What Google giveth…..


I’ve been busy, so I missed all the talk about the new Google Street View Maps and the uses they may have in real estate search. That, combined with Google Base, and I suppose they’re poised to make big inroads as the portal to local real estate search.

Now, all they have to do is eliminate all the competing real estate websites, like Yahoo has done, and they’ll corner the market.

All your base are belong to us….

Yahoo, which has penalized agent websites in the past year, has basically banned many if not all real estate website providers. Oh, they’ve left one good one here and there to throw you off the scent, but mostly what’s left are crappy template sites, a few 15-year old Web 1.0 sites, and bigger national pay portals that are not necessarily locally relevant.

It’s been discussed that Yahoo did this to penalize those sites that engage in link-farm spam, but it’s much larger than that. It’s company wide, in some cases, as 100′s of sites from the same website developer, have been eliminated or banned.

Says Terry Light on Search Engine Idiot:

In the smackdown against linkspam, Yahoo acted first, directly penalizing members of linkspam networks coordinated by a few choice real estate website developers. They took action in late 2004, October 2005, and April 2006. Real estate agent websites disappeared wholesale from the top tier of Yahoo Search.

Yet while Yahoo is the second largest search engine on the web, they aren’t Google. Agents who had optimized their sites well generated most of their traffic from Google. Sure, Yahoo’s penalty was annoying, but it wasn’t a major disaster.

Then, in April and May of 2007, Google acted against agent-to-agent network linkspam for the first time. Some experts estimate that between 70 to 200 top-ranked web sites from at least two real estate website developers were penalized. Others believe the number was higher.

It was an IP wide/network wide penalty by domain manually on Yahoo towards Advanced Access, now owned by Dominion.

Says Sandy Teller of SizzlingStudios:

Looks like Google has joined Yahoo in the war against real estate link farms (the Google real estate shakedown), as Yahoo blacklisted a ton of real estate web sites about a year ago including most of advancedaccess.com sites. And there’s no way to get back into Yahoo organic. I actually spoke with someone from Yahoo on Friday and he confirmed that the only way back in is Sponsored Listings (pay-per-click).

Most of us have blog rolls in the sidebar of our blogs, and many of us happily “exchange links” with other real estate bloggers. We even make “wikis” and separate pages full of local, regional information and links. Some of the link love begets itself and we get a link in return.

Will this soon be considered a “link farm” by Yahoo and Google?

Search Engine Disclaimer: “We reserve the right to screw with results and ensure that our high dollar advertisers appear in top placements in organic searches.”

Condemned to Google Hell from Forbes

Google removes credit for reciprocal link accumulation on real estate websites from Real Estate Webmasters

Hand Coding from Matt Cutts

Why does Google lie to SEO’s?

A guide to penalites

How to file a reinclusion request by Matt Cutts

Tattle on your competition: How to report paid links

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