Archive for the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ Category

Last Month in Organic Search – March 2012

April 4, 2012

Each month we like to take a look back at industry changes and news stories that affect SEO for the automotive industry. If you have any questions about anything in this post feel free to reach out to Chris Desrochers our SEO Specialist at 972-905-2004 or by email at
Google announces new “over-optimization” penalties
Google’s Matt Cutts mentioned a new over optimization penalty that will be introduced into the search results in the upcoming month (or weeks). The purpose is to “level the playing field,” Cutts said. “To give sites that have great content a better shot at ranking above sites that have content that is not as great but do a better job with SEO.” Although no specific guidelines have been released, the SEO industry has been speculating what this could mean for sites. Our own Bill Allen posted some thoughts on what Google may consider “over optimized”.

Google Algorithm changes for March 2012
For years Google has made algorithm changes in secret causing rumors and misinformation to abound in the SEO community. Over the past few months Google has become more transparent in their algorithm changes and have begun to release monthly updates. This month Google announced a Panda refresh which affected about 1.6% of all searches. This algorithm change is expected to target and remove low-quality, stale results. While the primary focus has been around increasing fresh, relevant results and pushing down stale content, tweaks have been also been made to sitelinks, anchor text, and personalized search signals; just to name a few. Check out Google’s blog post which details the changes.

Bing and Google target link networks and online junk to reign in quality
Several news stories surfaced in March showing a focus on eliminating link building network sites and online junk from results pages. Dr. Harry Shum of Bing highlighted several improvements the search engine was making to remove dead links, soft 404s, parked domains, and other low quality content. A few days later,, confirmed that Google deindexed an “overwhelming majority” of their network as of March 19, 2012 causing the site to shut down. is one of many link building services that charge to provide inbound links to a subscriber’s domain in hopes that it boosts their organic ranking. This practice directly violates Google’s standards and is just another example of why website owners should stick to “white hat” SEO practices.

Bing tests new Local infused results pages
Bing has been busy tweaking how local results appear on their search engine results pages (aka SERPs). Following Google’s footsteps, Bing has been testing a number of layout changes to put a great emphasis on local search. We believe these changes will have significant impact on traditional organic results. Dealer’s that have their local business listing up to date will benefit the most from these changes. Myles Anderson of discusses these changes in greater detail and includes some helpful screenshots.

Firefox considers enabling Google Secure Search by default
In October, Google announced that users who we’re logged into Google would have their search queries encrypted by default. As a result website owners have begun to see an increase of (not provided) when reviewing organic keywords in Google Analytics. Today we’re seeing 8-15% of all organic search queries affected by this change. On March 21st, we received word that the popular Firefox browser is considering enabling Secure Search by default for all Google queries. The problem is that Firefox users represent about 21% of the browser market meaning that we could see more of our valuable analytics data missing in coming months. We will continue to monitor this story and keep our dealers posted.

comScore releases February 2012 US search rankings
Google continues to dominate the search market with 66.4% market share as of February 2012. Bing/Yahoo!’s search alliance now accounts for a combined 29.1% of the US market. This means that 95.5% of all search traffic is coming through Google or Bing. That’s 14.4 BILLION search queries for the month! Not too shabby. Take a moment and read more about comScore’s findings here.

Photo Credit: Google history: hourly search activity by luc legay. Used by permission with a Creative Commons license.


ClickMotive Wins Peak Performance Automotive Website Award (AWA) For Search Marketing

November 12, 2010

PCG Digital Marketing announced that ClickMotive was chosen to receive a Pinnacle 2010 Automotive Website Award (AWA) for search marketing. The awards were presented to the leading automotive website companies at the AWA breakfast ceremony in Las Vegas.

The Pinnacle award is the highest recognition the AWA provides in the AWA Search Marketing category. The companies receiving this award have designed and delivered search compliant websites that stood above their peers. Pinnacle Platform winners deliver outstanding digital marketing platforms for dealers that will provide clients with a strong competitive advantage online and will enable dealers to create an unfair competitive advantage in their local markets. The ClickMotive platform reached the pinnacle for scoring in the AWA benchmarks and live testing, and is why we were selected for this prestigious award.

The 2010 AWA Whitepaper stated that “ClickMotive takes a different approach on the design of their inventory pages. Their sub-directory structure is not traditional but effective.” What this statement says is that we went additional lengths to ensure that we are using a directory structure that organizes our content well and makes it easy for visitors and search engines to know exactly where they are and what they are looking at on our sites.

The 3rd annual Automotive Website Awards (AWA) was created by PCG Digital Marketing, recognized leaders in automotive digital marketing strategies. For 2010, PCG Digital Marketing recognized the industry’s best website platforms across three different categories: design, technology and search marketing.

The Automotive Website Awards seek to provide car dealers with an unbiased evaluation of automotive website platforms and integrated search marketing tools. The 2010 AWA study included a review of over 50 automotive website providers.

This year’s published study includes 160 pages of valuable information regarding automotive website platform choices, search marketing performance, design and technology. The report is the industry’s reference guide for the best in automotive website technology and design.

To download a full PDF version of the Automotive Website Awards study, please go to .

Link Building for Your Car Dealership Website

June 9, 2010

With so many car dealerships working to do all the right things on their sites it’s getting harder and harder to differentiate dealer sites in the search engines. Or is it? One very important factor for search engine rankings that dealerships haven’t been pursuing in as great a scope as in some other business segments is Link Building. (more…)

Google Serving Personalized Search Results to EVERYONE!

May 19, 2010

Did you know that the search results you see on Google may not be the same as car shoppers?  Google has added a “feature” called personalized search that can make what the results you see on Google look VERY different from what other people see on Google.  This is a change that’s been online since December but few people are talking about it.  This article will explain how it works and how to turn it off if you want to.