What I’m trying to showcase is thus far is from the ‘beginning of time’, of Googles Time, to now, you see a pretty basic linear trend which is this: Google Likes Value.
When it comes to your real estate website, everything really begins and ends with your approach and overall 'mindset.' In this video, we'll explore why you need to focus on 'Value' when it comes to having the proper Google Mindset.
And here's a copy of the whiteboard used in today's lesson:
Hey guys, Nelson Quest here with Agentfire.com and today we’re going to be talking about Google Mindset, or basically, just the mentality that you need to cultivate when you’re formulating your real estate web content strategy for 2014 and beyond. This is going to be a real basic lecture and what I’d like to do is just go through the history of Google so you can see where it came from, where it’s going, and just understand the mentality that you need to have going forward.
The reason that we’re making this video today is that I still on a daily basis, speak with agents, brokers, and real estate professionals in general who has a very dated, archaic understanding of the sort of things they need to be doing, and the mentality in general. Really it starts with the mentality and that’s what we’re going to be focusing on today.
To illustrate this point what I’d like to do is just briefly go through the history of Google’s algorithm. This is going to be an absolutely horrible history lesson but we’re just going to focus on a few things so that you can understand the path that Google is taking so that you can see where it’s going and make sure that you’re on the page you need to be.
Starting in about year 2000 and before that, really if you wanted to rank a site or page all you had to do was just spam a keyword, so if you were just trying to rank for ‘Calabassas real estate’ all you had to do was make sure it was on your page or post 100 times and it was going to rank well.
Moving along, 2002, this is the first time we start to see PageRank, which is still a huge factor in Google’s algorithm which has evolved a lot. PageRank is basically the first time Google starts to look at off-page factors when determining how to rank your site, specifically links, and clicks. Links were seen as votes of confidence for your site, if Google saw that there were 10 links from other websites to your site, hey, can’t be a bad site.
Moving along, so, with the advent of PageRank, what ended up happening is, around 2007’ish’, this was kind of the golden age of directories and reciprocal links, so if you had a real estate site during this time this is all going to sound very familiar. Directories were basically, so a real estate directory, for example, you’d put their link or their badge on your website, and they would put your link on their website, so Google saw this as kind of a reciprocal situation. They saw a link to your website, and at the same time you were promoting the directory, so it was a win/win situation, even though most normal people never used these directories. Then you also have reciprocal links, so the good, or ‘white hat’ method of getting these links was to contact other individuals in related individuals, maybe mortgage guys or insurance guys, and you say hey, I’ll put your link on my website, you put my link on your website, everyone wins, Google sees lots of votes of confidence.
What ended up happening with this is that there were people who were basically set on gaming or taking advantage of the system, and there are always going to be those. So, what ended up spawning from this is you had a lot of link farms and to a lesser extent, doorway pages. So, link farms in particular, again if you had a real estate website, and even still today, should sound really familiar, a link farm is basically where Peter from India will set up 500 links to your site for 37 dollars, what could go wrong with that right? So, what ended up going wrong with that, is Google released two big changes to its algorithm, the Penguin and Panda updates, which of course are a lot more technical, but the long and short of them were that anyone engaging in these black hat, or illegal SEO, you know, Search Engine Optimization manipulation type practices, was severely impacted. I know a lot of agents and brokers personally that were very much affected by this. Either their sites were pushed very far away from page 1, or they were removed from Google completely, and it took months, if not years to get this stuff repaired.
What I’m trying to showcase is thus far is from the ‘beginning of time’, of Googles Time, to now, you see a pretty basic linear trend which is this: Google Likes Value. Google wants to put the stuff that provides the most value at the top and they’re hellbent that the spam, the crap, the people who are engaging in manipulative, black hat SEO, don’t ever see the first page of a Google Search Result.
So the mentality that you need to have is you need to be focusing on Value, you need to be focusing on ‘how do I provide value to the people that are coming to my website.’ These are people looking to buy homes, sell homes, invest in homes, other real estate agents, these are the people you need to be focusing on as far as ‘how do I provide value.’ Another thing about value, is, when you focus on value, instead of focusing on ‘how do I manipulate,’ good things are just going to happen naturally. People are going to stay on your site longer which is a factor. Link Relevance, people in your industry or related industries are going to link to your stuff if you have really good content. You’re naturally going to have your keywords in there. You’re naturally going to get people that want to share your stuff on Facebook and Twitter and other social networks, depending on what you’re doing, so focus on value.
If you think about this old mentality of ‘how do I game the system’ which I can’t tell you enough, how many people still have this mentality, even if you, let's say you’re trying to rank for ‘Calabassas Real Estate.’ If you have a page set up for ‘Calabassas Real Estate’ and you have a paragraph on there that has the phrase ‘Calabassas Real Estate’ on there 14 times. Even if you were somehow to rank on the first page, which it’s not, that stuff hasn’t worked in a decade, but even if it did, if I’m reading through a paragraph that has the words ‘Calabassas Real Estate’ in there 14 times, I’m just going to hit the back button. Nobody is going to stick around for that, so, again this dated mentality of ‘how do I game the system,’ just get rid of that, because going forward it’s just not going to help you, so again, value.
Last thing I want to talk briefly a lot, and I get this question equally as much, ‘what is value’, and ‘what do I focus on.’ The answer to that is ‘hyperlocal.’ So when we talk hyper-local, we’re in an age now where you’re competing against companies like Zillow and Trulia, big companies, and the one thing that you can do better than then, the one facet where you can really provide more value, infinitely more value to a consumer that they can, is the hyperlocal stuff, so what I’m talking about is that, you need to focus on a specific area, and make sure that your content is kind of, catered to that area. Make sure you have photos with captions, videos if you’re into that kind of stuff. If you’re blogging, blog about local events, blog about the real estate market in that area. Again make sure that your domain name is something that represents that area. Not only is that going to have keywords in it but it’s going to kind of limit the scope of your site to make sure that it’s really clear that your focus is on this specific area, and once you’ve done that, just focus on providing value to the people in that area, the people that are going to be coming to your site based on wanting to find information on that area.
Hey guys, thanks for watching this video. If you liked this video be sure to click the like button. If you know any agents or brokers that have this negative type of mentality that was discussed in this video, please be sure to share this video with them, and if you’re in the market for a real estate website that is mobile responsive, and super hyper-local, and pretty awesome, or so I’m told, check out Agentfire.com, thanks.