How Google’s New Algorithm will affect your real estate website

Very recently, Google made significant changes to its search engine algorithm.
This algorithm is basically the formula that Google uses, when determining which sites should appear at the top of search results, and which ones should not.

Very few people, except for hardcore search and tech literati understand precisely how these changes were set up or exactly how they work, but the changes are pretty evident already.
The long and the short of it, is that you will need to take a good look at your website to determine if it is still “search engine friendly”.

Here are some items that now need to be understood in regards to this new Google algorithm:

  • Faster Indexing
    Google has a new thing called “Google Caffeine”. This means there is no more “sandbox” or long waiting times, before your website can be indexed by Google. The indexing time is now down to around 15 minutes (if you have a dynamic site map submitted to Google Webmaster Tools).
    This means that unique, steady content such as news updates, blogs, etc, will take even more precedence in search engine rankings.
  • Google Analytics Data
    In a fairly controversial move, Google has suggested that they may use the analytics data of sites in their algorithm, since it provides a huge amount of information about user interaction of a web site. This makes a lot of sense, but there will be many that do not like this idea.
    This one is a pretty easy fix though, as Google Analytics is free and does not take much to add into a website.
  • Paid Links
    Buying links to push ranks up in a short period of time is a technique used by some marketers. Many of these are added for short periods of time due to the cost of purchasing them.
    Google now says that the age of links matter, so these short term link arrangements will no longer help you. They prefer stable links that have been there for a while, so work on building naturally occurring links that matter to your business.
  • Page Load Time is now important
    Very simply, the time it takes a web page to appear in your internet browser will directly affect how it ranks in Google.
    Make sure that your images and all page elements are optimized and that your sites load fast. Don’t lose rank due to slow loading images or other web elements.
  • Flash animation and Flash websites
    Flash websites and animations created in Flash, can take forever to load up. Based on the information above, this is bad news for your site ranking.  Avoid full flash websites, large animation files & splash pages. Use HTML5 where you can.
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There are other changes still to come from Google. They like to rearrange things periodically just to keep the SEO experts, tech guys and online marketers on their toes.

Trying to play the game and work out how Algorithms work, can be a real waste of time. These Google Algorithm Changes, don’t really change the core message and approach of a good website though – it still is all about CONTENT.
The best thing to do is ensure the basics are covered and that you have good, solid content on your website.
This means:

  • clear information on your site, that is relevant to what your website visitors are looking for (Such as search-able listings, interactive location maps for listings, locality information, clear contact information & staff profiles for example)
  • the consistent addition of unique content (latest news, etc)
  • site promotion through syndication, aimed at generating quality back links through to your site

Brightfox is aware of these changes, and we regularly advise our clients on the best way to manage their online presence, to be the most search-engine friendly that it can be.

If  you are seeking to improve your website rankings, traffic and sales, then feel free to contact us here at Brightfox.

50 Bright Ideas launched to help and guide Australian & New Zealand Real Estate Industries

It is a tough market out there and we know that many agents are finding business difficult. To assist agents and agencies on improving their business in these tough times, we have recently launch a free weekly email called ’50 Bright Ideas’ which will send a new business idea to agents each week. Each week we will email a new business idea used by one (or many) of the leading agents around the world. Having recognised however that an idea without execution is a wasted idea, we are also including suggestions on how to implement the idea into your business.

So in a nutshell, our ’50 Bright Ideas’ campaign is a FREE weekly email that all agents and agencies can subscribe to, that send you a great new business idea and suggestions on how to implement the idea into your business.

You can register for these Bright ideas by visiting http://50ideas.brightfox.com.au/ .

We have seen many companies selling similar information for well over hundreds of dollars. However we have decided to impart this knowledge for Free. When you sign-up for 50 bright ideas you will also receive 3 professionally designed HTML templates that you can use immediately – straight out of the box.

Of course we don’t think for a second that we are the only people with great ideas on how to run a real estate business, so if you have suggestions or would like to contribute to our weekly emails, we would love to hear from you. Simply email us at 50brightideas@brightfox.com.au.

Myhome.com.au shutting down!

It was reported on the weekend that myhome.com.au us planning to shut down. You can see the full Fin Review article here: My Home Article

Many people will speculate why myhome.com.au failed. It seemed to having everything a portal needs, serious backers, serious money and serious people – or at least people with experience in the sector.

So why did it fail? Very simple in my view. They simply just did not offer anything different to the existing major players – www.realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au, and it could be argued that what they offered was actually inferior.

My previous blog on the new portal www.onthehouse.com.au really said it all – to be competitive as a new portal you need to offer the consumer something more, something different to acquire customer share and loyalty. Without it, the portal will just be a money pit – like www.myhome.com.au.

So why did it fail? Extremely poor strategic design of the site and supporting services. They just quite frankly got it wrong from the start.