Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: Marketing

Why Should Dealers Care about Google's Panda 4.0 Update?

By DrivingSales News on May 29, 2014

Google provides the platform and we all play in their space. This was among the topics discussed in the article that we wrote about the Panda 4.0 update to the Google Search Algorithm. We provided a quick overview of the change, as well as winner and losers, however some of that information has changed. Let’s start with an update.

EBay, first seen as among the biggest losers to the latest Google update, was quite possibly unaffected by the change. An anonymous source, as reported by recode.net, has indicated that Ebay was rather levied with a manual penalty by Google. The online auction site faced what looked at first like an approximately 33% reduction in its organic traffic, seemingly overnight. The root cause was thought to be the Panda rollout, however, a source close to the situation says that it’s due to EBay having “category pages” created to bolster search results. This led to Google reportedly taking action against EBay.

Our last article also touched on that estimation that the Panda 4.0 Update should only have noticable impact for 7.5% of the english-speaking Google search results. Can a change on that scale have an impact on the organic traffic to dealership websites? This question was posed on the DrivingSales.com forum and not one person declared seeing a reduction in traffic, with one individual reporting an actual uptick.

If this update doesn’t impact dealers as far as those who have responded can tell, what about a future update with major implications? What if an update changes a lot of the standards by which your marketing campaigns are crafted? How will your dealership be ready? How do you stay current? A few industry insiders provided their thoughts. 

Grant Gooley, Director of Marketing at the Zanchin Automotive Group said that, “keeping up to date means constant research. I use tools as well like SEO MOZ. It's great for keeping on top of all Google changes. " Matthew Smith, Marketing Director at Darling's said that, "Unfortunately, there is no easy way to stay up to date on these changes. It’s a lot of work and it’s not always clear how potential changes might affect your sites. The best strategy is to read as much as possible from as many sources as possible. I also make a point to talk to people I know at various website providers, both automotive and otherwise, to get their thoughts. Information is power and it’s the only way to make smart decisions. Lastly, Robert Karbaum explained that, I feel operating solely on the latest digital media advancements can be problematic.  So often with Google big changes or new advancements are made, only to revert back weeks or months later.  The real skill is being aware of what is new and exciting and making long term, calculated decisions on how you will proceed.  Changing your entire marketing plan for every Google update will have you running around in circles; instead wait to see how the market reacts to new advancements before you jump on the bandwagon."

Other ideas include setting up Google email alerts on topics related to Google algorithm changes and following industry insiders on social media. Whatever your plan is, it’s simply important to have one. In order to stay ahead of the game, dealers need to know how changes at Google could impact their carefully crafted strategy. While with Google it seems that we never quite know what they will do next, staying on top of what they decide to do could be the difference between being ahead of, or behind the game. 

 

Comments

Well said

May 29th

Most interesting that eBay got slapped. That's a big slap.

June 4th

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

  • Let Data Drive Pretty Much Everything in Your Marketing

    First, a mini-rant. It will make sense why I'm starting with a rant before getting to the meat of the issue. I was on the phone with a social client and their prospective search marketing provider the other day when I was blindsided by ignorance. It wasn't what I expected from a company that came highly recommended for their search prowess, so I called later on to talk to someone other than a salesperson to confirm that I heard properly. They selected their keywords straight from a template. The dealer would tell them the cities and then they would plug in those cities into their keyword template and, VOILA, they had a keyword list to plug into their campaigns. This is the type of treatment I would expect from an OEM-level provider, but to see it coming from a boutique shop really turned me sideways. The whole idea of being small and nimble is the ability to give the personal touch; heck, that's why we built our company in the first place! That experience prompted me to talk abou...Read post

  • Using Moneyball Strategies to Win the Content Marketing Game

    In a recent article published on Marketing Land, an author used the famous concept of Moneyball and applied it to content marketing. If you aren’t familiar with the Moneyball concept, it began when Billy Beane became manager of the 2001 Oakland Athletics. Mr. Beane hypothesized that a team doesn’t necessarily need a superstar to win games. The key to winning in baseball is scoring. To score runs, a team must have players that can get on base. Rather than allocate millions of dollars (which the organization couldn’t afford) for superstar players, Mr. Beane used data and algorithms to identify players who may have been considered sub-par, but had high on-base percentages (i.e.: they could hit and get on base consistently). Using this strategy, he was able to put together a team that went on to win against stacked teams of superstars. The author of the Marketing Land article went on to explain how successful content marketing paralleled the Moneyball strategy. Marketers shouldnRead post

  • How to Make Hyper-Targeting Your Social Media Secret Weapon

    If you're like many, you're sick of hearing how big social media is. It's huge. We get it. That's not the real "juice" that comes through utilizing social media for automotive advertising. The greatest benefit that social media currently offers to car dealers is through hyper-targeting. More dealers every day are taking advantage of the standard targeting components of sites like Facebook and Twitter - targeting by location, age, income, education, and any combination of these and many other demographic components available. Very few dealers are taking advantage of the stronger data that's available through a plethora of very specific data sets. First and foremost, the use of your customer database is absolutely imperative. You might be sending direct mail to your customers. You're probably emailing them. Unfortunately, your also probably missing a large number of them because of spam filters and a general distaste for junkmail. Social media offers a very direct way to get your me...Read post

  • There's No Need to Make Reputation Management Complicated

    One of my biggest complaints about some vendors in our industry is that they make reputation management seem like it requires extremely specialized talents in order to make it work for car dealers. They would have you believe that you cannot manage, monitor, or influence your own reputation and that it takes extreme talent and a complex strategy to make it happen. As much as I would love to pitch our own reputation management solution here, I'll keep it simple. Reputation management isn't hard. In fact, it's the complicated measures through which many vendors attempt to manipulate your reputation that gets dealers and other businesses in trouble. Here, I'll break down the steps that make up a real reputation management system: Deliver Great Customer Service - Just as we do with our own clients, dealers that are treating their customers fairly and with respect have a better chance of maintaining a positive reputation online. That doesn't mean that great service will definitely yi...Read post

  • You Need to Repeat Yourself (in marketing) to Your Past Customers

    Repetition can get annoying. When we see the same message over and over again, it has a tendency to get on our nerves. That's not what you're trying to do by putting out consistent messages multiple times through diverse channels. In today's ever-shifting world, it's important to risk repetition for the sake of having them see your message at all. I originally published this article over at AutomotiveSocial.com but thought it would fit in nicely at DrivingSales: Customer loyalty is a tough cookie to crack nowadays. It's not like before when things were more predictable, when you could make assumptions about timing and situations. Today, you never know when the situation will change to where someone is in the market to buy a car immediately. The standard buying cycle has been replaced by a chaotic weaving of changes to job, relationships, and circumstance. Another thing has changed. People are not inherently loyal to any particular dealership. Sure, there are regular customers who...Read post

  • How important is a job title?

    My dealership firmly believes in a culture of *teamwork* - and by not having a title - I can be the utility player on the team.Read post

  • Get Your Customers Properly Engaged with Your Dealership

    I know. It's a buzzword. It's impossible to keep track of number of times experts in the car business have used the word "engagement" when describing how to get more customers. Engage on social. Engage on search. Engage on YouTube. Engage on your website. It's a mess but it's still important to be engaged with potential customers. On the other hand, it's even more important to be engaged with your past and present customers. The people who just bought a car from you, the people in your service waiting lounge, even the people who bought a vehicle from you a couple of years ago - these are the people that could really use some engagement with you immediately. It gets frustrating to see so many dealers focused on driving new business and conquest business while pretty much taking their eyes off of the low hanging fruit in their database. It's as if the industry has given up on loyalty. It's true that loyalty numbers are lower than ever before. Between the internet allowing further re...Read post

  • What the Buzz is a KPI?

    Tired of listening to the marketing mumbo jumbo that everyone loves to use but hates to explain? Sometimes ya just gotta say, What the Buzz? Let’s debuzz digital, break down the chatter that matters and expand our digital dictionaries… all in seven sentences or less. Today’s buzzword is KPI. We’ve asked one of our resident Digital Demystification Delegates to explain what it is and why dealers should care.Read post

    By Cobalt on August 29, 2014