If there’s one thing you can count on about the Google search ranking algorithm, it’s change. The search giant tweaks and adjusts its search algorithm an average of more than once per day. The majority of these changes go completely unnoticed, but every now and then, they spring a search animal on us (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird) that rocks the search world and forces us to make adjustments to our strategies.

This is a very good thing for those who are ever-watching in the search engine optimization world. Every change that happens is an opportunity to pull further ahead of the competition. You have to figure that the majority of your competitors are not watching as closely as you or your top-notch SEO team, so changes make it easier to stay on top.

The most recent round of search ranking factors as polled by Moz reveals a few very important things that car dealers should know. First and foremost, there has been an outright attack on the importance of links in the automotive industry. It’s odd; I’m not sure where the attacks originated or why they have been perpetuated but it seems that ours is the only industry clinging to the concept that links have been devalued. Poor quality links have definitely been devalued for nearly two years now, but that simply means that those building high quality links through organic methods are reaping the benefits.

The second glaring aspect that will likely only increase in 2014 is the importance of social signals. While some would love to dismiss Google+ as a worthless component, those outside of the automotive industry realize the importance. Google is paying very close attention to what people giving +1s to on all three levels: the domain, the individual web page, and the Google+ business page. They are taking it into account in other arenas as well such as YouTube and advertising, reviews and map placement, and across the board in the content segment.

Domain and page authority are still the winning 1-2 punch. In both cases, it’s a matter of a combination of inbound links as well as social signals that play the most when determining real authority. It’s one of the reasons that we chose the name of our company the way we did; in marketing, authority trumps quantity every day and twice on Thursdays.

Here’s the breakdown from Moz. Take a look and decide for yourself whether you’re going to listen to the automotive vendors who deny the truth because it doesn’t fit their products and services or if you’re going to believe the vendor (us) who molds our products and services around the truth. Contact us when you’re ready to succeed in the competitive arena of automotive SEO.