Updated: Apr 21, 2022
Soon, Google Maps and Search will replace the Google My Business app as the way to manage your profile. Millions of merchants already use either Google Maps or Search to connect with their customers.
Now that you have received the email from Google, it just might occur to you that getting on page 1 of an organic search on the Google Map section has been what we, here at GTS, have been preaching for several years now... the main reason as I see it this change is coming about is that the competition is heavy and the real estate industry is one industry that relies on SEO to generate more leads which should convert to more homes sold and MORE MONEY!
Let's take a look at how it now looks and how you can still add posts, respond to reviews, and manage your business listing.
Google is targeting the real estate industry... yes, TARGETING! They want part of your commission checks. Many of you have asked me about the "Google Screened" section at the top of the SERP (search engine response page) when you search for a Realtor Near Me, or Walnut Creek Realtor...
The Google Screening consists of an application, submission of your license, broker insurance, etc... and if your area doesn't have a lot of "Google Screened" agents, you will get more air time, but if there are tons of screened agents, your air time is less and less. It is about $100 PER WEEK to appear under "Google Screened" or about $400+ per month... the more you pay the more air time you get.
Don't throw the baby out with the dirty bath water and give up on SEO! If you want to get on page 1 fast, get Google Screened and pay for it. Otherwise, just managing your Google listing by keeping it updated, getting more reviews, posting weekly (3 times per week even better), and responding to your reviews will help you get there organically without sinking a lot of money into screened paid positions.
Remember too, that anytime you get to the top in SEO by paying for it, the minute you stop paying, you just may drop to page 5... it's the theory of gravity.
Just as the housing prices are influenced by supply and demand, so is the online real estate you can acquire. The more agents that want to get to the top, the higher the cost.
If you are working hard at increasing your rankings, and have good SEO, keep it up! The algorithms change all the time, whether it's Google, Microsoft Edge, Safari, or Facebook... so find a good rhythm and keep going at a steady pace. The tortoise does win the race ultimately!
Contact me for more information or help with SEO. We also build great SEO optimized websites, which is the foundation of increasing your SEO!