What is Penguin 2.0 and what is its impact on real estate professionals? Good question. Now that the dust has settled, here’s a look at some of the key changes and what you can do to make sure that your website continues to rank well.
What is a Penguin?
Aside from being an adorable, flightless bird that’s permanently dressed for a black-tie event, Penguin is the term for Google search algorithm updates that address issues that stem from spamdexing via ‘black hat’ SEO techniques.
What are black hat SEO techniques?
SEO techniques that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and artificially boost search engine rankings are considered black hat tactics. These include actions like keyword stuffing, spamming unrelated blogs with comments, buying links and more.
What are white hat SEO techniques?
White hat SEO techniques are practices that promote link sharing and your website organically. For example, by authoring unique, relevant content that other people want to share and also sharing quality content you are participating in white hat SEO.
Why does Google want to promote white hat SEO and penalize black hat SEO?
Google’s recent update was orchestrated “to help searches find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their information needs.” White hat SEO practices help promote sites with relevant, authentic and unique content. This is good for both searches and search engines.
When you search, you want to find sites that are experts on whatever word or term you searched. Sites that use black-hat SEO to artificially boost their relevance probably aren’t going to contain the genuinely useful information you’re looking for.
Help! What does this specifically mean for my real estate website?
This update is all about aligning search with real-life best practices for businesses. People want to visit businesses and websites that provide a good user experience and have the product or services they need. For real estate websites in particular, it means three things:
- To provide the best user experience and ensure that all content is visible to all site visitors, you need a website that is fully functional on smartphones, tablets and desktops. If you’re using one of our dozens of mobile-friendly templates, you’re already doing this!
- Once you know that everyone can see your website – no matter what kind of device they’re using – you need to add great content that attracts online searchers, holds their attention, inspired them to share and keeps them coming back for more. This means writing blog posts, adding buyer and seller tips, creating neighborhood guides and posting videos, among other things.
- To get quality sites to link back to your website and thereby boost your attractiveness to search engines, there are a few steps you can take. For one, build up your social media networks and share your content on your social pages. People who find your content valuable will retweet and share your posts. Another thing you can do is post thoughtful comments on industry-related blogs, either linking to a relevant page of your website within the post or in your commenter profile. You can also keep an eye out for positive and negative reviews of your services and respond promptly. Give your customers a reason to recommend you and link back to your site.
If you try black hat SEO tactics and buy links, you may see success in the short term, but Google’s evolving algorithm will eventually find and penalize your site. Your best bet is to work on making your real estate website the local authority and promote it using white hat strategies. Want to read more about Penguin 2.0? Click here.
Have you noticed any change in search engine traffic since Penguin 2.0 took effect?