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Modern Search Marketing is More Art, Less Science with Penguin 2.0

Google Penguin 2.0

There are two frames of mind amongst search marketing professionals when it comes to major updates such as the Google Penguin update last year and the upcoming Penguin 2.0 algorithm update. Some start to panic as they’ve seen these algorithm updates force companies to make major changes. In some cases, companies have had to close down because adjusting was just too much to bare. The other perspective is that these changes bring the game of optimization more in line with quality over quantity, strategy over brute force, and perhaps most importantly, art over science.

That’s what’s expected with the upcoming update based upon a mixture of common sense and some pointed Tweets by Google’s spam czar, Matt Cutts. The pursuit of quality links instead of having a large inbound link portfolio has been the focus of Google (and Bing) for over a year now and the coming update will likely be more of the same.

The art aspect of it all comes down to getting more value out of higher-quality content that can be enjoyed by real people versus meaningless links outside of content or on sites that have no real value to the search engines. Before, it was easy to stuff links on as many sites as possible to get the juice necessary for SEO. It made it to where the science was dominant – automated platforms, bulk link submission tools, and link generating scripts once ruled the search marketing world. Today, one strong article or infographic on a high-value website can get websites more coveted link juice than literally thousands of low quality links. This is where the artistry comes into play.

As businesses and marketing agencies continue to hone their skills and progress their strategies, it’s important that they understand this dynamic. It’s no longer a good thing to have dozens of link builders hitting up websites. Today and into the future, strong content creators with the connections to get their content placed on relevant and trusted sites are the most sought after resources in the industry. Everyone else is simply spamming up the system and Penguin 2.0 will punish those who do not adapt.

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Tags: Penguin, SEO, Search, Search Engine Optimization

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Comment by J.D. Rucker on May 21, 2013 at 11:44am

The Penguin changes were originally designed to get rid of the top tier of SEO "gamers" out there. It worked, for the most part, and the subsequent updates pushed that agenda even further. I believe that Penguin 2.0 will be designed for two things - to stuff the remaining blackhats who adjusted their strategy because of Penguin in a way that still automated the process with low quality links and to reward those who are doing the things that we often talk about here. Alex, Steve, in essence you're both exactly right and Penguin 2.0 will likely vindicate us all.

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 21, 2013 at 6:28am

It's not about being evil, it's about "gaming" the system. No matter how you look at it, even if you're following what's "deemed" as best practices, you are still gaming the system. I'm not referring to the basics (metatag elements, applying basic keywords (based upon research and analysis), platform used, etc., That's more about proper website structure than using methods and techniques to further rank. I'm not sure how often you view my posts, but I've repeatedly stated, SEO should be called Search Content Marketing (on-site and off-site), it's a cleaner and more legit name. The massive amount of black hatters (high on quick ranking mercury) have given SEO a bad name.

Comment by Stephen Murphy on May 21, 2013 at 4:26am

Alex -

Can't say I agree with that thought. Not all SEO is evil. In fact, it can actually help the search engines when done correctly. There is so much amazing content out there that will never be found by search engines because it was never optimized with things like title tags, keywords, etc. For example, my friend's mom is an amazing chef. She shares incredible recipes online. But she shows up poorly in search because she doesn't know how to optimize for the keywords people are using to find that kind of content. Same with many local businesses. There's nothing more frustrating than failing to find a local business online because they failed to optimize even for their name.

You are 100% correct that many people try to take the easy way out by spamming terrible content stuffed with keywords and links. They are trying to game the system. But as JD beautifully points out, brute force is a short term solution while strategy will help you win the war. Great content might be elusive for dealers, but really good content only requires a little creativity, a plan, and a whole lot of elbow grease. 

Comment by J.D. Rucker on May 17, 2013 at 10:00am

Matt, Alex, Steve - yes, yes, and yes. Same basic point from all - quality content is the ace in the hole. It's also the most elusive component for the majority of dealers.


Influencer
Comment by Mathew Koenig on May 17, 2013 at 7:48am
Great point Steve.
Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on May 17, 2013 at 7:39am
Fortunately adm seems to have strong credibility with google for solid content.

Influencer
Comment by steve fischer on May 17, 2013 at 7:30am

If Content is king! Then getting that VALID content out would be the King's King....It is funny, how many dealerships spend big $$ on Television media buys, and hope they get some sales based off the running the spot frequently with a wide reach. However they rarely take that TV commercial and edit it (longer than :30 seconds if needed) with a great call to action embed a CLICK HERE link, keyword optimize it and run it 24hours 7 days a week FOR FREE! Not only free (no media buy) but to a much more targeted demographic based upon the keywords you title your videos... Video marketing is a great way to create content and distribute it EVERYWHERE! What a great way to show your beautiful new inventory, add a special offer, keyword optimize it, share it on all social media outlets, craigslist, multiple video sharing sites, use that VAILD content to distribute and drive your target audience right to your landing page! So I would agree with JD it is an ART you have to be creative and use your resources you probably already have!

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 17, 2013 at 5:44am

Search Content Marketing is surely a better name for gaming Google's algorithmic system than is "SEO." 

  1. What does Google want? They want relevant, real content on the internet that people want to read and tell other people about. If Google doesn’t bring you the most relevant content when you search they aren’t doing their job. So by definition, even the word Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means to “game” the Google search engines (and others) to get your valuable content ranked higher than it would be if left alone to the forces of the Web. The bottom line is that all external SEO efforts are counterfeit other than one: Writing, designing, recording, or videoing real and relevant content that benefits those who search.
  2. SEO of any kind is pursued by gaming the system. There is nothing “natural” about any form of SEO. The fundamental concept of SEO is exploiting a flaw in a search engine’s ranking algorithm. The difference between white and black hat tactics is merely a function of where Google decides to draw a line, and this line is at least somewhat arbitrary. Google's goal is to confuse search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and to uncover aggressive SEO techniques through delaying, or obfuscating results from SEO changes being made.

Furthermore, it's only a matter of time, before Google is going to start requiring better user experiences out off first and second page ranked websites. They're going to start doing a much more complex analysis of your website platform / CMS in order to justify the value of your site, just in general. It's all headed that way. In Google's eyes, it is ALL about USER EXPERIENCE.


Influencer
Comment by Mathew Koenig on May 17, 2013 at 5:20am
K you want to get our dealership to #1?"

All can do is smile and say: there isn't any guarantee that I can.

Dealers are challenged because in the area of search real estate they are competing with sites like Edmunds and Cars.com for that valuable space.

I usually recommend that instead of paying every $99 site out there, they start investing more time in video updates and other social media updates via hootsuite and make sure to put the relative terms in the descriptions so they have a better chance of their more relevan video, post, etc, showing up.

In my opinion, they are bettter off having something they created, with a reference back to their website, showing up than not showing up at all and having their local space dominated by 3rd parties.

My strategy has always been to dominate Google with content I created so ensure that people aren't seeing my competition when they look for my field of business.

I know Manny does some great video things that help make that happen.

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