It is a given that Google will release algorithm updates several times a year but the initial uncertainty of who will be affected most causes the greatest concern. Several man-hours are invested in building your page’s ranking to the coveted first page, or even the first spot, and now an update comes along to ruin all of your hard work – or has it? Below I will detail the impact of this new algorithm and how to better protect your page from ranking exile.
The facts are as follows: On August 1st, 2018 Google announced they had released a Board Core Algorithm update the week before (a very big deal in the search world). In true Google fashion, there was not a lot of information about what had changed, other than referring back to the release of the last update in March of this year. During this update, Google also offered up some positivity by stating, “It’s those changes to our system are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.”
Many experts across multiple verticals started to see fluctuation in their traffic and rankings. Some reporting drastic shifts in both positive and negative rankings. These changes mostly impacted the Health and Wellness industry, especially those sites specializing in the diet. Most of the sites that were greatly affected are YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) sites. Google defines these types of sites like the following, “There are some pages for which Page Quality (PQ) is particularly important. We call these pages Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages. They are pages that can have an impact on your current or future well-being (physical, financial, safety, etc.). YMYL pages should come from reputable websites, and the content should be created with a high level of expertise and authority.”
To put it into laymen’s terms, if you are giving advice or selling something that can affect other peoples’ lives, then Google is going to make sure you are an expert in your field, and your page is grounded in fact.
So, how does Google determine Page Quality?
I’m glad you asked, Google has a 200 page PDF if you would like to download and read it.
To save you some time, here are the key points to getting a High Page Quality Score:
• Easy to understand the purpose of the page – What is your expertise?
• Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (EAT) – More on this later
• Main Content Quality and Amount
• Website Reputation and links to help support this. (Domain/ Page Authority)
How does this affect dealerships’ websites?
I know you are thinking – this is all helpful information, but how does this impact my dealership? As the August algorithm took effect, we saw significant movement in rankings for the automotive industry.
The majority of dealerships didn’t see a shift until the week of the 9th. This has been speculated to be around the time the rollout was winding down. It was this time period where dealers saw either drastic drops or great gains, with a selected few sites unaffected.
In our research, we found that dealers who had a healthy amount of quality content with strong inbound and internal linking were affected positively, seeing gains quickly and ongoing for August.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, sites that have allowed their content to become stagnate or have little to no quality content saw a drastic hit to their rankings, some even falling as low as much as 22 to 200 slots.
What do I do next?
To find out how your site has been affected, ask your SEO provider (or us!) for the last few months rankings. If your results are positive, then pat yourself on the back and remember “constant vigilance!” – keep adding quality content and read Googles guidelines for a better understanding of PQ (Page Quality).
If your results are negative, then we have some work to do.
Are you doing SEO? If not, reach out to Dealer Authority, and we will get your site headed in the right direction. If you are actively doing SEO, we suggest that you review the keywords you have lost traction on. Reviewing your keywords often to get good rankings is an ongoing battle, but you could rank in first place today and lose placement in a few months if you don’t optimize for that keyword often.
Remember I mentioned EAT earlier? It’s time to talk about how this has and will affect your site. EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This focuses on not only the content but the store’s expertise, the reputation of the site (Reviews of your store), and offsite linking.
E – Be an expert in your field. Write content, and then some more, and just when you have had enough keep going. You need content for your site as-well-as to earn links. Create content that you would find interesting, and helpful. Submit articles to local publications and to auto-related sites. Earning offsite links takes a long time, none less, the payoff to gain authoritativeness is substantial.
A – Authoritativeness. How do you show you are the authority on your site? First, develop a “why buy” proposition. If you have one already, review it, make sure it’s up to date and reflects your store. If you don’t have one, contact us, and we can help you build one. Once your “why buy” message is in place, add it to your site’s “About Us” page while you refresh your content. Most likely that page was added a few site changes ago and never updated. Give it a refresh, add new updates to the store in recent years, and get a few quotes from customers and the owner or manager.
T – Trustworthiness. Having good reviews could impact the rankings of your site. Having poor reviews and a lower “star” ranking might also affect your Google Local Position (Google Maps), giving other dealerships higher rankings in Google Local.
Updates like these can be daunting and can cause you to lose organic momentum, however, by creating quaintly content, and following the EAT standard, your site should be back on track for good rankings and better organic traffic. If this all seems like a vast undertaking, then give Dealer Authority a shot. We can help you regain your rankings and feel confident in your dealership’s digital marketing.