How Google Reads Your Real Estate Blog

OompaLoompas_Google

Everyone wants their real estate blog to appear
on the first page of a Google’s SERP
.
Why not?

You’re the best real estate agent in your area on the web, right?
Of course you are…

Yet when you consider that a search of “real estate” in Google currently brings up 312,000,000 results you must realize that you will have to do a little more than just throw your site into the mix.

The Oompa Loompas in the mysterious Google factory work hard everyday to make sure users are returned the most relevant search results when a query is created.  Much like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, few outsiders are allowed within the confounds where Google engineers are constantly strategizing better methods to organize data and spit out the best results for your queries.

Until now…

Recently Google allowed a New York reporter within their factory to sit in on a “confidential quality meetings at Google“.  You can read the article here at the New York Times.  While no great secret was unveiled to Saul Hansen during his visit, his article does illustrate the complexity of search and reinforces those qualities that we do know Google looks for when determining whether your blog receives the placement it deserves.

Here are two specific factors that Google is looking at that one can argue bloggers have the most amount of control over.

These items also seem to be ‘staples’ within the algorithm, making them a constant factor in your success.

PageRank

PageRank is not determined by pigeons.  As Google explains it, “PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives…Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.”

With PageRank, five or six high-quality links from websites such as www.cnn.com and www.nytimes.com would be valued much more highly than many links from less reputable or established sites.  You can increase the number of inbound links your site receives by participating within the blogosphere through value filled comments.  For more information about how to write comments that get read, The Secret to Successful Comments.

Keywords

Content, content, content.  Keywords are the bread and butter of how your site appears in SERP’s.  Every post you write is new content.  Every comment left on your blog is new content.  Google looks at many factors to decide how the words on your site are relevant to the users query.

Location:

There are over 200 factors Google looks at when determining which pages should get top placement under certain queries.

Where are those keywords placed within your website?  Keywords are given more relevance in the title of your article than in the body.  This applies to your category titles as well.  I like to use the example of “Blogging Advice” with clients.  On the first page of Google results you will find the Real Estate Tomato’s category entitled “Blogging Advice“.

Although none of the titles of the articles Jim has written actually contain the words “blogging advice” it is the strength of the number of articles that fall under that appropriately named category that have propelled him to the first results page for the term.

Intersecting a Posting List :

When someone searches for “real estate blogging advice” Google first finds all the pages they have indexed that contain one or more of those words in no particular order.  So every page with “real”, “estate”, “blogging” and “advice” is pulled from their index.After this Google must decide which of these pages deserve the highest ranking.  To do this they look for pages with all four of these words after which they rank those pages that use all four of those words in the same order as the query with higher placement.

Again, location of these keywords matter as well.  For more information read this article from Matt Cutts. There are over 200 factors Google looks at when determining which pages should get top placement under certain queries.

Most of the factors Google uses in their algorithm will never be made public and are always changing.  This post’s aim is to illustrate two of the most natural ways you can positively affect your search engine success.

Write and
participate.  If you do these two things your site will naturally earn good search engine placement, with time.