Google posted a few updates to how their search algorithms work and their results pages display moving forward. To summarize, Google is streamlining their engine to make it more efficient for different types of users; those looking for general related categories and those looking for very specific searches. Understanding these updates can help you better understand what you (or your online marketing team) should be doing to make sure your real estate website is keeping up with the latest search technology.
Related Searches Given Added Emphasis In Google Search Results
The first change to Google search is “a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to your search.” In implementing this technology, Google has placed added emphasis on related search queries in their search engine. The example that Google shared was a search for the phrase: “Principles of Physics.” If you look at the bottom of the results page for this search, you’ll see a list of related phrases. Google will begin moving these related searches further up in the results, in essence funneling people who may be looking for something related to what they searched for to the appropriate resource. We’re finding the related searches Google suggests tend to be more general and categorical in nature.
How can this update impact your real estate site? If you currently rank for some important real estate related keywords in your local market, the value of those rankings may be lessened if Google starts offering related phrases that are attractive that you do not currently rank for. So if you rank for “Your Town real estate,” but not “Your Town homes,” the time to be more aggressive about building your website up as a resource for “Your Town homes” is now! This can be accomplished through search engine optimization (SEO) practices such as content writing, link building, URL and code optimization, usability enhancements, and/or installing better real estate tools to your site.
Google Displays Longer Snippets Of Pages Searched For Through “Long Tail” Phrases
The second update involves a change in how Google displays “snippets,” or quotations that are displayed beneath each result. Google has decided that when a user searches for a “long tail” search phrase (a search phrase of three or more keywords), it will now display a longer snippet. This is to provide the searcher with more context from which to determine whether the results are relevant to their search. One example could be searching for “The best Realtor in Southern California.” In the future, a phrase like that could yield results with descriptions well over 200 characters in length (Google search results used to trail off completely by 160 characters).
What this means to you as a real estate website owner (or marketer) is that while Google is, on the one hand, offering general related categories to select from in results, they are simultaneously going to cater to long tail searching more than ever. This update greatly increases the utility of long tail searches by giving searchers the ability to more clearly see if the results have the proper context they are looking for. Since it’s said that over 40% of all search traffic consists of unique (very lengthy searches that aren’t often replicated) long tail searches, it would benefit you to write highly compelling content for your site that is relevant to top search phrases but also contains language that sounds very conversational. This will help your pages rank for the main categories that Google is now pushing to searchers through related queries, while also making your site more relevant to the long tail phrases that searchers are looking for directly in your website’s content.
The bottom line is that you should just keep doing what you’ve been doing: place emphasis on building your website as an authoritative resource… the best resource, through having the highest quality original content that is relevant to your local market. If you do that, and keep your content fresh with regular updates, blogging, full social media integration, and so on, you won’t have anything to worry about with the search engines. They will always love referring home buyers and sellers to the best real estate websites around!
Keep in tune to Real Estate Marketing Blog for all the latest search engine marketing industry news!