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You wondered why you should blog as a Realtor, Google is answering

I had an interesting conversation recently about crowd sourcing. This particular Realtor stated that he did not crowdsource anything. In fact, it seemed foolish to him to even ask questions of followers on Twitter for recommendations. I quickly asked if he used Google.

Obviously the answer was yes, and my answer was that he did in fact crowd source if he used Google, and an even bigger issue is that consumers are sourcing their answers to vet yours.

I’ll explain. In the past, we competed on keywords and relevance, and to a degree we still do, what is changing however is the ability to bump those that hold the number one positions for high value search terms to the bottom.

It’s true. We (the user) can now narrow our search to the latest results rather than keyword armed, link held positions. We can determine the age of the information we find most valuable, placing those that blog or dynamically update content front and center.

We can now see not only Wikipedia, but Quora, Flickr, and Twitter in the stream of results, and with a click of the mouse, you can adjust by freshness. In essence, you’re crowdsourcing your search, and depending more and more on consumer-driven content rather than static material designed to residually produce results. Dynamic content will surely win the day (although we advise you trust but verify your search results).

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What’s most interesting to us is the fact that Google has incredible insight on its faithful users. One of those sources is your feed reader, and one could derive that from your Google Feed Reader, Google can send you a trusted source as a result, and the same goes for Twitter, Google friends, Gmail, and the like.

Moral of the story? It’s going to pay to be social, and it will pay even more to be blogging, but the bigger money will be on the “latest” articles.

Can you continue on the path of ignoring a social path and remain successful? I suppose that if your clients aren’t on the internet, you’ll be just fine. I’d also posit that it no longer matters if the Realtor crowdsources their business, the better question is “are my clients crowdsourcing my services?”

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Ryan Mason

    February 17, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Money quote:

    “Moral of the story? It’s going to pay to be social, and it will pay even more to be blogging, but the bigger money will be on the “latest” articles.”

    This is what we’ve based our entire company culture about. And it’s funny, no matter how much people “get it” intellectually, until they actually get that true “a-ha!” moment personally, it doesn’t stick. But articles like these always help. Good stuff, Benn.

  2. Jeff Belonger

    February 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Ben… very very interesting and thought provoking. The new changes with Google and what you mentioned, I need to now go to google and play with this. I understand what you are saying, but I need to see it for my own eyes.. But this makes a valid point on what one should be doing when it comes to blogging and social media networking. My question would be… could you get me 8 days a week and 30 hour days?? Good post.

    • Benn Rosales

      February 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      I think the answer is to work smarter, not more or harder. Glad it got your gears turning.

      • Drew Meyers - Virtual Results

        February 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm

        Agree with you Benn; those who ignore this shift are going to struggle. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next month, but soon. I think Google is going to continue to reward those who “show up” day in and day out…people like Dale Chumbley.

  3. Jeff Belonger

    February 17, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Benn.. I have always been the philosophy of working smarter… but with so many new changes regarding social media, google, networking, SEO, etc, etc.. one can’t help not to work harder.. hence my 8 days a week statement. Unless I had a team at my disposal, which would cost money, I have no choice at this time not to work harder… which means staying on top of this stuff… which means so many hours in front of the computer, etc, etc. And as Drew stated… needing to show up day in and day out… many of my mortgage blogs take longer than the usual blog, because they are detailed, precise… just like this one… fhaloansfhamortgages.com/2011/02/15/fha-increase-fha-monthly-mortgage-insurance-mmi/ .. and if I am only 99.9% sure, I ask or research to make sure I am 100% sure.. and this can take time, no matter how good I am at what I do.. or the knowledge that I have… just saying.

    I will be working harder and smarter at the same time.. lol Especially with what you pointed out… I went through Google after reading your post… very interesting. And just for the fact, the consumer can now control the time frame of such information. I wrote a very good blog on a typepad account I was had in early 2007 and it is still #1 or #2 when searched.. but I have a few other posts on the same topic that are creeping up the ladder. But what you shared, I now need to do those same types of posts more often, right? Or am I missing something? Forgive me… just brain dead right now.. lol

  4. stephanie crawford

    February 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Cool. I knew I could separate by date, but had never noticed the relevance/timeline sorting option.

  5. Coleen DeGroff

    February 18, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Benn – Blogging is time-intensive and can feel like a productivity sucker. It’s good to know that in the eyes of Google – and more importantly in the eyes of our customers – it is time well spent. Time for me to step up my game! Thanks for this eye-opening article.

  6. Bryan McDonald

    February 18, 2011 at 9:52 am

    You are right, having the latest articles is important. You can no longer have a website without constantly updating it with new information. Search Google for “The Best External Hard Dives” and you get reviews from 2008. Filtering search results by date is becoming more and important. What is more interesting is your statement “It’s going to pay to be social”. Below the “Sort by relevance” option there is a “Social” search option that shows results based on your social network. Google announced yesterday they are updated their Google Social Search. These social search results will now be mixed throughout your search results (before they could only be found at the bottom) based on their relevance. Not only is the timeliness of blog posts important but also the size and reach of your social presence.

  7. Bob Wilson

    February 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    ” In the past, we competed on keywords and relevance, and to a degree we still do, what is changing however is the ability to bump those that hold the number one positions for high value search terms to the bottom.”

    This isnt exactly a true statement because it implies that the results you see when you search is the same as what others see with the same search query.

    With personalization, that isnt the case.

    • Benn Rosales

      February 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      I see what you’re saying in a macro sense of search, but in each users instance, their search is also geo aware. My point is to help people understand that Google is giving them the power to place value on age and recommendations, not debate the merits of great SEO. Obviously, if your title isn’t sensitive to possible search terms, it’ll never be relevant enough to land page one. The problem I see with this is that some of the most valuable content on the web are seasoned articles, age doesn’t make them less relevant imo, but there is an economy in freshness.

      • Bob Wilson

        February 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm

        Freshness isnt an indicator of quality though, just as age doesnt mean something is not relevant. Google knows this, and isnt duped by a page title, which is why Google will always be looking for authoritative citations, in whatever form those may be.

        The weak point is this:

        “It’s true. We (the user) can now narrow our search to the latest results rather than keyword armed, link held positions. We can determine the age of the information we find most valuable, placing those that blog or dynamically update content front and center.”

        With a gazillion new pages published everyday, “those that blog or dynamically update content” are still facing ridiculous odds for being found for queries that drive traffic that converts to money in the bank. Ranking for something when someone does a search when they are not logged into Google isnt an either or proposition. It isnt the ‘content is king”, “fresh is best” or “link rules” argument. Its more comprehensive than that.

        It isnt sage advice to continue to perpetuate the myth that if you blog, google will come. It just isnt that simple.

        • Benn Rosales

          February 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm

          Wrong equation – (publisher + connection = result regardless) it’s happening every single second. Look at the images, it even provided news. Log in and out of your gmail account and each time search for a topic, and watch your results change based on connections it’s used.

          This personalization of results isn’t an seo move, it’s a communications blessing.

          Because you do not believe me to be correct, does not make me wrong. I suggest you take this article on it’s whole and not piece by piece, the only thing I am perpetuating are social results and that people should use them.

          I’m out for the weekend, spew away.

          • Bob Wilson

            February 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm

            “Spew away”

            So much for intelligent debate. That may explain AG’s need to regurgitate content. So much for freshness.

  8. MH for Movoto

    February 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Hey, if time-search is the brave new world, that’s all the more reason to blog as frequently as possible – and I expect that will change the ontology of the Blog a little bit. but it’s good motivation nonetheless.

  9. David Hood

    February 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Can you continue on the path of ignoring a social path and remain successful? I was giving this some thought lately, I have a Twitter account and a Facebook account, but only set it up knowing one day I would get left behind, if I did not participate. Looks like that time has come to do more social media.

  10. Ken Brand

    February 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    If you share it, Google will find and reward you, then everyone will know. It get’s better and better. Nice share, exciting times.

  11. Connor MacIvor

    February 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

    On the PD, when teaching firearms and tactics, we always told the in service folks and recruits, when showing a technique – You may never use this, but if you will keep it in your “minds toolbox” – it will be there if you need it.

    Social Media will be about the “slow blade winning”. I am in total agreement with you Benn, when it comes to needing to get involved – but I also think that hard work (the right kind of hard work) pay’s off huge.

    Agents come into my office wondering how we are still keeping our numbers high in the current market – it is always about working hard and constantly learning. I redirect them to your blog and others and I am very fond of when it comes to learning from masters. But those suggestions fall on deaf ears for the most part. The “silver bullet” is always the most attractive option along with “set it and forget it” theory of Real Estate marketing.

    While some are sleeping, you are your readers are running to steady, the sleepy-heads might never catch up…

    Thanks for your very “timely” article – My BEST – Connor

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