Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: Marketing

Google Releases Large Update To Their Search Algorithm: Panda 4.0

By DrivingSales News on May 22, 2014

Beginning back in 2011, Google first released an update to their search algorithm that sought to improve the search experience for its users. Three years and 24 updates later, we have Panda 4.0.

The latest update, like the updates to the initial Panda launch, seek to find quality content for the searcher.  The update was originally created to target and punish, with lower rankings, so called “content farms.” These sites aggregate content from numerous sources in an effort to show up higher in search results. This can be seen as a lower quality website practice. Google doesn’t like “content farming,” since it has the potential to lower the quality of search results.  The result is that those “content farm” sites get lower organic search rankings

The update to the search algorithm is estimated, by SearchEnglineLand to affect around 7.5 percent of English language searches to a degree that’s noticeable. For perspective, the first Panda update affected a reported 11.8 percent of English searches. Since 2011, the other updates have only changed as much as 2.4% of English searches, making this change potentially three times as meaningful as those which occurred during the past few years.

This begs the question: who is this impacting right now?  SearchMetrics SEO blog made a list of its initial “winners” and “losers” to the Panda 4.0 update. They based the results on sites that saw a plus or minus of at least 20% and had a search visibility of at least 10000 before the update. Basically, this means the percentage of SEO visibility lost or gained relative to pre-update levels. Here are a few results from SearchMetrics:

“Losers” of Panda 4.0

- > -33%

- > - 50%

- > -20%

- > -50%

- > -33%

“Winners” of Panda 4.0

- > +100%

- > +100%

- > +500%

- > +500%

- > +100%

- > +250%

Google has provided the trusted platform for online searches, and, as this update shows, everyone has to play by their rules.  Since this was only announced yesterday, the effects are still being sorted out, however a reasonable idea would be to check on your website traffic today and this week compared with before May 21st. 

Our next installment seeks to determine how Panda could impact your store.

What do you think? Have you noticed a difference in your metrics already


Haven't noticed anything significant at this time. However content farming is not a part of our strategy. Ive been one to always play by the rules and let the cards fall. Cheating the algorithm, to me, is like taking mulligans in golf. You may beat the guy you are playing THAT DAY, but over the long haul you are only cheating yourself!

May 25, 2014

I've always operated on the philosophy that if you can make your dealer site better than the manufacturer you are going to win all the time.

Jun 2, 2014

Comments 1 - 2 of 2

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:


DrivingSales News' Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • This Week in Social Media

    Keep your customers in mind when you’re posting updates to your social accounts, and you’ll be sure to keep them coming back for more. No one wants a social media feed that’s log-jammed with nothing but sales pitches and offers, so instead, provide quality content that offers information on relevant topics of interest. Check out some tips to get you started when it comes to posting information that keeps your followers interested and looking for your online content...Read post

  • Don’t Creep Out Your Shoppers

    Many consumers don’t know why, but they do know that every time they reach out, their phone blows up with sales calls or they start receiving emails containing information about exactly the products they’ve been looking for—even though they haven’t communicated that information directly to you. Since your dealership may be able to gain insight into the consumer journey without individual shoppers handing the specifics to you, it’s important to approach the situation correctly and delicately in order to bring potential customers to your dealership instead of sending them running in the opposite direction. In order to approach your target consumers in a strategic manner, here are some tips to keep in mind...Read post

  • In this Age of Extreme Political Correctness, Should Businesses Care?

    If you’re on any social media platform, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen or heard of a multitude of topics where someone somewhere was offended. Not counting obvious religious, political or other volatile topics - there are many that seem, well, baffling. Take for example, the University of Ottawa’s decision to cancel its yoga class over concerns that cultural issues could offend students. Another recent example involved Starbucks decision to remove Holiday words and symbols from its traditional red cup which quickly went viral with detractors claiming that Starbucks hated Christmas. Target got into a mess recently with a Christmas sweater they sell that has the words “Obsessive Christmas Disorder” on it. People called them insensitive to those with mental health conditions. There are far too many examples of this recent phenomenon of unintentionally causing offense infiltrating and dominating social media conversations.   It’s a given that you can’t make everyone...Read post

  • Recall Masters Launches New Website: A One-Stop Source of Automotive Recall News, Data, Training and Communications

    Recall Masters, Inc., a leading provider of automotive recall news, data, training and communications, today announced the launch of a brand new website for the automotive industry. The company recently expanded its solution to multiple automotive businesses, including automakers, factory authorized dealers, pre-owned car dealers, fleet operators, rental car agencies, auto auctions, marketing agencies and other potential vendor partners. The website has been redesigned and expanded for more efficient navigation and to better explain all of the company’s solutions and product offerings. The site has also been built to fill a void as far as information and resources concerning automotive recalls. It is designed as a one-stop source of automotive recall news, information, marketing, training and other resources. Automotive businesses can visit the site to leverage the industry’s most comprehensive source or recall owner information for most every major auto make, get updated on all the latest news, and even request a free open recall report, tailored for their market area. Other educational resources include a recall communication sample, recall estimate by distance, recall summary report, Recall Masters Academy best practices curriculum, and company’s may request a free trial of the software services including API access and Inventory VIN Check. Read post

  • Want to Know Why Consumers Don’t Trust Us?

    The reason that consumers don’t trust us is simple… the messages we send them aren’t believable.   Point in case: Doug Demiro, a former manager of Porsche Cars North America, and now author of a popular column on automotive website Jalopnik, answered a reader’s question in his column that illustrates this point very clearly.   The question essentially boiled down to this: “Do those letters and e-mails from dealers saying they really want your trade-in actually mean anything? Do dealers really want your trade-in? Are they going to pay top dollar for your vehicle because they have some customer who desperately wants it?”   His answer: NO   Go ahead and read the article. It’s pretty much how consumers perceive these offers. The comments are also rather entertaining. It’s all consumers sharing experiences in which they received a similar offer and actually wanted to take the dealership up on it -- until they found out the dealer couldn’t deliver, or that the...Read post

  • Personalize Onsite Content for Users

    While marketing messages may fluctuate, most websites stay fairly static in terms of their offerings.  Different things may go on sale and different promotions may be featured on a site's home page or specials page, but rarely are those messages tuned for specific visitors.  However, it can pay to create custom onsite content intended specifically for each potential customer. Personalising onsite content amounts to having a site's images and copy change dynamically based on a user's cookies and browser history.  If a user has been searching for "cheap" items, showing a special discount to them might be more helpful, while someone that's been to a site already might want to be shown the last thing they were looking at.  Right now, this can be achieved with software.  In marketing, personalized content can be indirectly achieved via SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and directly via SEM (Search Engine Marketing/Pay Per Click). If a site isn't set up effectively to allow installing ...Read post

  • Don't Discredit Millennial Car Shoppers

    At 76 million strong, millennial consumers cannot be ignored even if their buying power is softer compared to their parents, especially when it comes to auto purchases.  The 18-to-34-year-old segment born between 1980 and 1999 make up a large portion of digital automotive media consumption and account for 25 percent of car purchases in 2015 - translating to $135 billion dollars in sales this year. Social Influence and OEMs While the economy may be sluggish for big-ticket purchases, male Millennials are the most vibrant lead source for car dealers; having visited automotive sites and OEM social channels more than any other demographic.  BMW has one of the most active social engagements according to the latest social media statistics. With 19.6 million Facebook fans, the high-end automaker not only pushes out relevant content to its followers – BMW has high interaction and viewership due to a regular circulation of content and use of sponsored ...Read post

  • Customer Retention Starts With Employee Retention

    Periodically I get the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and dig into a dealer’s pain point. More often than not these pain points lately are, “how do I get all the customers in to my shop and completed in a timely manner” or “do you know any techs” and “what is the best way keep my customers coming back.”  Here is the extremely tough answer to Mr. Dealer’s questions. The short answer goes something like this “I have an answer but I don’t think you will like the timeline it will take to accomplish this once and for all.” After a frustrated perplexed look from the dealer I usually say, “The complete fix sits within your people, your training program and your ability to grow and mentor your staff.” Obviously this is not an overnight fix. Most of the time I feel they are looking for the silver bullet to Customer retention starts with having a solid process and business model, yes this is a given. The execution of customer retention sits fully on the shoulders o...Read post