Why Worrying About SEO Is Detrimental to Your Real Estate Blog

LifeRing

Last year I wrote a post called 96% of All Real Estate Blogs Will Fail.

It has become more and more clear that I failed to mention
another clear reason why real estate bloggers
are bound to abandon their blogging efforts.

S.E.O. :  Search Engine Optimization

Realtors help buyers buy property.
Realtors help sellers sell property.

If this is going to their business model for success, it needs to be a full-time job.

Business Blogging is a marketing effort.
However, it is a marketing effort that, as we’ve pointed out countless times, needs to be a discipline in order for it to work.  In order for a full-time REALTOR to install a demanding discipline such as blogging as a piece of their marketing puzzle, it needs to be something that is not a challenge to embrace.

The more challenging that it becomes, the less likely it is going to work into their business model.

This is exactly why SEO will kill your real estate blog.

Blogs, when properly designed, coded and submitted, will have an enormous amount of built in SEO power.
This is FACT.

We have so many examples of our Tomato Graduates dominating desired search results pages that it would be ridiculous to list them.  If you doubt it, call any one of themHowever, their level of understanding when it comes to SEO is basic, fundamental and intentionally pragmatic.

And whatever happened to the talk of the Long Tail? The power of your ever-growing content (articles published) is undeniably the most powerful search engine tool you have.  The best part: all you have to do is hit publish to make it work.

The Long Tail is the bloggers best friend.  Because it can make for spectacular results, and it is not something that needs to be studied as a science, bloggers are encouraged to continue hitting publish, and continue to maintain the blog as an important element of their marketing strategy.

Unfortunately, a focus on SEO throws a wrench into the party.

Here’s just a sampling of what I have seen happen when mastering SEO with one’s blog becomes a concern.

A Little Knowledge Can Be Dangerous.

I know a little about cars.  A little.  But, I do know better than lifting the hood of my car and making some adjustments to optimize its performance.

Your tinkering with your blog is the same.  Just because you picked up a new bit of knowledge, doesn’t mean you can intuitively make an improvement that is guaranteed to be sound.
Basically, if you mess with things that you don’t know how to properly control, you put yourself at risk of causing issues that are hard to reverse.

Fact mixed with conjecture, speculation, and opinion has created a conversation and a debate that will never end.

Gaming Is Alluring and Contagious.

Once you start recognizing that there are certain techniques that you can implement that are bound to make some positive difference in your search results, it has a tendency to become routine and even overdone.

I can still hear the words of my Grandfather, “Just because it feels good to scratch your ass, doesn’t mean you need to go ripping it all to pieces.”

Bad or Dated Advice From the Unqualified.

There is a ton of Snake-Oil out there.  The worst part: most of them seem to believe the junk science they peddle.

Experimentation.

Gee, I wonder if I change a few things to be more like so-and-so, what will happen…
Stop right there.  It might be smarter to just go and get a tattoo.

The SEO Rat Race.

There will always be more unknown than known elements of the algorithms that deliver search engine results.
Fact mixed with conjecture, speculation, and opinion has created a conversation and a debate that will never end.
Get yourself wrapped up in this, and you have just taken away from the focus that needs to be applied to your blogging as well as your real estate career.

There are those, however, that will make it their business to need to know more.
They will strive to be an expert on what makes their site place the way it does in the search engines.
They will crave the knowledge for an edge when it comes to this exposure.
For those that have that itch to scratch, there are resources that are widely recognized as dependable.

But as the full-time Realtor will quickly come to realize, the science of SEO is a slippery slope of circular advice that will consume you even as you feel it empowers you.

So what’s my advice?  Break the cycle of this rat race.  Get back to blogging.  Every one of us should worry most about our message, and the presentation of that message.
If you write it they will come.
If you participate they will come.
If you care they will come.

It seems that anyone who is concerned about SEO is most likely looking into ways to excel within the system.
This is always a slippery slope that has bloggers toeing the line of gaming, manipulation, and processed formula.
In the end, you risk compromising the effort that should have been reflected in your daily message.

But as the full-time Realtor will quickly come to realize, the science of SEO is a slippery slope of circular advice that will consume you even as you feel it empowers you.

Worried About PageRank?

Get people to notice you because you are a kick-ass blogger and a noteworthy contributor/participator.
You do this by blogging, not optimizing.  Influential, high-ranking bloggers will give you the Link Love you deserve, only when you deserve it.

Worried about Keyword Stuffing vs Keyword Density?

If so, then you are probably already thinking too much about the game.
Allow me to paraphrase the Google Webmasters Guidelines:
Write content for users, not for search engines.

Worried About Being On Page 1?

Patience grasshopper.  Shortcuts are risky.  If you deserve to be on the front page for searcbh results relevant to your focus, then you will get there.  For the most part, those that occupy those spots have worked hard for it, and you should expect to as well.  It may take 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 months.  It may never happen.  But to be deserving, you need to be full of rich, relevant and regular content.  Any success achieved outside of this will probably be short lived.

Worried About Duplicate Content?

Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s Webspam Team recently posted this on his blog:

…typically a whitehat site doesn’t need to worry about 1-3 versions of an article on their own site. However, I would be mindful that taking all your articles and submitting them for syndication all over the place can make it more difficult to determine how much the site wrote its own content vs. just used syndicated content.

My advice would be 1) to avoid over-syndicating the articles that you write, and 2) if you do syndicate content, make sure that you include a link to the original content. That will help ensure that the original content has more PageRank, which will aid in picking the best documents in our index.

So there you have it.  Quit your worrying about what you’ll never understand completely, and get back to improving your message.  Go build some relationships.