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Google’s reciprocal link penalty for real estate sites explained

Who will be affected by Google’s real estate reciprocal link penalty? The answer in words and in pictures.

Cliff’s Notes: If you aren’t part of one of those goofy link exchanges to your static web site (we get spam for these every frolicking day), you’re not the target. Likewise your weblog. If you’re linking out like a normal web site, within and without the real estate industry, you don’t have a problem.

On the other hand, if you’re linking to hundreds of other Realtors’ static web sites, which are also linking to hundreds of Realtors’ static web sites, you could be screwed for a good long time.

Here’s a general principle: When you’re confronted with an idea that will “fool” Google — don’t do it.

Here’s an even better general principle: SEO is Plan B at best. The kind of community building we’ve been talking about here and at Real Estate Weblogging 101 is the way to grow your business on-line.

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  • 8 comments

    8 Comments so far

    1. Todd Carpenter June 29th, 2007 10:09 am

      IMO, the best SEO is to be the relevant site Google is looking for in the first place. Plan A takes care of Plan B.

    2. Jay Thompson June 29th, 2007 1:44 pm

      “When you’re confronted with an idea that will “fool” Google — don’t do it.”

      Long ago I conceded that Google hires people that are a lot smarter than I am. Trust me, anything I can think up to fool Google has long since been recognized at the Googleplex.

      Linking is fine, good in fact. Just link to places your VISITORS will find useful. Google will find that useful as well, and reward you for it. Build a static site/blog for the visitors/readers and those smarties at Google will see it as a good thing.

    3. The Feed Bag June 29th, 2007 3:41 pm

      [...] Greg Swann does a fine job of explaining how trying to game Google with link farming gets you sandboxed. Google’s reciprocal link penalty for real estate sites explained Good links to click through on too. [...]

    4. John L. Wake June 29th, 2007 4:48 pm

      I used to spend a couple of hours or more a day reading the SEO website WebmasterWorld. Signed up in 2000.

      I never bought into the link exchange idea and it hurt my rankings.

      Eventually, I totally de-emphasized SEO.

      I think it’s good for a Realtor to know something about search engine optimization (SEO) but the financial return, I believe, is better when you invest your time on traditional, tried and true, real estate business development efforts.

      A well ranking website is a super complement to a well run real estate business but good rankings are not sufficient for success. I know. I tried it.

    5. Maureen Francis June 29th, 2007 5:08 pm

      Some Realtors were hit hard by the Google changes. It is so hard for anyone to know who is telling them the right thing. There was lots of advice out there to exchange links. I believe that KW’s CTO has a side business that was a link exchange program I used to participate in until I found out that this was not such a great idea. Someone else can verify that though.

    6. The Feed Bag - Refried and Served Again July 1st, 2007 8:04 am

      [...] Greg Swann does a fine job of explaining how trying to game Google with link farming gets you sandboxed. Google’s reciprocal link penalty for real estate sites explained Good links to click through on too. [...]

    7. aps July 1st, 2007 7:32 pm

      Thanx for the valuable informations…this is good and if you can be kind enough to guide more on same issue I would be greatful…

    8. Kind of like Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams”.
      Build it (A useful infomative Real Estate website) and they will come.