done and you are linking to it on a regular basis. Again, pages like this SHOULD rank... ha ha.. but who knows what the Google gods will actually do. I DO know how infuriating it can be to have a killer page only to have a low-quality, thin page outrank it. I get it.. that's what we do on a daily basis.
But you never know if that one light page has a major backlink to the main URL from a super high-quality site. That one link can be as heavy as 100 mediocre links. How'd they get it? They may have paid for it through a newspaper or something or got extremely lucky on a press release and got another article to link to them. Who knows! Maybe they were just the first to write about that community! This actually happens a lot which is why YOU should be the first to be the authority for a community. We have several great pages ranked well simply because we were the first out there. Think about it... we're not regurgitating something someone has already written about. WE are the first authority. That's powerful in Google, which means you shouldn't wait to write about a new community. YOU BE THE FIRST.
Again, there are about 200 SEO ranking factors and as much as we scream that high-quality content is king, it's not the only ranking factor. Keep at it, keep linking to it, and before you know it, YOU may be the #1 in your field.
*We are currently working on this site and beefing up all the content