Enterprise Story: Charity Middleton

October 11, 2012

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Enterprise Stories is a new series that highlights Enterprise Network members and how they are utilizing technology. This time we are highlighting Charity Middleton, who I met at last month’s Enterprise Network Annual Conference. I was inspired by how passionate she is about real estate and technology and thought she would be a great candidate for the series!

Charity has a long history in the Real Estate Industry that started when she was 16 years old answering phones for a local real estate company. Her passion for real estate and experience with marketing and technology grew as she took a position as an assistant to a local Realtor. At that time, she was responsible for creating the website, brochures and all media. Also during this time, their local MLS moved from books to online, putting Charity in charge of understanding the new online process.

Charity is now the Social Media Manager at Murney Associates Realtors and still sells homes full-time. On top of that, she instructs a spin class and is a mother of two. She’s even taught her daughter who loves to write that “blogging” is like writing a story.

To manage her hectic days, Charity has implemented many tactics to take care of business while on-the-go. Below is an interview we conducted with Charity that outlines her daily routine and how she manages it all. (more…)

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Build Relationships NOT Links!

July 28, 2012

Filed under: Google,SEO
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This week I had the privilege of attending MozCon 2012, the official SEOmoz annual conference. There were so many great sessions, tips, strategies and actionable takeaways (I will definitely be back next year).

For me however, by far, Wil Reynolds stole the show. Outside of his great enthusiasm and magnetic personality, he provided a necessary caption for the entire SEO industry:

Do Real Company Shit!

We often all get lost in optimizing for the latest target Google throws at us, and as such (as a whole) we often over do it. When Google indicated that inbound links were an important factor in ranking, we all ran out to get links in every way possible, some purchased, some traded, some even bribed. Companies created business plans around selling links to other companies and a temporary focus (and industry) was formed. Google realized the change in behavior and how their algorithm was now being abused and they adjusted accordingly.

As a result much of the significant work put into generating links unnaturally was now devalued or even worse penalized. Ranking factors change and as a result we all start chasing the next “carrot” and yes, typically over do it.

Being the adaptive and intelligent creatures that we are, we also know how to evolve, and as Google forced out many link building strategies, new ones were born. Today it is very popular to generate links through content. The more viral the content, the further it spreads and the more likely you are to get a significant amount of links pointing to this content. Infographics have been a great way to achieve this as visual content of value spreads so fast, but yet again are starting to be overused and somewhat abused with embedded link codes etc. It won’t be long before Matt Cutts restricts many of the ways Google values links from “spammy” infographics.

Stop Chasing Carrots

The bottom line is that chasing Google’s “carrots” will have you wasting a lot of time and ending up with frustrated clients and managers as Google  adapts…and they do so often. In 2010 Google made 516 changes to their algorithm. That’s more than one daily! And that’s an average year for them. While some changes might not have as large an impact, all these changes are there to achieve a common goal:

To generate search results that are meaningful, not ones that rank as a result of manipulating the current ranking mechanism!

(more…)

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Instant America’s Affect on Real Estate

March 23, 2012

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(Retweet this Article!) When you see a really long line at a store, do you debate if the purchase is worth the wait? Do you skip making a meal because of the convenience of fast food? In today’s fast-paced world, you’re not the only one.

Instant gratification is no longer exclusive to the virtual world; it has translated to the physical world as well. People are no longer willing to wait longer than 15 minutes in line and 1/5th of people admitted to being rude if someone serves them too slowly.

Last week, OnlineGraduatePrograms.com released this infographic that discusses how the web’s instant gratification impacts customer expectations both online and offline. The graphic notes several interesting statistics, including:

  • If Google slows search results by just a 4/10th of a second, they would reduce the number of searches a day by eight million.
  • One in four people abandon a web page that takes more than four seconds to load.
  • 46% of Americans skip the theater and movie rentals for the convenience of pirated videos.
  • Each year, millions of Americans look for love in 3-8 minute speed dating sessions.
  • Amazon.com could potentially lose up to $1.6 billion each year because of a one second web page delay.

(more…)

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Happy Birthday Panda: Google’s Search and Panda Update 3.3 on Link Evaluation

February 28, 2012

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(Retweet this Article!) With the anniversary of Panda’s birth in February of 2011, Google announced it would be rolling out its latest Panda update along with a brief explanation of its 40 search updates. Since its launch last year, Panda has been updated several times with the intention to filter out low quality or “thin” content from its search, with the ultimate goal of providing users with the most relevant and useful content. This affected the ranking of many sites and undoubtedly caused internet marketers to rethink the quality of content they were putting out there.

This month’s Panda update seems to be fairly minor and similar to the Panda 3.2 update in January. Google stated that, “it’s a data refresh that will make it more accurate and more sensitive to the recent changes on the web.” While Panda is just one of over 200 different factors Google uses to rank pages, I think the update has a lot to do with the 40 other search changes mentioned, of which one in particular is worth mentioning.

(more…)

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2011 Recap: Google and Search in Twenty-Eleven

December 21, 2011

Filed under: Google,Search
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(Tweet this article!) With the launch of our first annual Holiday Blog Swap, The Active Enterprise Network heavily discussed what real estate would look like in 20 years. With 11 brokerages coming together on December 15th, the swap provided a well-rounded discussion and glimpse into the future of a broker, agent and consumer in the year 2030.

Google on an iPadPreparing for the future is not an easy task, especially when technology is rapidly changing. Our only measuring stick for where we’ll be in 20 years is how far we’ve come.

Reading the articles submitted to the Blog Swap made me reflect on how far the SEO world has evolved this past year and where it’s headed. With online home search now a major player in the Real Estate Industry, it’s important to be mindful of the changes taking place.  After all, the only thing consistent with Google is change, and as always we’ll have to adapt.

In 2011, the updates Google made changed the SEO game completely and transformed the way users see search results.

Google Retiring Real Estate

Kicking off 2011 with a bang, on January 26th Google announced they were retiring the real estate feature on Google Maps. With 89% of home buyers searching for homes online, many starting their search on Google, this was great news for the Real Estate Industry. Brokerages could once again have the opportunity to take some of that traffic to their own sites and establish themselves as local experts – with better search features.

Many speculated that Google may not be out of the real estate game completely, and the search giant had something bigger in mind. After all, Google had been focusing a great deal of attention on local search through Google Places, Local Business Extensions, etc. Eliminating real estate from their services seemed somewhat backwards from the path they were on.

Only two months later was it clear that Google had something else in mind; social.

(more…)

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