PLRHeadquarters Blog Mitch Claymore's Private Label Rights weblog

5Jan/12Off

Google’s New Eye-Opener: More Than Just Caffeine

Yup. It’s the Freshness Algorithm, announced late last year on the official Google website. It’s one of the 500 or so changes they make every year to keep everyone coming to them first whenever they search for anything. 

In case youCuppa haven’t had that first cuppa yet, that was no misprint.  500 changes a year, They have buildings full of bright techies working day and night to keep us all off balance.

 Last year they finished perfecting their “Caffeine Web Indexing System” which they modestly described as allowing them to “crawl and index the web for fresh content quickly on an enormous scale.” If you have a web site, in 2011 you’d already noticed how well it works: if your site isn’t updated regularly, it’s been sliding sliding sliding…

In case that wasn’t enough, in November Google went a step further in their push for up-to-date relevant results: it’s the Freshness Algorithm. It looks for the ‘latest news’ for every search query. I hope you’re sitting down. They say it will begin to yield more results that “might only be minutes old.”

 Of course, harried real estate web owners can choose to ignore the announcement. (They can also move to a nearby desert, find a sand dune, and stick their head under it). Or they can glue themselves to their computer and just keep posting new blogs until the electricity is cut off, which will eventually happen since they’ve been too busy blogging to pay the electric bill. Or they can subscribe to a high quality Private Label Rights service, and use it to painlessly keep their web and blog pages at the top of the Caffeine/Freshness results. If that’s the choice, we here at RealtyPLR.com will of course be delighted, and possibly you will be, too – since so few realtors are even aware that the fresh content competition has gotten so –– caffeinated.

18Mar/11Off

Betting the House (on Google)

Nothing against games of chance — I enjoy a hand of blackjack now and then as much as anyone does. I even used to enjoy an occasional tug on a one-armed bandit (but that was before they turned them all into ATMs).

Nonetheless, since I never bet enough to make it feel even slightly dangerous, you wouldn’t call me a true gambler. That puts me in the same category as 95% of the rest of America.

That’s probably why it is so maddening for anyone with their own real estate web site: suddenly they find themselves in what seems to be a high stakes game of Wheel of Fortune. They’ve invested in a quality web site, hung out their shingle, and then they discover that maybe they’ll turn up on the first page of Google or Bing search results…or maybe not. Sometimes YES!, sometimes NO!.

They can pay big bucks to get into the Paid column on the right (but lots of potential clients ignore the paid ads). It’s not Google or Bing’s fault that they come off like the croupiers at Monte Carlo. They’re in the business of bringing people to sites that have the latest info on what they’re searching for, and that means avoiding crooks who are out to cheat the system.

So last month when Google announced major changes to the top secret formula that determines who wins (the ‘big algorithmic improvement’), a lot of folks in the know did the SEO equivalent of rolling their eyes, because when Googlers significantly change their formula, the LAST thing they do is to specify what they are changing to the people who want to trick them.

It would be like Caesar’s Palace taking out a full page in the Times to explains a better way to count cards.

So, what do site proprietors and bloggers do when they’re involuntarily chained to the tables inside the Casino de Internet? Basically, play it straight: keep your site and blog up-to-the-minute with real content that targets potential customers’ search queries, avoid tricky mechanical code maneuvers (the search engines will disregard them anyway), and provide the kind of professional service that makes web word-of-mouth a definite positive.

14Jan/10Off

Change change and more change

I was sharing a cup of coffee with a good friend and long-time client last week, and the familiar topic of watching TV/Movies on the Internet came up.

I admitted that after years of successfully avoiding watching ANY entertainment on cramped computer screens, I was finding myself sporadically having to do so, most often after forgetting to record something on the DVR. People like me have a fondness for BIG screens, not itsy ones. But lately I’ve come to notice how many pieces of video are only available on the web – especially the short, controversial (frequently hilarious) ones.

My friend was more easy-going. His kids keep sending him links, he keeps clicking on them; the consequential lean-forward viewing is inevitable. He’s gotten used to it.

So we are both arriving at the same conclusion: like so many other facets of present-day media, the value of resisting change seems to fade and disappear ever more quickly. PC Magazine, for example, advises against ever buying another old-fashioned DVD player (at the moment it’s surrendered to Blu-Ray, and soon enough online streaming will destroy them, too). Tweeting’s another case in point: fad or not, its allure is undeniably strong…enough to cause a planetary sensation. For a web owner to refuse to even consider its possibilities (especially the commercial ones) is about as defensible as a newspaper media buyer refusing to check out circulation statistics.

The analogy to Private Label Rights is direct. To succeed on the web, a site has to do more than greet visitors with the information or entertainment they’re after. It won’t even get the chance in the first place. It has to ‘get found’ first — and the proliferation of sites makes the odds of that happening by accident highly unlikely.

Originally, anyone could live with the straight-out-of-the-carton Company Web Site (just a Home Page housing the Company Blurb and the Stuff Being Offered;  or maybe a premium version with a captive search box leading to the Exact Stuff Being Offered).

No more: to keep up with today’s changing search requisites, the Company Site has got to pump iron, bulk up with current content of pointedly relevant interest, and then keep on keeping on! Change change change!

But seeing as the Company keepers of the brand are correct to insist that the Company Blurb never change, and seeing as the Home Page really needs to provide exactly the same kind of visual continuity so return visitors feel warm and comfy — keeping fresh becomes problematical. If a Home Page looks and reads the same to the loyal customer, it also reads the same to the not-so-loyal search engine spiders (and they don’t like that so much). True, the Stuff Being Offered may or may not change – but unless that Stuff is totally unique, by itself those edits arent likely to score big points with Google or Bing or their arachnid minions.

Updated content (and PLR is only a very convenient way of achieving it), when created intelligently, and integrated gracefully, rewards the visitor with the latest in what he was seeking – which is exactly what the SERPs are designed to list.

However awesomely web site owners may have created their original sites, if they haven’t kept abreast of the search engines’ demands for new, changing content, they are increasingly likely to find themselves pitted up against competitors who have.

Like giving in to laptop video or tweets in the afternoon, accepting change means keeping time with the changing marketplace and its customers. And — who knows ?– if we hustle to the front of the parade, we might just become a leader!

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