We know that in at least the US, UK and Australia, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of 3 and 4 key word phrases; in part this is a reflection of the size and scale of the content properties for sale in istanbul now indexed by Google. A search today for “Property” would return reasonably useless results. However a search for 2 bedroom apartment in Bondi should give you a positive and more accurate result. This “long tail’ is well understood by Google and they’ve responded in a range of ways. They have clearly stated that their vision is about “working with the real estate industry” and the recent introduction of Google Base integrating maps with smaller portals and a number of larger real estate agents points to a desire to provide direct access to property listings. This is not without controversy -both Domain and Real Estate don’t participate and remain a significant source of revenue of Google as advertisers. The advertising budget of course is an aggregated spend from agents. Many within the real estate industry wonder how Google can afford to promote free services that drive traffic directly to real estate agents sites and listings when they are extracting some much money from key classified categories dominated by large portals.
Traditionally, portals had focused their SEO on generic terms such as real estate for sale (as they still do) and often click throughs from search engines took the user to their homepage where they are expected to engage with the site directly. This approach is changing the portals are finally realising the value of long tail SEO, and have started opening up their search results pages directly to the search engines which means more specific searches like real estate for sale Fitzroy are starting to return links to the actual search results pages. This is a slow process for search engines and a reactive one. Most of the innovation in this area comes from number 2, 3 + players in the market with the larger portals responding after seeing the success of the smaller players. In part this innovation from smaller players comes from necessity -they can’t compete with paid campaigns so they need an alternative SEO strategy.
There’s still a tension for portals thought, even though they are more indexed and open that in the past mostly portals still only open up certain searches and only provide results based on suburbs. They want uses to search, land within the portal and stay there.
New search engines like ModernSearch in the other hand provide users with direct access to long tail search results where the results returned match the exact offering. If you type in long tail search like “Apartments for Sale Sydney” into Modern Search then that’s what you will see. Over the next 12 months user behaviour will increasingly adopt this method of searching. The landscape of search will keep shifting and players that can adapt will reap the benefits and find ways to offer new value to users. And vertical search engines will continue to rise in popularity.