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They say that no good deed goes unpunished and great things will eventually be spoiled. This happened to microsites in recent years. What started off as a great strategy was overused and abused by some vendors to the point that now many dealers are scared to touch them.
Here's a brief timeline in case you're not familiar with the evolution of microsites. ADM chief Ralph Paglia was actually one of the pioneers in the microsite world when he brought them to Courtesy Chevrolet a decade ago.
It was a secret weapon for a handful of dealers and something that very few vendors offered. They would bring in great traffic and could generate leads. Then, people started catching wind. Vendors started offering them and in some cases absolutely abusing them for both SEO and general spamming reasons.
When Google Panda was released in 2011 and then when Google Penguin was released in 2012, they went a long way to killing off low-value microsites, especially the automated ones. Many vendors stopped offering them.
Now, we're back as an industry to be in an upward swing. With fewer doing it and with the technologies improving, we believe that they are now a valid strategy again. To prevent them from being abused, here are a couple of key points about them:
There are other best practices that we know have an impact, but the important thing to post about publicly is that microsites are, for the most part, dead. This means that those who "revive" them the right way can reap more benefits than ever before.