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Change is in the air for SEO. What’s new?

Update: This piece about SEO components may help further this discussion.

As always SXSW in Austin is a great experience to stay at the forefront of all developments related to search and social. I attended last week with a few of my KPA colleagues and had the opportunity to attend many discussions with search engine optimization thought leaders.  Search was a hotter topic at this year’s conference than it has been in the recent past because the core of the conference, interactive, is watching search become an important component. This time last year, most viewed search and social as two different things but we’re realizing that search is adopting social and social is integrating into search in ways that makes it necessary for a conversation about one to include the other.

 

Automotive SEO is at a crossroads. We do not have to wait for the upcoming changes that Matt Cutts announced at SXSW. I think it is important for everyone at ADM to understand that when they talk about over-optimized websites they are not looking at 99.9% of car dealers. The automotive industry is localized in a way that only the most offensively-optimized websites shooting for irrelevant keywords will be affected by the changes.

 

What will happen at Google as well as Bing in the coming weeks is the concept of quality over quantity. To the handful of vendors and practitioners of automotive SEO that I personally respect, quality is at the heart of what works. It worked well in 2010. It worked better in 2011. It’s separating the properly-optimized sites from the spammy ones on a daily basis in 2012.

 

The only reason to fear the changes that are coming up for both major search engines is if you do not have an expert on your side who is watching them. I take pride in being someone who eats, breaths, and lives search and social every single day and it makes my job more enjoyable when concepts such as search and social integration, quality over quantity, and content marketing in SEO start to show up more prominently. It lets me know that the poor techniques used by competitors that once worked will not be a challenge now or in the future.

 

Change takes place all the time. Matt Cutts explained that Google introduces over 500 algorithm changes every year (something I wrote about last August). It’s my passion to keep up and understand these changes. It’s my passion to include these changes in KPA’s social and search services as we’ve been doing since 2003. And it’s my passion to share the most important ones with the dealer community through my blogs and educational webinars.

 

I just finished discussing these changes further at the Innovative Dealer Summit and will expand on it in May at the Automotive Boot Camp. Let’s keep the conversation going here and I encourage everyone to learn which side of the aisle your automotive SEO vendor is on before buying their service or listening to their training.

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Tags: J. D. Rucker, Rucker, google, search, seo, sxsw

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Comment by Matthew O'Such on March 22, 2012 at 11:38am

Awesome infographic! I listened to the audio from the conference Matt Cutts was speaking at and agree that while they're coming down on link and content farms, we should worry too much about your average "whitehat" SEO.

Comment by Laurie Halter on March 22, 2012 at 10:04am

Rocco and Richard make great points. I think SEO gurus are truly becoming digital marketers and incorporating social media tactics and strong content development alongside link buikding etc. Great post, JD!

Comment by Richard Valenta on March 22, 2012 at 8:15am

Nice to see some useful information.  What most people don't realize is good SEO's provide a ton of value to Google and they know it.  It's the ones that have automated systems to build thousands of links, duplicate content and keyword stuff that Google doesn't like.  We have always been about quality and I'm happy JD stood his ground when we wanted to build a site automatically generate links for dealers.  Great article JD. 

Comment by Marc Bodner on March 22, 2012 at 5:58am

Kevin, there is a great deal of truth in your comment, but on the plus side of this it should be noted that those sites using "black hat" tactics trend like roller coasters, up one month, way down the next.  Building a proper web foundation with SEO, and understanding SEO has been about content marketing since its inception, those who do it right will always have good results to show for the effort.

Comment by Kevin Frye on March 22, 2012 at 5:07am

Well said JD.  I have always focused on quality and relevance when working on SEO, but I (like MANY others) am endlessly frustrated when you do everything Google asks for, but the folks still using blackhat tactics continue to outrank the "good guys".  Have you read this?  http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-google-makes-liars-out-of-the-good-g...  It sums up what many of us feel every day...

Comment by Rocco Penn on March 21, 2012 at 6:01pm

While at SXSW I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people about the integration of search and social. It seems that the line between both is blurring greatly, making social media that much more important for car dealers since search is at the heart of traffic.

Comment by J.D. Rucker on March 21, 2012 at 5:54pm
Thanks Manny. I think it's important in light of recent discussions to make sure people don't push the "abandon-search-button" as it's still the primary source of traffic for nearly every dealer in the country. SEO is hard. There are plenty out there who are not, in my opinion, up to par with what real SEO should be. ADM keeping everyone under scrutiny is what makes the community so strong.

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