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IndexAs with many of my posts lately, I'm going to ride the fence.  There are advantages and disadvantages to having your website inventory indexed.  This issue has popped up more and more lately as a lot of gurus are pointing towards indexed inventory as a strong SEO tool.

To me, it's a gray issue.

Advantages of Indexed Inventory:

  • More pages
  • More opportunities to rank for long-tail keywords
  • Searchers land on specific vehicles versus navigation
  • Internal link potential (if done properly) to help other pages rank well

Disadvantages:

  • Temporary listings that can become 404 errors or redirects when the search engines crawl the page next time
  • Duplicate content
  • Lack of focus on primary linked pages

For those who want the verdict without the details, I can say that IF the website provider is doing everything else that is required to properly optimize the homepage and landing pages, the benefits can outweigh the disadvantages.  That's a big IF, as most website providers rely on indexed inventory as the primary tool in their SEO strategy.  For high-volume keywords, it just doesn't help.  Here is a list of the top 10 for the difficult, high-volume keyword "Los Angeles Honda":

  1. http://www.1sthonda.com  - 16 Indexed Pages
  2. http://www.hondaofhollywood.com/ - 580 Indexed Pages
  3. http://w3.normreeveshonda.com – 11 Indexed Pages
  4. http://www.lacyclesports.com/ - 1 Indexed Page
  5. http://www.buenaparkhonda.net/ - 797 Indexed Pages
  6. http://www.robertsonhonda.com/ - 41 Indexed Pages
  7. http://www.lahondaworld.com/ - 1700 Indexed Pages
  8. http://www.scottrobinsonhonda.com – 33 Indexed Pages
  9. http://www.amhonda.com – 429 Indexed Pages
  10. http://www.hondaofsantamonica.com – 620 Indexed Pages

OK, now, most gurus will say, "Yes, but what about the other keywords?  Even though they aren't number 1 for that keyword, they probably rank for a lot more keywords!"

Well, no.  Not in this case.

Please understand that I am NOT using this example to say "indexed inventory is bad for SEO."  All I am wanting to point out is that most companies use their indexed inventory as the bulk of their SEO technique (and sales pitch).  I had a discussion with a dealer today who was considering going with a vendor who had a pitch for their indexed inventory that apparently blew my pitch for sound SEO strategy out of the water.  I talked about links.  I talked about proper formatting of the website.

The other vendor really hammered him on indexed pages.  Luckily, I got one last chance to prove my point.  We compared our website, one that the dealer chose from a list of 50, and compared it to the other vendor's sample multi-brand website that should have ranked for 300 keywords.  They ranked for 16.  My single brand dealer ranked for 173.  Case closed.

Indexing inventory IF DONE RIGHT AND AS PART OF A COMPLETE OPTIMIZATION CAMPAIGN is not a bad thing.  That is all up for debate.  What is NOT up for debate is whether or not indexing inventory is the key to SEO.  It isn't.

Leather interior doesn't make a car drive any faster.

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Read more Automotive SEO Tips on this blog.

 

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