Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
When I began my current position last June, one of my first orders of business was to create a WordPress blog for each of our seven stores. Like any new blog, you start with nothing and hope to get to the point where your blog becomes relevant and helps with your Page One Defense. It's clear to me that Google's algorithm is now heavily weighting dealer's blogs.
Every week, I run keyword searches in Google to see where our sites and blogs are ranking. Yesterday was one of those quiet moments that we all enjoy.
Both my dealer group blog and our Infiniti stores' blog both showed up ahead of two of our main competitor's dealership websites for the search terms "Infiniti Massachusetts." Showing up ahead of Herb Chambers is particularly gratifying as they are a mega-group of almost 50 dealerships with one portal site.
I don't consider myself a WordPress expert by any stretch. I know the basics and was able to achieve some strong results in a short amount of time. If you don't have a Wordpress blog, please get started on one. You can create one for less than $80 and if you are consistant about adding content, Google will reward you. At least for now : )
Great job on these efforts. To ensure the results are as you hoped, I would suggest logging out of your gmail acct. I noticed that you are in Nick Colon's circles and that may have effected your results...it is however a great example of how potentially powerful social signals are in influencing search results. Additionally, add the Google +1 button to all of your pages as well. The Kelly group should be happy to have you!
i am a huge wordpress fan and love how fast i am able to get my pages indexed through google. i run an internet department with 3 franchises and 4 roof tops. the rate our blog is going we are indexing more on that then our competitors actual website. great tool if worked properly and often. blog away friend.
Mike, WordPress blogs are a great way to get indexed (and I'd echo Scott's comment on logging out of Google if you're checking search results). On our site we have a WordPress blog covering many market research topics running in its own directory in addition to Joomla which we use for the rest of our content. It isn't unusual to have a blog posting indexed by Google within a few hours and I've seen pages indexed in minutes. I'd like to make a few suggestions to anyone wanting to use WordPress...
1). Create appropriate and relevant post tags for your content. These tags create additional pages in WordPress that can give you additional content to be indexed.
2). Install a plugin that creates an XML sitemap for your blog. We use Google XML Sitemaps. It's easy to install and it automatically creates a sitemap that you can upload to Google using...
3). Webmaster tools. Create a free account. Once you have an account you can resubmit your sitemap to Google to see that it was uploaded and watch for any error notifications. Google will probably find your blog sooner or later anyway, but submitting your sitemap lets you take a proactive role.
We try to submit a sitemap whenever we make an important posting that contains relevant, unique and informative content. We made an announcement that we now have automotive research reports available to sell online, followed these steps, and the posting was indexed right away.
Best of luck
Another must have plug-in is Broken Link Checker (there are really a ton more). In the last upgrade they now have an email alert feature that tells you if have a broken link on the site. Very handy and important in Google's eyes as well. Jon, what are your thoughts on the settings in the XML Sitemap? The defaults for some parts of the blog is set to monthly, and I know that is not the only method that Google utilizes as a crawl, but as a habit we have set almost everything to daily.
PS- you need your Plus Badge and +1 button on your site :)!!
In our particular case, setting our sitemap to "monthly" seemed appropriate; we don't have daily updates. In reality, Googlebot stops by 3-4 times a week anyway. Others may have different experiences but I've seen the crawl rate influenced more by quality and recency of content rather than what the sitemap says.
We have our +1 buttons at the bottom of each posting, not on the blog home page. If you look at this post on our research reports and scroll down to the bottom you'll see the social media buttons.