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Keeping up with Google
We recently noticed something new on Google's Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Yes--- your ever-changing dealerships search results listing looks different again. There's now a rich snippet link that is sourced from DMOZ. What is DMOZ? Why should you care? Here is a little history...
There was a time long ago when dmoz.org, the Open Directory Project owned by AOL, was one of the first things a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert would dive into. When working on a site they would begin by checking the following.
As the years have passed by, SEO as an industry has paid less and less attention to DMOZ. Many experts and business owners deemed DMOZ indexation as being more of a headache than it was worth. All you have to do is search for "DMOZ dead" to see evidence of this on a number of key sites. You can even hear the message directly from Matt Cutts back in August of 2011 that caused many SEO experts to focus elsewhere. Due to indexation difficulties, other optimization efforts gained increased emphasis over the importance of DMOZ indexation.
If DMOZ is dead, why are we talking about it now? We recently noticed something different on Google's Search Engine Results Page (SERP). There is a new link displayed to the right of the website URL on some search results. When a user searches for “Peoria AZ car dealerships” they will see something similar to the following on their SERP. The two highlighted blocks below represent the new rich snippet link that is sourced from DMOZ. When clicked on, this new link displays a rich snippet of succinct information pulled for local businesses which are indexed on DMOZ.org. Below is an example of what you will see if you click on the links that are highlighted above: If your DMOZ listing hasn't been updated in a while, the information being displayed may be inaccurate (think Pontiac as a part of your dealership's brand name). It also means that for any business without a DMOZ listing, the extra link and increased visibility on the SERP is not being utilized and you may be losing potential customers.
The same Google update manifests differently for larger businesses such as Amazon, Nordstrom, Starbucks, Microsoft, Yelp, and YouTube. The rich snippet for these corporations uses Wikipedia as the information source; and their snippet box can also include information such as when the business was founded, awards won, and parent corporations. Unless you own a large auto group the number of car dealerships eligible for a Wikipedia article is close to zero… which brings us back to DMOZ.
History aside, Google is clearly paying attention to DMOZ submissions. In addition to potential rich snippet benefits, inclusion on this authoritative directory could help to boost a site's link profile. A comprehensive link profile is an important part of the search engine algorithm and can result in increased rankings and traffic. Whether Google keeps the DMOZ rich snippet for years to come or takes it down tomorrow, we should not ignore this update. Here at Cobalt, we are in the process of verifying DMOZ indexation and submitting any important edits for all of our SEO clients. If you work with an alternate website provider, be sure to check with them to ensure that they are submitting your business information to DMOZ. Here’s what you need to know:
Google makes updates every day and no one knows what is going to be next. As with any SEO update, submitting or editing your DMOZ listing is not a guarantee of increased website performance. Use of rich snippets in the SERP and gaining links from quality sources have however been strongly correlated with positive metrics such as increased click-through and rankings. Contact your SEO administrator to make sure they are current with the latest Google update.
About the Author
Melody Mertens is a lead PowerSEO Specialist at Cobalt and has been working full-time in the digital marketing industry since 2008. Melody enjoys teaming with other digital marketing professionals to provide an expert SEO service which aligns with an auto dealership’s comprehensive marketing plan. A champion for results and emergency prevention, she is always looking for great solutions and refuses to settle for “ok”. Her passion for maximizing results extends beyond the digital marketing world into her personal life, where Melody teaches music lessons and mentors young people in the community. You can reach Melody directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.