What Google's Latest Algorithm Update Means for Auto Dealers

By: Michael Cirillo   |   14 Mar 2019
Florida 2

Google confirmed a recent “broad core update” to its search algorithm this week so big that it was predetermined that they call it Florida 2. While Google makes updates to its algorithm almost daily, my research indicates that this is larger than normal. 

Any time Google makes updates, it’s important to know what that means for your dealership’s digital presence.

Don’t Make Dramatic Changes to Your Website

Broad core updates are Google’s way of making overarching changes to its algorithm. The purpose is to better understand search queries and their associated search results. This is an indication that relevance is still a very important focus for Google and should be a top priority for your dealership’s web presence as well.

Don’t Panic

Some prominent members of the SEO community have noticed that, in some instances, rankings and page traffic can either be positively or negatively impacted. Whatever the case may be, don’t panic. Panic often leads to making changes without sufficient data to support your actions. Remain calm; read on.

How Your Dealership Should Respond to Florida 2

There are many facets to search engine results, ranking, and SEO. There are many opinions out there, which is why I tend to recommend information that comes directly from the inner sanctum of the search world: Google. 

While I don’t recommend making dramatic changes to your site, any updates targeting relevance and understanding search queries leads me to a single conclusion: the absolute need for creating high-quality, relevant content. 

In a string of tweets dated March 12, 2018, Danny Sullivan, Google’s public liaison of search made the following comment about broad core updates.

“There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”

Google SearchLiaison

Having a solid content strategy can make a huge impact on how your website ranks for relevant search results. Before you drop everything to focus on content, however, it’s important to know the role that content plays and where it fits in your overall business development strategy.

I’ve often asked, “what would the web be without content?” and I stand by that sentiment. Each day, hundreds of millions of consumers go online to find information that will help shape their purchase decisions. That type of activity is especially true in the retail automotive vertical.

Consumers have questions but want to find the answers on their terms, not yours. Despite advancements in technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, it can still be challenging to find good information on the web. That provides the single biggest opportunity (in the context of content creation) for your dealership. Why? Because most dealers produce content for the purpose of creating content. Few create content for the purpose of what content should do: Build authority, build trust, and drive high quality traffic.

Content is Google’s Top Ranking Factor

For years Google kept the priority of their ranking factors pretty ambiguous. Then in 2016 they announced that content was in their top three ranking factors. Finally the SEO community knew what Google cared most about.

In 2019, Content still rules. Based on the Florida 2 algorithm update, it makes sense, especially if the purpose is to better understand search queries. Why would they care about understanding search queries if not to produce better search results?
Hopefully it’s clear that random, “bleh”, run-of-the-mill content isn’t going to cut the mustard. Google wants quality content–they want useful content. They want it because it’s what people want.

The other day I was scrolling through Facebook when I noticed a post by my pal, Lindsey “BOOM” Shaker of the Shaker Family Auto Group in Connecticut. Lindsey has a passion for not just learning digital marketing, but applying what she learns as well. In her experiments, she has discovered something interesting as it pertains to creating useful content.

Lindsey Shaker

Lindsey has experienced first hand the power of relevant, useful content by noticing that her dealership is ranked in the top-three search engine results next to AutoTrader.com and USNews.com. Imagine that!

Again, the context of this post is about Google’s algorithm update, code name Florida 2 which pertains to relevance of a page or a site. While there are other ranking factors such as pagespeed, mobile friendliness, structured data and data taxonomies; content is the ranking factor you should focus on here.

FlexDealer helps dealers win with relevant content

In a recent blog post, I announced the reason why FlexDealer has chosen to focus its efforts on foundational elements of a dealer’s web presence. Content is something we specialize in that speaks to that narrative. Our team includes content strategists and marketers who are real pros at developing relevant content strategies that will help you get more traffic from customers with deeper intent to purchase a vehicle, product, or service from you. 

Whether you need some shareworth blogs, or a more strategic site structure which includes cornerstone content, I am confident that we can help you. 

Have a question about our content marketing service? Click here to contact us today!