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Jared Hamilton
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Brian Pasch

Brian Pasch CEO

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Revelations in Automotive SEO with Google +1

PCG has a number of microsites optimized for the automotive industry on popular terms like "Automotive SEO", "Automotive Advertising", as well as "Automotive Social Media".  

I periodically check search results based on a list of key search phrases I want to target via our own SEO strategies.  

We always want to practice what we preach!  What happened today created one of those "Ah Ha" moments that I wanted to share with car dealers and our industry. 

You first have to know that Google changes the search engine results page (SERP) if you are logged into your Google account. While logged in, Google records your past activity with the goal of making sure that it can display the best search results for your online behavior.

So, with this in mind, have you asked what happens when you click on the +1 button next to a website you like, or own. :)

Automotive Social Media Searches

Here is the SERP for the search phrase "Automotive Social Media" when I am logged out of my Google Account:

Automotive Social Media Website

Notice that TK Carsites website located at is ranking in position #1 over the PCG website at   To clarify this screen capture, notice there are no "+1" buttons or thumbnails of my friends since I am logged out of my Google account.


Now look at the same search result while I am logged into my Google Account:

Car Dealer Social Media

Notice a few things.  First, Google PULLED from Page Two our Automotive Marketing Boot Camp website which has content optimized for "Automotive Social Media" into first position.  

Secondly, it placed our microsite into position #2,  It also pushed up websites that I visited frequently or +1'd (like which in effect pushed the TK Carsites website into position #5.

Also see how the thumbnail effect colorized the SERP and reminds me that my friends ALSO liked certain pages or companies.

Identifying The Googlized Consumer

Now, think about what this means to your digital assets if you could get people to +1 them.  

If you are implementing a proactive reputation management process in your dealership which uses 3G iPads or iPhones to get "Googlized Consumers" to post a review from inside the store using the Google Places App, why stop there?

When they are done with their 60 second review posting using the Google Places App, why not setup a boomark on your browser for a search that shows your key website pages one the iPad?

Hand the iPad back to the consumer and ask the consumer to click on the +1 buttons next to your key pages or at least just your home page.  

Here is what a Google search using the site command does, which in some cases is all you need to show for your dealership.  (You should see what this command brings up for your website)

Automotive SEO and Plus One

In this case, many key pages are displayed like the home page, service page, parts page, and used car pages.  So if this page was bookmarked, it would be a breeze to touch the +1 button next to the pages that the customer chooses to +1.

If your website has the +1 button on each page, most do not today, then you could also have them go to the page directly and click the button.

Now the bonus.  Since they are logged into their Google account, their +1 activity is recorded.  Since they are logged into their Google account, their +1 activity is recorded.  

This means that when they search for car dealers in your area in the future from their home or mobile device, your website assets will get priority placement.

In this example, my +1 activity significantly changed my top SERP placements. This means that your customers can lock in priority placement for your website in their FUTURE browsing sessions if you ask them inside your dealership.

Mmmmmm the benefits of connecting with your Googlized customers are getting better by the day.  If your dealership needs assistance with a comprehensive IRM, SEM, and SEO strategy, give us a call.

You know I have to ask.... If you liked this article, please click on the +1 button on the top of this page and also share it with your network om Facebook.  I practice what I preach.


Brian Pasch CEO of PCG

Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Digital Marketing

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JD Rucker
Great points as always Brian. I'll be adding to this at the DSES next month. In the meantime, everyone should be looking at this and other "Search and Social" strategies that combine the two. This time next year, there really won't be much of a difference between the two.
Colin Barrett
Has Google ever had an issue with soliciting reviews while the customer was still in the store, like Dealer Rater does?
Brian Pasch
Collin The Google Places App is designed to allow people to post a review when they are at a restaurant, concert, or dealership. They have a completely different model.
Colin Barrett
Hey thanks Brian
Ryan Gerardi
Generally speaking, Google+ users are some of the top Internet users, meaning they know, understand, and use the latest and greatest. While all these points are true, you have to wonder how likely these G+ folks are to be hitting the plus-one button on searches for dealership websites. I don't think this negates the validity and benefits of what you are getting at, but from a dealer's perspective, I would caution how much effort goes in to things like this. In the end, people want a relevant website and when a person searches for a dealer, Google is going to bring up that dealership's website no matter how "Googlized" the customer is. I would be more interested in seeing how these ideas benefit dealers on customer searches for the products and services a dealer sells and not the dealership name. That is a whole different ball game.

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