Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
JD Rucker

JD Rucker Founder

Exclusive Blog Posts

Audi Clearwater Among Top 86 U.S. Audi Dealers, Earns Coveted Magna Society Status

Audi Clearwater Among Top 86 U.S. Audi Dealers, Earns Coveted Magna Society Status

The Crown Automotive Group dealer was 1 of only 86 U.S. Audi dealers to qualify for the prestigious 2016 Magna Society Award. Audi Clearwater was evaluated…

How to Draw in Traffic With Video Marketing

How to Draw in Traffic With Video Marketing

After quickly rising to the top of the charts, YouTube has become one of the the most popular of any website online. It makes sense for any marketer to use…

5 Tips on Delegating Tasks to Underperforming Employees

5 Tips on Delegating Tasks to Underperforming Employees

No matter how carefully you hire or how well you manage your human resources, some employees simply don’t perform to the level you want them to. They…

Most Valuable Insight Finalist - Doug Van Sach

Most Valuable Insight Finalist - Doug Van Sach

Prioritize Your Prospects: Uncover Clues to Predict Who Will Buy Next Each year, the average customer test drives fewer vehicles. Given the fewer opport…

What to Expect as Driverless Cars Go Mainstream

What to Expect as Driverless Cars Go Mainstream

While the era of driverless vehicles is rapidly approaching, there is still a great deal of confusion and speculation regarding the full impact and the…

SXSW Confirmation: Links Are Still King in SEO

Pound for pound, SXSW was a little disappointing this year, at least for search professionals. It's not that there wasn't plenty to do, plenty see, and plenty to hear. That's always going to happen when you're at a conference/festival with speakers the likes of former Vice President Al Gore and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk. The disappointing part was that there weren't a whole lot of "holy crap" moments like there were in previous years.

In 2012, we heard Google's Matt Cutts and Bings' Duane Forrester tell the audience that big changes were coming that were going to take out SEO spammers by the bulk. A little over a month later, Google introduced the Penguin update and Bing followed with an unnamed but equally significant algorithm update of their own that attacked low quality links. The results have shaken the SEO world in ways that have never been felt before or since. 2013 didn't have quite as ominous of a moment, but there was a point in the discussion with the dynamic duo and moderator Danny Sullivan that made some in the audience shutter. More changes are coming. No real hints as to what they are, but many are looking towards a further rise in appropriate social signals and another Penguin update in the weeks ahead.

The real moment of clarity for SEOs came during a different portion of SXSW. Google’s senior vice president of search Amit Singhal (Matt's boss) was being interviewed by Guy Kawasaki on the big stage. Most of my team was there, our VP of Internet Marketing most significantly, and there was one huge takeaway. Inbound links are still the most important component of search engine optimization. Period.

They talked mobile, natural language search, and spent an uncomfortably long time on the subject of Singhal's history, but one exchange was also telling.

“Is SEO bulls***?” Kawasaki asked.

“That would be like saying marketing is bulls***,” Singhal replied. The audience chuckled, but it's an important thing to understand. Despite what PPC companies and vendors who aren't very good at SEO will say, Google doesn't hate SEOs. In fact, the love them. They help to make the web more easily understood by Google. What Google hates is blackhat SEO.

Links are considered a part of blackhat SEO by many, and depending on the type of links and the ways that they're acquired, they can definitely be bad. Getting inbound links as a result of quality, value, and interest - that's where the real power of links can be achieved.

As Singhal said, links are still their most valuable indicator amongst 200+ other factors. They are the juice through which Google can understand the authority and popularity of a piece of content and a domain in general. Tied in with social signals, inbound links can be a dealer's best friend when marketing their website. However, when the art of link-building is overdone, acquired through nefarious techniques, or patterned, they can actually be the worst thing you can do to your website.

This isn't new and it's very likely that most dealers have stopped doing the wrong things to get links to their website, but there are also those who are scared of links. Perhaps they've heard rumors. Perhaps they've been bitten by them in the past. Regardless of the reason, it's not prudent to be gunshy about them. Inbound links work. They'll continue to work for a long time. If you do it the right way, they can help to separate you from your competitors.

Eric Miltsch
JD, thanks for sharing your SXSW experience with us. Links are definitely still important - and this also helps drive home the concept of how important it is to have a highly qualified, and ethical, SEO agency helping your dealership.
JD Rucker
That's the hard part, Eric. Those who are highly qualified AND ethical often find that it's not the right business for them.
Glenn Pasch
Thanks JD. I agree and we focus our clients on the same thing. Quality. it is not an easy conversation explaining this to a potential customer when they show us one of their competitors who was in a better search position but their site is riddled with black hat techniques. Our team focus on quality and it may take a little longer but the results are much more stable and long lasting.

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now