As many of you know, Google has made some changes just recently in the way things are searched and what can show up in your searches. At first when reviewing some of these changes, one might panic. I'll explain that in a few minutes. The bottom line is that on one side, you will need to be more social online. The other change won't hurt you as long as you keep blogging relative and quality content that pertains to your strengths of your business.
One of the changes is that of Social Search. Stephen Garner gave this easy to understand breakdown of how this will work. Google's Updated Social Search and It's Benefit To You In my opinion, it basically comes down to how you engage and interact with others online, through such avenues as Facebook and Twitter. When someone searches a topic, if you are in that person's social group, you may appear with your name in their search. Go to Stephen's post and he shows you an example.
People always ask why I ask so many questions on my Facebook page during the week. It's one way I engage others. They get to know me, my name, and sometimes my brand. Keeping in mind that Google doesn't index your personal Facebook page, but Google will index your Facebook fan page. Another reason why you should have a fan page. So the end result is that it seems that networking on such sites as Facebook and Twitter will start to pay off. My only suggestion, be natural about it and don't spam others.
The other change is how you can search on Google, regarding 'time' searchs. You know when you would put in some search terms and hit search, it would search for anything that ranked the highest, no matter how old the article was, it would still rank. That's if it was indexed well with quality information. Well now you can search :
- past 24 hours
- past 2 days
- past week
- past month
- past year
- custom range (you can even put in the dates from and to)
Now, one might panic and say, gee, I have to write my same article over and over? I not only talked to a few people that do social media for a living, but I used common sense. In the typical sense of mortgages and real estate, this should not hurt what is being searched, when searching for specific terms. Maybe if one is searching for a specific area or neighborhood, might one define their searches for the last week or month. The other part of common sense is, will many even see this and or know how to use it? Or even care? I guess time will tell. Keeping in mind that Google isn't the only search engine player in town. But I will admit, it ranks the highest amongst the other search engines when reviewing my analytics.
Below, I wanted to search a term that I have written about over the years and how this could work.
If you search non occupant co borrower will as 'anytime', this is what appears. An article that I wrote in July 2007 still ranks #1, followed by an article that I wrote in October 2010 is second overall. (by the way, my second article about a month ago was on page 2, so that one has gained ground on my new site, The FHA Expert, which was just launched in October of 2010)
Here is an example if I now search for anything within the last year. My number 2 post now becomes number 1.
And lastly, if I search within the last 24 hours, it will have dropped off the radar per se.
Summary : I first truly found out about these changes from Ben Rosales who wrote, You wondered why you should blog as a realtor, Google is answering - Ben offers some insight and his opinion in this article.
In my opinion, one should panic not panic when it comes down to how a consumer can search regarding the relevance of time. As I mentioned, maybe if that consumer is searching a specific area in which they would like to purchase real estate. For those of you that put up listings or write about neighborhoods. But I think something like the 'past 24 hours' will be used for news or breaking news and that it won't affect us as much.
In regards to the social search feature, I think the size of your sphere will play a little larger role. But again, I think the important part will be how you engage others in a natural manner. Question : What are your opinions about these new changes?
I will leave you with this thought... "Keep writing valuable content with a personal perspective and people will call you."
Off topic and worthy information : Did you know that Google is finally clamping down on those that try and cheat the system. Jeremy Blanton wrote this article, Google says goodbye to content farms - And those that use to many black hat SEO techniques could be penalized. I find all of this to be great news, because maybe the little guy that is real, authentic, and plays by the rules will be awarded for their hard work and efforts.
Keep in mind : This is all based on my opinion and how I percieve things for the near future.
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