Google search algorithm is in a perpetual flux, constantly trying to balance petabytes of searches against relevant search results. It's a big deal when you also consider the tens of millions of new Google search queries each day.
As you might expect, the backend algorithm is handling a lot of work. The search engine giant’s developers have the responsibility to keep the Google search algorithm update stable, so they release frequent algorithm updates to that effect.
Interestingly, algorithm updates have remained a topic of concern for businesses and website owners. Google's latest algorithm update seems to focus on improving the user experience by providing relevant and high-quality Google search results.
This Google update algorithm already has significant implications for the real estate industry and its search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, as site owners can expect from a search engine giant like Google.
Real estate agents and firms rely heavily on search engine traffic and core web vitals to generate leads and grow their businesses. The new broad core algorithm update redefines how real estate websites appear in Google search results.
For the most part, that includes prioritizing pages with relevant and high-quality content, improving page load speed, and providing users with a better mobile experience.
But, you might be wondering, “What’s the bigger picture?” in all these changes. Understanding the implications of these new Google search updates lets site owners adapt their SEO strategy accordingly.
This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of Google's latest algorithm update, termed the March 2023 core update. It will also go over Google's algorithm update history and its implications for the real estate industry's SEO. Let’s get started.
Realtor working on her laptop The People-First Drive
From all indications, the new algorithm update from Google is people-first from the get-go. What this means is a clearer definition of “unhelpful content” – as the latest Google algorithm update now calls it – and the websites deemed to have lots of it.
Why “unhelpful content”, anyway? In this context, the search giant specifically defines such content as lacking value, possessing low-added value, or failing to provide significant assistance to the users conducting searches.
As such, the main aim of the new Google update algorithm is to peg back the frequency of such content in Google search results. The goal is to promote websites that prioritize the delivery of high-quality content capable of satisfying the needs of users.
All of that sounds great, but there may be concerns that SEO might take on a newer, looser meaning for good and bad real estate content alike, with the new Google update. In reality, the significance of your SEO remains undiminished in Google search results, especially if you’ve got the right SEO strategist to handle it for you.
Emphasis is only shifting towards creating user-centric content that also adheres to SEO best practices.
How to Craft People-First Content
Google now strongly recommends content creators focus on crafting material that resonates with their audience. That is, to create content that is likely to be valued and deemed relevant, right from the first page of the Google search results. Concurrently, they’ve got to leverage SEO strategies to enhance the visibility of such content.
In a bid to assist content creators in distinguishing whether their work is people-first or search engine-first, Google's algorithm assists content creators to ascertain the primary focus of their efforts and align them with the user's needs.
The Notable Difference
Content needs to be centered around users’ needs, and it's interesting to see how Google’s latest broad core algorithm update focuses on that. Prioritizing the audience's interests and needs is paramount.
With people-first content, each piece centers on the site owners' intended audience, offering them information that they would find just as valuable as if they received it firsthand from you.
For one thing, that demonstrates a profound level of expertise and knowledge, reflecting the firsthand understanding you have on the subject. Moreover, people-first content remains aligned with your website's primary purpose or focus, ensuring coherence and relevance throughout.
Another distinguishing characteristic of people-first content is its ability to leave readers feeling satisfied, making them feel like they didn't waste their time on the Google search page.
As you might expect, such types of content strive to provide a fulfilling experience for the user, catering to their expectations and enhancing high-quality reviews of their engagement.
In contrast, search-engine-first content’s sole purpose is to secure high Google rankings and search rankings, rather than serving the interests of your audience. Such content is extensively automated to produce shallow sections on a wide range of topics. There’s no originality or value to note.
What’s worse, search engine-first content goes round and round, summarizing what others have already stated. When readers can’t get the new insights or perspectives they crave from these pieces, they visit other search engines dissatisfied.
The New Site Ranking Regulation
You won’t want to write unhelpful search engine-first content, would you? It is important rhetoric to note, especially since the new Google algorithm is clamping down on such content anyway.
Unlike the last Google Core Updates, this new algorithm update introduces a novel ranking signal – one of the thousands – employed to assess and rank content.
The signal operates at a sitewide level, together with the core web vitals. That means that if Google deems a website to contain substantial amounts of unhelpful content, the entire website may get penalized. Any of its content, irrespective of its helpfulness, is less likely to attain favorable Google search rankings.
As you might expect, that poses an immediate problem to site owners that still have oodles of legacy content on their websites. Some of the pieces might not align with the overarching theme or the perceived knowledge goals of their visitors or target audience.
Furthermore, Google has given its word that this new ranking signal possesses a weighted attribute. As a result, websites with more unhelpful content than helpful will see a more significant drop in their Google search rankings through their core web vitals.
More than anything, such a move highlights the need for you to rectify and optimize your content across the entire site. Remember, the repercussions may go beyond one or two occasional subpar content.
Shift to People-First Content
Google has advised website owners to take proactive measures in removing unhelpful content from their sites and make the shift to a people-first focus moving forward. That underpins the search giant’s efforts in partnering with site owners in ensuring the high-quality product reviews and usefulness of Google search content.
If you don’t make the people-first switch quickly enough, the new algorithm kicks in with the down-ranking. But it doesn’t stop there: if your website gets impacted, you shouldn’t expect it to get overturned immediately after you make a fix.
According to Google's guidelines, websites that got identified as containing substantial amounts of unhelpful content may continue to be subjected to the signal for an extended period. We’re talking about months here.
The prolonged evaluation period is necessary as Google's classifier system operates continuously, diligently reevaluating the content. The signal will get lifted only after the classifier is confident that the site owners have deleted whatever unhelpful content there.
Content Strategy - The Key
The new Google algorithm update is here to stay, and there’s no wishing it away. It’s out to put people-first search results front-and-center, and the earlier your website gets with the program, the better its visibility in Google search results.
But how do you ensure every knowledge piece on your site hits the mark with the readers? The answer is in a solid content strategy.
If you focus on planning out your content and setting up a pipeline for them, you get to create highly relevant and compelling content that resonates with your target audience. At the same time, there’d be optimal alignment with your core real estate SEO principles.
But content strategy goes way beyond putting pen to paper regarding content specifications. You’d need to have a content and SEO roadmap and a seamless synergy between both.
The synergy lets website owners and content creators create and disseminate content that seamlessly caters to the needs, preferences, and expectations of their knowledge-seeking audience.
Moreover, a well-grounded synergy means a leaner content process. Instead of a separate content development and optimization timeline, each piece gets created from the ground up with heightened visibility and prominence in the core web vitals and Google search engine result pages (SERPs).
Given the dynamic nature of the Google search algorithm and its ranking factor, it’s best to proactively adapt your content strategy, remaining agile in the face of emerging trends and evolving user behaviors.
Instead of starting over again on a clean slate, you might only need to refine and enhance your content roadmap. This time, you double down on including comprehensive market research and data-driven insights. When you remain consistent with that, your site can weather the ever-changing digital landscape, carving a path toward sustainable growth and enhanced online visibility.
What to Do if Affected by the Google Update
Did your website take a hit with the latest Google update algorithm? Generally, When Google announces such an upcoming algorithm change, they do so in a tweet with a specified rollout date.
You must pay attention, since, after the specified date, you may begin to observe a decline in your website's traffic. You don’t need to panic at that point. You must know that you’re not alone in the situation, as numerous websites within your industry may have encountered similar issues.
Instead, you’d need to take the following steps to correct the site’s SEO course in no time:
Identify the Patterns
Let’s face it: a temporary decline in website traffic for a day shouldn't cause you to fret immediately. Should the issue persist and you notice similar drops in traffic among other websites within your industry, it’s crunch time.
You’d want to start with some prognosis and investigation. Dig deep into the specific pages, content patterns, or types that have experienced substantial declines. For instance, if there’s a decrease in traffic to your blog posts, it could imply that Google does not consider those posts relevant enough.
Once you’ve got the initial identifications sorted, the next step is to conduct thorough research on desktop search, to understand the possible reasons behind the decline. Stay updated on Google's latest broad core algorithm update and look for any changes that might directly impact the search index for your website.
Additionally, run some quality assessments and optimizations on your content. You’d need to test their ability to engage users. If they seem to need improvement or updates, then make them.
Don’t forget the keywords within your content. If the algorithm change has rendered search spam and certain keywords ineffective, it’s advisable to explore alternative keywords that can still drive traffic to your website.
Explore Alternative Traffic Channels
While organic traffic directly from Google is the goal for many real estate websites, it's not the be-all and end-all. There are alternative traffic channels and you’d do well to recognize them.
If your main focus - at the time, at least - is to broaden your reach and increase brand awareness, paid search queries, social media advertising, and display networks are excellent alternatives for lead generation. For instance, realtors can leverage Facebook real estate ads to generate leads from the platform, particularly when targeting a specific geographical area.
Lately, YouTube ads have proven effective for real estate agents who aim to showcase both their properties and their personalities. it s not unusual to see prospective clients choose a realtor or real estate agent solely based on their friendliness and ambiance, as shown in these ads.
Beyond the broader reach, you also get bonus marketing points. By diversifying your marketing efforts across multiple channels, you can attract a broader audience and tap into different segments of your target market, thereby enhancing your overall visibility and potential for success.
If you intend to stay ahead of the competition in the digital real estate space, you’ve got to stay up to date on March 2023 core update and its implications for real estate SEO.
These algorithm changes cause website traffic and rankings to ebb and flow, which should get you focusing on proactive measures.
By closely monitoring your website's performance and analyzing any observed patterns, you can identify areas that may require improvement. This could involve optimizing your content, ensuring its relevance and quality, and engaging users effectively.
Our team of experts is ready to supercharge your online presence through the power of tailored real estate SEO strategies. We’ve helped businesses dominate Google search engine results, attract more customers, and grow their businesses exponentially. Contact Ardor SEO now and start achieving your online goals like never before.
Put simply, Google's regular updates in SEO have always been about enhancing the quality and relevance of Google search results. These updates aim to make the user experience better and ensure that websites with high-quality content are rewarded with better visibility.
The latest Core update by Google is a comprehensive update that aims to improve the quality and value of web pages across all regions and languages. Unlike previous updates, this March 2023 core update does not specifically target individual pages or websites.
Instead, it focuses on promoting and rewarding high-quality and high-value content in general.
It varies between a few hours and a few days for Google to update a site's SEO. Nonetheless, Google continuously crawls and indexes websites to gather information about their content and relevance to Google search queries.