Real Estate Websites Taking a Nose-Dive in Google

Well, it’s finally started to happen. I’ve been telling my clients for many, MANY months to be more careful with their use of gratuitous links and spamming the search engines (in particular Google) through these methods. I’ve been expecting the blast to happen in the last three or four rounds of algorithm changes for Google, and I’m honestly disappointed that it hasn’t happened sooner. But, that tide is now turning, finally.

I had a client that mentioned during a phone conference last week that her own site (one I do not help her market, by the way), that had recently ranked so well, was nowhere to be found on Google. I reminded her about my earlier warnings about her links and that they were spamming the search engines.

She said she felt that Google was “schizophrenic” and that she didn’t want to deal with Google anymore.

I adore this client, but I had to laugh. I told her that not “dealing” with Google is not an option in the current online landscape. Google is here to stay. So, we must learn to play nice. Besides, I think that Google, overall, does a better job of ranking pages than most of the other engines. They tolerate less abuse… usually. Of course, I also believe that there is much room left for improvement, even in the mighty Google — MUCH ROOM.

A couple days later this same client sent me a link to an article…The article stated that overuse and abuse of links affected rank in Google and that real estate sites were particularly hard-hit with the latest shake-up.

Hmmm. Go figure.

Please, if you are a real estate agent and you are trying to build a useful, website to boost your marketing and benefit your visitors… don’t spam the search engines. It’s become such a common practice that many real estate sites look alike — multiple blinking, scrolling banners, links dribbled nonsensically at the bottom of the page like forgotten rubbish, overuse of flash and java, and a serious lack of real content. These approaches are to real estate websites what flapping in the wind flags are to automobile lots. Think about it.

Your business is of a higher caliber than that… and so are your visitors.

Build a site that serves your clients. Build a “sticky” site, rich with information your clients need and customized for your particular geographic area and service niche — not merely “purchased and piped in” content that looks the same on hundreds of sites. How can you possibly rise above the rest using the same tools, same information, same content and same approach? You can’t. Period.

Quality content matters as does visually pleasing, easy-to-navigate sites. Your own clients have always noticed. Now, finally, Google is noticing too.