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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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JD Rucker

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Exclusive Blog Posts

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High End Automotive SEO Validated Again (in case you think it needed to be) by Penguin 2.0

Baby Penguins

Rumors always fly about Google, particularly when it comes to search. Next to Apple, Google is the beneficiary and/or victim of rumors on a regular basis. Some of them are started by others, but occasionally they're started (and confirmed) by Google itself. Such was the case last year when they hinted about the first variation of Penguin and it was the case this year with the latest update, dubbed Penguin 2.0.

Now it's here and their was a nice writeup about it on Driving Sales by Aaron Schinke of DealerFire. The advice he gives is sound and falls in line with what we've seen from this update.

The update has proven to be a very positive one for those who are doing SEO the right way. I spent an hour doing spot checks on dozens of our clients last night and found that they either kept their strong positions or moved up if they weren't #1 already (which usually means that their competitors actually moved down as a result of the update, but the net result is the same).

The point is this - SEO is still extremely valid despite the drum beat that comes every two or three months that "SEO is dead". You can search for that phrase in Google and see that new people have been putting up stories with variations of that headline since 2008. They'll keep doing it until 2018. It has been considered and always will be considered to be the case every time Google and Bing get smarter with their ranking algorithms.

Don't believe them. Ever. I promise this - if SEO really does ever die, I'll be the first to admit it. Oddly enough, I know of a sentiment engine in development that would effectively kill current SEO, but it requires quantum computing and the ability to practically read our minds to become truly effective, so we're still at least a few years away from that.

The days of effective cheap SEO are behind us. You can have a search presence for cheap but nobody can be dominant. This isn't an attempt to insult some competitors. It's an analysis of what Google has been doing for the last couple of years. They are pushing away from automation-based search optimization. They are rewarding high-quality, manual effort that brings value.

It simply can't be done on the cheap, anymore. SEO is valid and getting more valid every day. Those who deny it are simply unwilling or incapable of putting in the effort to make it happen.

Aaron Schinke
Way to out-do me on the penguin pic! I think you are right on the money here. Those who say SEO is dead don't understand that it's an evolving science/art. The funny part is, even today, a dealer can still outperform most of their competition just by ensuring the basics are in place: Site structure, accessibility, and on page elements. It's too bad many are forced into trying to over compensate with aggressive bolt-on content and link building packages only to point back to a weak or detrimental "foundation" of a website. Anyway, great stuff JD!
Brian Pasch
JD I concur with your spot checks that the strong SEO strategies in place with our clients have gotten stronger. In fact, I think that dealers are also waking up that spending $500 a month on SEO is not cutting it. We have seen an uptick in dealers signing up for the PCG Advanced SEO packages that includes quality content that is placed on the dealership website, intelligent link building, and social syndication. Dealers who have "checked off the box" with a base SEO package will often think that SEO is dead, because they can't see the results. You mentioned that good SEO is not cheap, and I agree, if dealers think that good SEO is $500 a month. However, JD as you and I have discussed in the past, SEO is very cost effective (cheap) to create lasting, long term traffic. SEO can be much more affordable and deliver a strong ROI than many of the traditional investments dealers continue to make each month. The one think that still hurts dealers, in regards to seeing SEO results, is their impatience. A good SEO strategy is one that is build over a year and not over 30 days. I would rather work with 10 dealers who were patient and understood the value of SEO than 50 dealers who ever month are eager to cancel their SEO services because they want instant traffic. Lastly, an effective SEO strategy today has to include: a coordinated social media syndication strategy, the production of video content for onsite and offsite use, a focus on analytics, quality content for the dealership website, and a compliant link building strategy. Anything short of this list and of course the basics of website structure, will fall short of delivering a "wow" experience. Interestingly, more dealers are getting the message about quality engagement through SEO...maybe the time has come to move forward by looking back.
David T. Gould
SEO = Quality / Engaging Content... Posted in a manner that Google (and other search engines) can find it to display. The smarter Google (and the other search engines) get, the easier it is for your content to be found. But, the missing link remains the quality / engaging content. Dealers need to make a long term commitment to content development (think youtube video with key words in title / description for fastest results). THEN... Brian and companies like his can work their magic for you with GREAT results. Good creating all! DTG

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