Cliff Peskin
Nov 12, 2009

Tick tock tick tock. Attention real estate agents, marketers, and developers. You may have shunned online social media till now but the clock is ticking and your time is running out. Online social media is not a fad. It’s gaining steam and its about to give another jolt to your industry.

Soon after Christmas Google will launch its formerly secret project Caffeine. Google’s Webmaster Central blog described Caffeine as “the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions.” In other words, the new Google is better suited for the surge in popularity of the “real-time” web; Twitter postings, Facebook updates, blog posts and all other online chitter chatter.

So, why is this important for real estate professionals. The answer may be summed up by the following three points:

1. Google’s Caffeine update will give additional weight to social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Digg and more. If you or your product isn’t being discussed you will less likely appear in Google’s search results.
2. 84% of online searches are made using Google
3. Upwards of 90% of real estate purchasers begin their search online

If we add up the above points we can deduce that for a house, commercial property, new development, agent or brokerage to be noticed, it must be the subject of social media discussion. And, if its not the subject of social media discussion? Well, then it may just be like a tree falling in the woods that nobody hears.

Although the Caffeine update to Google’s search engine is ready for launch, Google is delaying its roll-out until after Christmas as a courtesy to retailers. Senior Google engineer Matt Cutts blogged, “I know that webmasters can get anxious around this time of year, so I wanted to reassure site owners that the full Caffeine roll out will happen after the holidays.”

This reprieve by Google may be an opportune time for those in real estate who have yet to put on their Twitter hats to jump on the social media train.

Let us know your thoughts on this topic by using the comment box below (if comment box is not appearing, click on the ‘article title’, wait 5 seconds and then scroll down).

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