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Google’s Impact on Automotive's Search Is Going To Change Drastically
Will You Prepare or Play Catch Up? (Part 1)
The more articles I read based on Google's automotive impact, the further I feel the community is from understanding what Google is doing and where they going. Let me set the stage for those of you that might not have a full grasp what's been happening behind the scenes.
Google soft launched Google+, it's first dive into social media a little over 2 years ago. The launch was done in a way the mimicked that of Facebook. They seemed to make it an exclusive push by limiting invites they sent out to gmail users and pop culture icons to create a buzz and induce the "it factor" and in turn make the general public desire to be on the platform. Eventually Google saw this push failing to drive the traffic they wanted and opened registrations to the general public. After about a year of the social network being launched they didn't see the impactful growth they wanted out of the program. They went back to the drawing board and came up with an idea that is nothing short of genius.
In 2012 Google started turning to it's other outlets to jump start the social media's relevancy among the community. Rather than trying to drive the traffic directly, it's took it's supporting features and made them work for the platform. Let me give you an example of this. Notice how we all "had" Google Businesses set up and now they're Google+ Businesses? Well they started this voluntarily and then let the business professionals in the world drive the "in touch" community to create these Google+ pages while manipulating their algorithm to bring these businesses up more predominantly in search results. This in turn made more and more businesses convert to stay in the Google result spotlight. Not to much later, Google started converting the straggling businesses to Google+ for them. Now I'm sure you're asking yourself, how does this have anything to do with the automotive world? Well by doing all this Google was able to drive a huge increase in their user base. Now rinse and repeat this over and over again for all their supporting features...YouTube, Google Reviews, Google Maps and so on. I mean it's to the point you can't even comment on a YouTube video any longer without a Google+ account. I can go on and on with examples and timelines but I want to get back to the focus of this article.
Those of you that still think keywording, meta tagging and content writing yourself to the top of Google's search results is the wave to the future, I'm sorry you're sadly mistaken. Yes, these features will work for now but I assure you it's far from the future. Google isn't stupid, they know their algorithm is only going to carry them so far. They understand that their search result pages, cookies and user tracking isn't always going to be the most influential or relevant result for you personally. Google decided to look at what factors have the largest impact on the general public's day to day life. This wasn't corporate manipulated content or even what you've been searching from home. Sure these factors will always play a role but not to the extent they do now. The wave of the future is the most impactful things in your life. Those factors are your family, friends and co-workers. People you surround yourself with and can relate to on almost anything.
Trust me when I tell you, that these Google+1's aren't arbitrarily placed all over for no reason. They are to lay the groundwork or infrastructure for something much larger. Google will relieve it's algorithms of doing all the work of figuring out what you like or think is relevant and start having your friends, neighbors and co-workers do it for you. Not directly but by using what your "social sphere of influence" aka the people you relate to, think is relevant. This sphere will compile everything from cars to movies to food and more. If you're sphere of influence thinks it great then the most logical result is that you will to!
Now how do we as dealers prepare ourselves for that? I will get into all that in my next article. Until I'm in everyone's sphere of influence or skynet has taken over, I have to keep you guys interested and my articles relevant somehow right?
Thank you all for reading and I look forward to expanding on this article in the coming days.