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Google Just Announced an Update About 'Helpful Content.' What Should Real Estate Agents Know?

October 02 2022

homesnap google helpful contentWhen Google updates its algorithm, the effects ripple through the internet. In September, another Google update went live. Agents who want to succeed online need to know how to adjust to what's being called the "helpful content" update.

In short, the helpful content algorithm update is a commitment to serve "people-first" content, and another indication that Google doesn't want its search pages clogged with spam.

How can you ensure your online presence is considered helpful? What guidelines are important to follow while building out a real estate agent website, Google Business Profile, and other online content?

1. Stay Focused and On-Topic

The first step to creating online content Google considers "helpful" is to stay focused and on-topic.

As a real estate agent, being focused means targeting an audience of buyers and sellers with content that is related to real estate.

Having an online presence is great, but will be less effective if it's cluttered with information about unrelated pursuits. After all, would a buyer or seller looking for real estate information find much use in an agent's website that was actually filled with cat photos? Of course not. That's why Google ranks content that is focused, on-topic, and relevant to searchers.

2. Show Expertise and Experience

Once you've established your topic – in this case, being a real estate agent – Google wants to see that your online content demonstrates expertise and experience.

Your expertise is in real estate, and specifically as being an agent in your local market. Make sure your agent website and Google Business Profile reflect your status as a go-to agent in your region. And take pains to explain how you specifically help people in your local region. If you've sold homes in certain neighborhoods or specialize in the west side of town, say so. Let Google know you have a relevant niche.

Google also wants to see that you have experience. For an agent, this could mean maintaining a slideshow of current and past listings on your website. And for every agent, having helpful content that demonstrates experience requires a verified Google Business Profile with positive, plentiful reviews from past clients and respected colleagues.

3. Answer Searchers' Queries

When Google talks about helpful content, what they're really talking about is: Does this answer the questions people are typing into the search bar?

As an agent, you should endeavor for online content that answers searchers' queries. Those questions start simply. Who are real estate agents in my town? What is this agent's business hours? Do they have contact information? Examples of current listings?

But some searchers are looking for more than just basic biographical details. They're asking questions about an agent's specific experiences. Who are this agent's past clients? Do they represent both buyers and sellers? What's their experience in my neighborhood? Do they have a marketing plan? Social media? References? A good reputation?

Google wants you to preemptively answer those questions. After all, when consumers search for "real estate agents near me," what they're really asking is for Google to show them the best agents possible. The best agents can answer consumer questions on and offline, so have online content that helps address what buyers and sellers are searching for and wondering.

4. Stay Up-to-Date on Other Google Core Updates

The "helpful content" update is a big one. But it's not the first Google update, it won't be the last, and it isn't the only update agents should consider.

Just this year, Google has released:

  • The "Vicinity Update," in which Google more heavily weights proximity when serving up local search results. This update hyper-focuses search results on local businesses and services consumers are likely to use or hire.
  • The "May 2022 Core Update," in which Google dinged AI-generated content and reshuffled search results pages so that human-written content is more likely to appear at the top.

Overall , Google updates in 2022 have advantaged real, live, local agents – particularly those who demonstrate the expertise, experience, and focus to help buyers and sellers accomplish their real estate goals.

To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.