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Google Caffein – Coming Soon To A Website Near You

Google is in the process of preparing a new update to its algorithm that is used for ranking websites. It looks like it will be dubbed with the title of “Google Caffein”.

To rank well, it still comes down to each website having fresh content added on a regular basis and encouraging other sites to link to your website. However, more emphasis will apparently be placed on using social media, online videos and a well built website.

More attention will also be paid to certain ranking factors such as “clean code”, “page load time” (or site speed), “broken links” and the like. Over-all quality will now play a greater roll than in the past.

Search engines folks like Google do not normally go out of their way to share the specifics of their “magic formulas” that rank websites, so we do the best we can to determine what is there and what makes them happiest. What we do know is that the web itself continues to evolve, and so must we all.

The good news is that GraphicalData websites are by default search engine friendly. What should you do? You need to SEO (search engine optimize) your website for your area and real estate niche — or have someone do it for you. The underlying core criteria we use when we optimize a website takes advantage of the new power that Google will place under the hood of its overhauled engine. If you need assistance in optimizing your GraphicalData website feel free to contact us today.

Search Engine Optimization

We have posted numerous articles about search engine optimization (SEO) over the years. Many techniques that were relevant 10 years ago are not today. In fact, many search engines that were around in the ’90’s no longer exist for all practical purposes.

Some of the underlying basics do remain the same, and that is what many of our posts have been about, so I would encourage you to dig back into the archives . . . or search for seo and search engine optimization to pull them up.

You can view this article on search engine optimization for some general information as well.

If you do have a GraphicalData website, and are not ranking as well as you might like, give us a call or email . . . we have a great history of understanding what it takes to help real estate websites rise to the top.

Stay tuned . . . next article we will discuss some of the newer criteria that Google has indicated that they implement this year.

Meta Tags Can Help Achieve Better Rankings on Search Engines

A few years back, many search engines devalued the use of certain meta-tags in determining rankings, so not all search engines place as much emphasis on all the tags in your <HEAD> section as they once did. Rather, they will just pull from the first text they find on your site page, and display them in their results. This may give less than an ideal description of what your sites are all about. You have probably seen a few weird descriptions in the search engine results page (SERP) and wondered why…well that’s why.

For search engines that do give attention to the tags, these tags should be optimized as best you can for your nitche and marketplace. The <Title> tag still is very important. It should not be overly long and should incorporate the most important keyword phrase that represents your business. Most search engines will use this title tag for ranking your site and it is also the title that is displayed on the search engine results page. Use 4 to 12 keywords here (Seattle Real Estate – homes – condominiums – relocation).

Let’s spend a moment looking at your <Meta Description> tag. Usually, most search engines use the Description tag to describe what your site is about when the results are shown on the search engine results page. The length they pull from your meta tags can vary anywhere from 15 words to 30 words or so. Some engines use only the first 15ish words, so you should build a really good 12-15 word phrase that will keep them happy. Other engines can use up to 30ish words in their site description. I would add an additional 10-15 words that expands and enhances the first 15 words. Then, depending on which engine visits your site, the 15 word description makes sense, as does the 25-30 word description.

What am I saying…to clarify, I have a 25-30 word description that if cut at the 15 word mark makes sense to the visitors, as does a full 25-30 description. If you don’t plan it this way, you can have a description on the SERP page that seems to be cut off in mid-sentence and not make much sense. Google searchers may also see the first 15 words (or less…and not always).

The <Meta Keyword> tag has really fallen on hard times mostly due to people cramming keywords in that were considered spam, so most engines give very little attention to this tag.

GraphicalData web site users can tweak all three of these tags on any of their web site pages from the appropriate editing sections provided. And what is cool is that the title and the description is then automatically pulled and inserted into the site map that is generated and linked into your site. So, double important to tweak your tags.

[Note: When modifying your tags, you need to give ample time between modifications for the search engines to re-crawl your site and re-rank your position for any given search term. And hear this…pretty much anything you do here, if the content on your page is not of high quality, original content, then all this is very nearly in vain…Get your “House” in order first]

Search Engine Friendly

We often see real estate websites on the internet that we refer to as “Realtor-in-the-Box-Sites”. These are sites that cater to real estate agents and offer some of the types of products that we have available. However, there are usually major differences…

Many of these sites are based on what we call “active server pages” technology. These (website) pages don’t actually exist in real time…each page is generated dynamically when it is called up (by clicking on the page’s button in the nav bar). These pages don’t really exist in real time for a search engine to crawl, compounded by the fact that they often have a “query string in the URL than can confuse a a search engine’s “crawler”, thereby making it more difficult to index.

Some sites do not allow you the ability to modify the title tag in the head section. This is one of the most important areas to control for search engine rankings. Your business and the area of your business should certainly be reflected in this section (ie. Bellevue Washington Real Estate and Relocation).

Of course, it is also beneficial to be able to control the content of your Meta description and keywords tags.

Your site should allow you to control the sizes and emphasis (ie BOLD) of your fonts. Search engines perceive larger sizes and emphasis to be important.

You should have the ability to provide ample amounts of text (in real live html format) on your page, not generated into graphics. Search engines read html text. They don’t read graphics. The text on your page should be good, “honest content” and reflect what your site is really all about. This means good target words/phrases that describe your area/business. Remember this: Good quality, relevant content is king! If you provide that, your ranking will nearly take care of itself.

You should have the ability to add ALT tags (Alternative Text) to any graphics (You know, the text that pops up when you hold your cursor over a graphic).

It is also important that your keyword phrases be used as html in your buttons (links)…and on GraphicalData sites, if you provide for the keywords in the button name, our system automatically takes care of this for you, so you don’t even need to worry about it.

Your site should, if at all possible, provide for a site map of your website. Many search engines like them, especially Google. We provide for a static html site map as well as XML.

Actually all of the above criteria that I have touched upon happens in the best light on a GraphicalData website. We want to not only provide the best in real estate web sites, but also make them search engine friendly…and the best part of all…you can control most of it yourself (unless you really don’t feel comfortable doing so…then we are more than happy to assist).

Ranking Well In the Search Engines

There are many factors to consider in ranking well with the search engines. And, as luck would have it, each search engine has its own recipe (or algorithm) for the criteria that they apply to this end.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) “sets the stage” for the engines. Optimizing a website is sort of like staging a home for buyers, except in this case, you are staging for the search engine ‘bots. If you have good content (which is very important) it still needs to abide by other factors that search engines build into their formulas for ranking websites.

Here is a good article on some of the factors that can help put you in good standing with the search engines.

If you would like GraphicalData to assist you with SEO and help enhance your position in the search engine wars, please feel free to contact us at seo@graphicaldata.com.

Don’t miss this critical step: “staging” your website correctly and increasing your chances for being found on the search engines.