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Jared Hamilton
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Chris Hill

Chris Hill E-Commerce Director

Exclusive Blog Posts

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Google’s Impact on Automotive's Search Is Going To Change Drastically

Google’s Impact on Automotive's Search Is Going To Change Drastically

Will You Prepare or Play Catch Up? (Part 1)

 

Google soft launched Google+, it's first dive into social media a little over over 2 years ago. The launch was done in a way the mimicked that of Facebook. They seemed to make it an exclusive push by limiting invites they sent out to gmail users and pop culture icons to create a buzz and induce the "it factor" and in turn make the general public desire to be on the platform. Eventually Google saw this push failing to drive the traffic they wanted and opened registrations to the general public. After about a year of the social network being launched they didn't see the impactful growth they wanted out of the program. They went back to the drawing board and came up with an idea that is nothing short of genius.

In 2012 Google started turning to it's other outlets to jump start the social media's relevancy among the community. Rather than trying to drive the traffic directly, it's took it's supporting features and made them work for the platform. Let me give you an example of this. Notice how we all "had" Google Businesses set up and now they're Google+ Businesses? Well they started this voluntarily and then let the business professionals in the world drive the "in touch" community to create these Google+ pages while manipulating their algorithm to bring these businesses up more predominantly in search results. This in turn made more and more businesses convert to stay in the Google result spotlight. Not to much later, Google started converting the straggling businesses to Google+ for them. Now I'm sure you're asking yourself, how does this have anything to do with the automotive world? Well by doing all this Google was able to drive a huge increase in their user base. Now rinse and repeat this over and over again for all their supporting features...Youtube, Google Reviews, Google Maps and so on. I mean it's to the point you can't even comment on a Youtube video any longer without a Google+ account. I can go on and on with examples and timelines but I want to get back to the focus of this article.

Those of you that still think keywording, meta tagging and content writing yourself to the top of Google's search results is the wave to the future, I'm sorry you're sadly mistaken. Yes, these features will work for now but I assure you it's far from the future. Google isn't stupid, they know their algorithm is only going to carry them so far. They understand that their search result pages, cookies and user tracking isn't always going to be the most influential or relevant result for you personally. Google decided to look at what factors have the largest impact on the general public's day to day life. This wasn't corporate manipulated content or even what you've been searching from home. Sure these factors will always play a role but not to the extent they do now. The wave of the future is the most impactful things in your life. Those factors are your family, friends and co-workers. People you surround yourself with and can relate to on almost anything.

Trust me when I tell you, that these Google+1's aren't abotraily placed all over for no reason. They are to lay the groundwork or infrastructure for something much larger. Google will relieve it's algorithms of doing all the work of figuring out what you like or think is relevant and start having your friends, neighbors and co-workers do it for you. Not directly but by using what your "social sphere of influence" aka the people you relate to, think is relevant. This sphere will compile everything from cars to movies to food and more. If you're sphere of influence thinks it great then the most logical result is that you will to!

Now how do we as dealers prepare ourselves for that? I will get into all that in my next article. Until I'm in everyones sphere of influence or skynet has taken over, I have to keep you guys interested and my articles relevant somehow right?

Thank you all for reading and I look forward to expanding on this article in the coming days.

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Britt Bischoff
I agree that the myriad of products Google has released this year have been game changers for SEO and important tools for auto dealers to add into their digital strategy. But the fact of the matter is that the future has already happened, Google's landscape has already changed tremendously, opening opportunities for better marketing. I don't believe Google will cease or replace its indexing algorithm for these products alone, but rather use them in addition to its ever evolving algorithm to provide the most relevant content for the searcher. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Chris Hill
http://goo.gl/NecTlR by the results of this graphic, the social media impact is already well underway and is by far larger than any of the others. 7 out of the top 8 are social. While I'm not discounting the importantance of other avenues, I'm poitning out that the social impact already superseeds them by far and will continue to be the driving factor.
Jason Hamblin
I agree with you that Google will be soon be relying much more on Social Signals in the near future but it will not be the entire algorithm. As you probabley know, there are over 200 ranking factors. Google has to be careful becasue just like linkbuilding people will begin to manipulate the social signals and begin to produce thin content and have a cirlce of people commenting, +1, and resharing for the purpose of rankning high.This is already happening. Google is hard at work to understand the human language and semantics ( meaning of words) and have been data mining voice search for several years. Just like with enhanced campagins knowing the Device, Time and Location can help to determine what a consumer is looking for. Google is scared to death of mobile and understands that voice search is the future. People want to ask questions and get immediate results without having to contimually refine searches. I agree that the old way of thinking is gone with link building and Meta Data. I hope we are finally at a stage where the effort of trying to game the algorithn is higher than creating quality content that someone would pay for but provide for free(Youtilitly). Answer your cutomers problems, provide value, and build real relationships. Google wants to rank real people and not websites, Things not strings How do we prepare that? Create quality content that will be shared. Make sure your dealership is maked up for Schema and is listed in the Google Knowledge Graph.Obviously a lot more you can do but I look forward to your next post!

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