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 29, 2014

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

Jun 4, 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

  • Mobile Marketing Mysteries Solved

    Defining and Attracting Your Mobile Consumer More people in the world own smartphones than toothbrushes, so if your dealership isn’t already taking notice of the impact mobile marketing has on today’s shoppers, it’s time to sharpen the focus and zero in on how technology and convenience are changing the way consumers are shopping.  Businesses across the globe know that adapting and changing along with consumers is key when it comes to being successful, and everyone knows that today’s market is fast-moving and continually changing.  In order to compete and grab the attention of potential customers, you’ll need to reach them where they are shopping and researching—and the statistics tell us shoppers are increasingly using their mobile devices to help them with both purchases and pre-purchase research. Why Go Mobile? Before we get into the details of how to define your mobile audience, let’s take a quick look at the reasons mobile marketing makes sense for a busy deale...Read post

  • Chevrolet Internet close rates

     Eight years ago we started a business development center at our Hyundai store. That store currently does a great job on internet leads. They are closing the internet leads at 18 percent and the leads from our web site at 21percent. Most of our leads are given to sales people and they are backed up by bdc representatives. Some of the lead sources go directly to the business development center reps. We attribute those good numbers to a change in the dealership that we made several years ago. We decided at that time to sign up with the internet training that driving sales offers. We also implemented a certification process for the sales reps. This process involved ongoing monitoring of the sales reps handling of the internet leads that they received. We used a version of the scorecard that driving sales refers to in order to do this. While this was very time consuming for me to do on twenty sales reps it paid off.  About a year ago we purchased a chevrolet store an hour away from ...Read post

  • Focus point: Customer retention

    There are several critical performance indicators in service however; the most critical one to measure and excel in is customer retention. Customer retention is the source for future growth. If we are able to reduce the amount of customer defections over a defined period of time while we keep our arms open welcoming new, we will continue to have a customer base that grows month after month.  The main focus is to reduce the customer defection after the warranty time period expires. It is no secret within our industry that once a customer reaches the end of the warranty time period they almost simply disappear into thin air. The reality, they were looking to defect long before they vanished. Every service visit, every customer touch point is recorded in a service experience bank deep within our customers minds. Every time a positive customer experience happens there is a deposit in the emotional bank and trust, conversely when there is a negative experience there is a withdrawal. Here ...Read post

  • Life as a Service Manager: The waiting customer

    To anyone outside of the automotive industry the term “waiter” can mean many different things. To our customers using this automotive slang is very confusing and can be frustrating as well. As this business evolves it seems that our waiting lounges are becoming more and more crowded and not just at peak times, it stays full all day long. A majority of my career being with Nissan and my most recent store I came from had four separate waiting rooms and another area that our customers can get refreshments. This design was Nissans latest floor plan and had specific emphasis on helping the customers feel more comfortable while they are in for service and/or buying a car. We designed 2 separate waiting rooms that had couches and comfortable chairs, a kids playroom and then also an area where customers could sit down and work. The point of this is to highlight the fact that customers are willing to wait at your store for their car to get serviced instead of leaving it with you. This brin...Read post

  • 5 Ways Car Dealers Can Stand Out on Facebook

    One of the most difficult things businesses seem to struggle with in the their online marketing efforts is social media. While it's not new by the web's standards, businesses have only just begun to tap into its true potential over the last couple of years. In the automotive industry, car dealers who previously questioned the value of automotive social media marketing are beginning to understand its value. With Facebook becoming a great advertising platform, on top of a platform to connect with customers and brand your business, car dealers have an opportunity to  sell more cars for a fraction of what it would normally cost. Let's take a look at ways dealerships can stand out on Facebook.   Stop Self-Promoting and Give the People What They Want When thinking about content for your dealership's Facebook page, stop thinking about self-promotion. It may sound like the exact opposite of what you think a Facebook page is for, but you need to think about how people (including yours...Read post

  • Keep Your Summer Momentum Going by Energizing Your Conquest Strategy

    Every year, dealers across the country try to keep pace with the current marketing trends for the fear of falling behind and losing out to the competition. Not only do you need an excellent retention marketing strategy to ensure customers come back to you, but your dealership also has to find a way to attract potential buyers. Not to mention there are thousands of to-do items that you have to check off every day to keep your store running properly. With so much going on, how do you find time to put together a conquest strategy that works without breaking the bank? Today you’ll learn how to keep your summer momentum going by energizing your conquest strategy. Start with Data Every good marketing strategy starts with data. Often times for conquest programs, this data comes in the form of a purchased list simply because it is not readily available at our fingertips. When venturing out to acquire a purchased list, be sure the consumers have opted-in to receive information about vehicles...Read post

  • Transforming Angry Customers into Satisfied Ones

    An interesting study has been going on for the last 6 month over at Twitter. As it was increasingly seeing users use the platform for brand interactions, the company decided to see just how much of an impact those interactions had. Users were identified that had at some point interacted with a brand’s Twitter account for customer service and 14,000 were surveyed. The results were actually quite amazing.   According to Twitter, when brands interacted with users in a personalized manner, 20 percent of those users were more likely to reach a resolution, while 25 percent were more likely to be satisfied.   And, when customers received friendly customer service interactions with brands, 76 percent of those customers said that they were likely to recommend the brand. Whereas, if the service was unfriendly, 82 percent surveyed stated that they were unlikely to recommend the brand.   That’s huge. And don’t think it doesn’t apply to the automotive industry. In fact, according...Read post

  • Stages of Brand Loyalty

    Many businesses wonder where they are at in the grand scheme of things.  While success is definitely a relative term, for marketers the gold occurs when shoppers begin to develop brand loyalty.  There are three typical stages a business will go through before achieving brand loyalty at large. The first stage a business would want to achieve is awareness.  At it's most basic, this means that people are aware that the business exists.  Many never even reach this stage!  Marketing and a logo can go a long way towards establishing the existence of a business, but the path to brand loyalty doesn't truly begin until the enterprise becomes known for something. Once this occurs, the next stage should hopefully follow. When shoppers begin to develop affinity for a company, brand loyalty is on its way to being established.  In order to achieve this, a business needs to get the customer to care about it and feel that it represents them in some way.  Smart product placement and marketing,...Read post