This was the big question until today… ever wonder why your result is more timely, chalked full of direct information, yet ranks below a larger media site? Well, maybe it’s because someone at Google likes the media site more than they like you, personally. Or maybe that media site is more valued due to their ad spend, or maybe, just maybe, the media site wrote a bigger check to the guy that pulls the page rank (PR) lever?
Insinuations like these are swirling, but that’s what Google opened itself up to when an employee admitted that a little more than an algorithm may be behind your PR. In fact, according to ZDNet.com Tom Foremski, the human vote is a factor behind the walls of Googleplex. Google employee, Mr. Singhal alleges, “Google uses human raters to assess the quality of individual sites…”
Regardless of the complexities and reasoning behind this revelation, this will create problems for the search giant. Mr. Singhal says that helping larger sites out rank you is the opposite reasoning behind the human vote, but it will not matter.
The fall out from this mess is only just beginning if this allegation is proven true, as smaller sites will surely cry foul as Google has all along assured site owners that their rankings were measured only by algorithm and has denied any ability to manually adjust rankings. We suspected this to be far from the truth when we realized that when you resubmit your website for reinclusion to Google after being penalized, you’re actually corresponding with a human to review your site who has the power to respond or not, reindex you, or not, or simply ignore your official request all together. The problem is that now it is on the record, and Google may be liable for this very secretive process.
Groups magnify chances of Google hits (Ft.com pay wall link)
“Companies with a high page rank are in a strong position to move into new markets. By “pointing” to this new information from their existing sites they can pass on some of their existing search engine aura, guaranteeing them more prominence.
This helps companies such as AOL and Yahoo as they move into the low-cost content business, says Mr Bonnie. “They can use their Google page rank to make sure their content floats to the top,” he says.
Google’s Mr Singhal calls this the problem of “brand recognition”: where companies whose standing is based on their success in one area use this to “venture out into another class of information which they may not be as rich at”. Google uses human raters to assess the quality of individual sites in order to counter this effect, he adds.”
I’ve known about this for several years but wasn’t able to get anyone from Google on the record. These Google employees have the power to promote or even completely erase a site from the Google index.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
Tech News1 week ago
Internet of Things and deep learning: How your devices are getting smarter
Opinion Editorials1 week ago
Popular opinion: Unemployment in a pandemic sucks [EDITORIAL]
Tech News1 week ago
4 ways startups prove their investment in upcoming technology trends
Business Marketing2 weeks ago
Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)
Business News2 weeks ago
There, and back again? Working remotely now, and in a post-vaccine world
Business Entrepreneur1 week ago
If you’re an employer, don’t hire without knowing about these hidden traits
Business Entrepreneur2 weeks ago
Is gifting an entrepreneur a website like gifting motivation, or anxiety?
Business Marketing4 days ago
What entreprenuers can learn about branding from trendy startups