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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Terrence Gordon

Terrence Gordon CEO / Founder

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SEO - You're Doing it Wrong!


automotive seo

The conversation I had with one of our clients yesterday made me inquisitive (and a little infuriated) as to what dealers are being taught in regards to automotive SEO.  Everyone is on a tear to learn SEO for themselves, strategize for themselves, and implement things for themselves solely based on what they are learning from people inside the Automotive industry (hey dealers, there’s a plethora of the best SEO information in the world just outside our automotive bubble).

Our client has been with us for about a month.  They wanted to talk to me about the SEO strategy they’ve implementing internally over the past 45 days or so.  Their strategy was to go out and buy 50 individual domains, turn them into “microsites” and point all links back to their main domain.  Meanwhile, we haven’t even broached the subject of improving SEO on their main domain.  There are 1,000 things wrong with this strategy including the way they were implementing it.  These microsites were literally one page deep, contained zero content, zero META information and zero value in the eyes of Google.  Let alone the fact they were all the same, so there is a huge duplicate content issue (assuming there was any content).

These guys were “TAUGHT” that building as many microsites as possible and then linking them to their main website is going to increase their rankings.  WRONG! 

I’m angry.  Not at the poor guys who had to un-learn everything they were taught at NADA, but at all the WRONG SEO information that is floating around this industry.  SEO is not an art…nor is it a science.  It’s proven “theory-in-practice”.  But there are still SEO fundamentals that anyone who practices SEO should be aware of  - especially if they are out there preaching it to innocent dealers who know no different.  

That basic, simple, “SEO 101” theory is as follows: SEO YOUR MAIN WEBSITE, and for g-d’s sake please do some research outside this industry.  I have posted this before, but here again is a link to an article posted by one of the leading SEO professionals in the world, Rand Fishkin.  The article is called, “The Microsite Mistake”.  I’ll let Rand take it from here:  http://www.ecarlist.com/blog/2010/03/the-microsite-mistake/

 Here are some great SEO resources that apply universally:

www.searchenginewatch.com

www.SEOroundtable.com

www.sempo.org 

www.SEOMOZ.com

 

 

 

Dennis Colome
Great comment, You are right on
Brian Pasch
Terrance You frustration with dealers buying 50 domains and expecting these 50 domains and 50 new microsites to become relevant instantly is well founded. Dealers should always first invest in good content and SEO compliance with their main website before expanding into secondary websites. It takes time and patience to build quality links to a main website, let alone a few microsites. Any dealer that is embarking on publishing 50 microsites has been ill advised. The content and linking investment in 50 microsites is well above most dealership marketing budgets and practical ability to create a meaningful experience on each website. Since dealers may not be leveraging the existing traffic they are getting to their existing website, this should be a priority focus before expanding to new microsites.
Ed Brooks
Google has also recently signaled that keyword rich domain names may longer enjoy the benefit they once did. I think has been one of the main reasons for a number of microsites; think TimbuktuHondaAccord.com, TimbuktuHondaAccord.net, TimbuktuHondaCivic.com, TimbuktuHondaCivic.net, TimbuktuUsedCars.com, etc... This was a quick and easy trick. Unfortunately Google is pretty good at figuring out quick and easy tricks. Here's a good overview of the change signaled by Google: http://www.searchnewz.com/topstory/news/sn-2-20110318KeywordDomainsRankingCouldBeLoweredByGoogle.html

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