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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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I was doing some research earlier this week on search engine ranking methodologies and came across a recent patent that was granted to Google this month.  The patent was titled "system and method for modulating search relevancy using pointer activity monitoring".   While I don't believe cursor movement would ever be a factor in rankings for obvious reasons, I do believe the search engine wars are continuing to heat up. 

Yes, Google still holds a commanding lead but the question is will it last forever.  Better yet, is the lead enough to ignore other search engines?  Bing and Yahoo have experienced impressive gains over the last year and I would not be surprised to see this continue.  Additionally, I firmly believe that no company, no matter how large, is unstoppable.   Take a look at Apple for example.   Everyone thought they were headed for the scrap pile in the 90s and now look at them.  

Most dealers we talk to at TK only care about how we do on Google.  When we try and demonstrate our power on Yahoo and Bing, there is simply no interest whatsoever. While I do understand the big focus on Google, I don't understand why people could care less about Yahoo and Bing.   I believe if you are betting it all on Google and ignoring the rest, you might want to think twice.  They are the leader by a long shot but they still only control 63% of the market.  That leaves 37% to Yahoo, Bing and the rest (yes, I can still do simple math).   If you want to maximize your effort in Automotive SEO, you should focus on the big three search engines.   37% is a huge number when competition is so fierce among dealers. 

Brian Pasch
@Richard Great point here and actually Yahoo and Bing are often early indicators on how SEO strategies will play out on Google. Dealers who focus on all three major search engines are rewarded over just a focus on Google. Depending on your market, there can be some nice low hanging fruit for car dealers when they test PPC in Bing and Yahoo as well. A second point is that Yahoo and Bing need different SEO strategies than Google. This applies to press release sites, social media sites, blogs ,etc. For example, press release websites that are on Google Page One may not be for Yahoo and Bing. So you need to find the third party content and link building sites that work for each search engine. If you create an Automotive SEO strategy for each search engine instead of one strategy, you will see an increase in traffic to your dealer website, microsites and referring traffic.
Eric Miltsch
These def. shouldn't be ignored; Yahoo just announced that their search results will be powered by Bing beginning in August/September. So really...you won't have to optimize for the "Big 3 SERPS" anymore - you'll only need to concentrate on Google & Bing once the merger is completed. (BingHoo? YaBing?) SEO won't be that complicated. However, PPC users who don't have adCenter accounts will have their Yahoo accounts merged over to Bing. If you're not the person managing your PPC account on either search engine, you may want to ask the managing it for you if they're prepared for the merger. Change is brewing for sure...
Richard Valenta
@Eric Good point.
Richard Valenta
@Eric Good point.
JD Rucker
I used look at Google as the "must have" and Yahoo and Bing as the "nice to have" when it comes to rankings. It was actually a dealer 3 years ago who changed my thinking. He told me a story about a dealership he bought that had one entrance on the side that faced the major street. He was told when he bought it that the minor street didn't get as much traffic, and therefore was missing both an entrance and a sign. He put an entrance and a sign up on the minor cross street and saw an increase in traffic, particularly in service. He even had people tell the service department that they were glad that they made it easier for them to get their service done there. The words he told me after his story will always stick with me: "It doesn't matter what street they come from or how big the street is - if you don't have an entrance they won't come see you."

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