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What's my Google Score have anything to do with my ranking?

With Google Local, formerly known as Google Places decision makers are scrambling to understand how ORM algorithms will drastically affect SEO rankings and high Google scores. Google says Google Local is “a simple way to discover and share local information.” Sounds like business listing are becoming more social.

In other words Google Local helps people like me who could very well turn the urge to buy a car— “Hey, I want to test drive a car today” —into an afternoon outing: “Perfect, there’s a Cadillac dealer with great reviews just two blocks from here. Let’s go.” It’s integrated into Search, Maps and mobile and available as a new tab in Google+—creating one simple experience across Google.

The new system is definitely much broader than the previous star system, given its larger scale. 17 out of 30 doesn’t sound incredibly great but if you look at the scale, 16-20 represents “good to very good”. 0- 30 is pretty wide range to cover the four individual ratings Google goes by:

3 Excellent
2 Very Good
1 Good
0 Poor to Fair

Google takes the average, and multiplies it by ten to come up with averaged scores featuring Zagat scores and recommendations from people you trust in Google+.

Algorithms are incorporated into all kinds of review sites where your brand is being talked about and Google is measuring a combination of indicators across all published reviews to determine your Score and overall ranking.

Survey results released a few months ago indicate that many of the top ranking factors are directly related to reviews, your top keywords in reviews, including Google measuring what kind of feedback or responses you’re providing to the consumer feedback on review sites.

Here is how a few of them ranked, according to that (out of the top 90):

7. Quantity of Native Google Places Reviews (w/text) (REVIEWS)
18. Product/Service Keywords in Reviews (REVIEWS)

24. Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews (REVIEWS)
26. Location Keywords in Reviews (REVIEWS)
31. Velocity of Native Google Places Reviews (REVIEWS)
34. Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Places Reviewers, etc) (REVIEWS)
46. High Numerical Ratings by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Places Reviewers, etc) (REVIEWS)
49. Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party) (REVIEWS)
50. Quantity of Third-Party Unstructured Reviews (REVIEWS)
52. Quantity of Native Google Places Ratings (no text) (REVIEWS)
53. High Numerical Ratings of Place by Google Users (e.g. 4-5) (REVIEWS)
62. Velocity of Third-Party Reviews (REVIEWS)
69. High Numerical Third-Party Ratings (e.g. 4-5) (REVIEWS)
74. Positive Sentiment in Reviews (REVIEWS)

According to Google, reputation management means interacting, responding to, learning from, and implementing ideas and improvements based on customer feedback. The good news is that feedback is everywhere. I’d take that as a hint from Google that a higher Google score is achieved with a multi pronged approach.

Responding to reviews, creating conversation with customers, understanding the underlying issues, and devising possible solutions.

The importance of a high ranking Google score will be directly related to two different potential benefits:

  1. SEO Influence. The exact algorithm for reviews is not completely clear, but Google says the correlation between a higher number of reviews and higher relevance (sometimes ranking) on search engines is apparent in any search query yielding a local result, not to mention fresh content being crawled by robots.

Therefore, it would make sense to incorporate reputation building avenues (follow up emails, etc) for customers

to share their experience, which can help increase the dealerships online reviews and become a more credible source for both customers and search engines.

2. Conversion & Purchasing Influence. The second benefit is the relationship between top level results and the likelihood of a user clicking on your dealer name. If your dealership continuously encourages customers to leave reviews (not from the dealerships I.P) and the reviews received are showing your business in a good light, then it is likely that you will rank higher on review results. See the logical equation below for Google
Total reviews + Quality of Reviews = Better Google Ranking (simple version as there are other factors involved)

Better Google Ranking + Management Responses = Higher Trust (good reviews) and therefore Higher Revenue (good reviews at the top of the result page)

Regardless of the ranking of the list above, it does stop and make you think about all the potential factors that could go into your local ranking, and many are certainly worth paying attention to.

Jerry Hart
President
eReputationBUILDER

Schedule a Free Demo
Ask a Question: jerry(at)erepbuilder(dot)com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jerryhart67

Views: 280

Tags: algorithms, google, local, online, places, ranking, reviews, scores, seo, zagat

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Comment by Tom Gorham on January 15, 2013 at 5:36pm

At first this post threw me for a loop but it certainly roped me in. After clicking on the links, I was hooked. This is certainly some great information and I saved much of it. Thank you!

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 15, 2013 at 6:01am

"The exact algorithm for reviews is not completely clear, but Google says the correlation between a higher number of reviews and higher relevance (sometimes ranking) on search engines is apparent in any search query yielding a local result, not to mention fresh content being crawled by robots." - Agreed and to be frank, they're never going to completely fill you in on what constitutes the exact correlation. It doesn't support their business model (selling ads). Obviously, if they're displaying a aggregate review score themselves, I would think their review system holds much more SERP magnitude than review shops like DealerRater, Edmunds, Yelp, Cars.com, etc. 

"Total reviews + Quality of Reviews = Better Google Ranking (simple version as there are other factors involved)" - I'm not so sure I understand this part of your article. If you're referring to how Google ranks a page (not a site, a page; groups tend to misunderstand that point -- discussion for another day), there are many, many factors being taken into consideration other than reviews, unless you are referring to Local listings alone.

This a big long list and a great reference that you've listed (I'm guessing most dealerships don't do most of this):

1. Physical Address in City of Search (PLACE PAGE)
2. Proper Category Associations (PLACE PAGE)
3. Proximity of Address to Centroid (PLACE PAGE)
4. Domain Authority of Website (WEBSITE)
5. Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators) (OFF-SITE)
6. City, State in Places Landing Page Title (WEBSITE)
7. Quantity of Native Google Places Reviews (w/text) (REVIEWS)
8. Quality/Authority of Structured Citations (OFF-SITE)
9. Local Area Code on Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
10. HTML NAP Matching Place Page NAP (WEBSITE)
11. Consistency of Structured Citations (OFF-SITE)
12. Individually Owner-verified Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
13. Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts) (OFF-SITE)
14. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
15. Product / Service Keyword in Business Title (PLACE PAGE)
16. Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains (OFF-SITE)
17. Quantity of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts) (OFF-SITE)
18. Product/Service Keywords in Reviews (REVIEWS)
19. Page Authority of Landing Page Specified in Places (WEBSITE)
20. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
21. Product / Service Keyword in Website URL (WEBSITE)
22. Location Keyword in Business Title (PLACE PAGE)
23. Quantity of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL from Locally-Relevant Domains (OFF-SITE)
24. Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews (REVIEWS)
25. Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
26. Location Keywords in Reviews (REVIEWS)
27. Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
28. Geographic Keyword in Website URL (WEBSITE)
29. NAP in hCard / Schema.org (WEBSITE)
30. GeoTagged Media Associated with Business (e.g. Panoramio, Flickr, YouTube) (OFF-SITE)
31. Velocity of Native Google Places Reviews (REVIEWS)
32. City, State in Most/All Website Title Tags (WEBSITE)
33. Quantity of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
34. Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Places Reviewers, etc) (REVIEWS)
35. Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
36. Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
37. Association of Photos with Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
38. Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
39. Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
40. City, State in Places Landing Page H1/H2 Tags (WEBSITE)
41. Product / Service Keyword in Place Page Description (PLACE PAGE)
42. Location Keyword in Place Page Description (PLACE PAGE)
43. Age of Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
44. Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
45. Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
46. High Numerical Ratings by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Places Reviewers, etc) (REVIEWS)
47. City, State in Most/All H1/H2 Tags (WEBSITE)
48. Diversity of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
49. Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party) (REVIEWS)
50. Quantity of Third-Party Unstructured Reviews (REVIEWS)
51. Product / Service Keywords in Place Page Custom Attributes (PLACE PAGE)
52. Quantity of Native Google Places Ratings (no text) (REVIEWS)
53. High Numerical Ratings of Place by Google Users (e.g. 4-5) (REVIEWS)
54. Number of Actions Taken by Searchers on a Place Page (e.g. Driving Directions, Mobile Phone Calls) (PLACE PAGE)
55. Numerical Percentage of Place Page Completeness (PLACE PAGE)
56. Marginal Category Associations (PLACE PAGE)
57. Number of +1′s on Website (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
58. Bulk Owner-verified Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
59. Matching Google Account Domain to Places Landing Page Domain (PLACE PAGE)
60. Velocity of New Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
61. Number of Adds/Shares on Google+ (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
62. Velocity of Third-Party Reviews (REVIEWS)
63. Click-Through Rate from Search Results (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
64. Authority of +1′s on Website (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
65. Association of Videos with Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
66. Velocity of New Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
67. KML File on Domain Name (WEBSITE)
68. Quantity of MyMaps References to Business (OFF-SITE)
69. High Numerical Third-Party Ratings (e.g. 4-5) (REVIEWS)
70. Velocity of Adds/Shares on Google+ (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
71. Loadtime of Places Landing Page (WEBSITE)
72. Popularity (# of Views) of MyMaps References to Business (OFF-SITE)
73. Authority of Adds/Shares on Google+ (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
74. Positive Sentiment in Reviews (REVIEWS)
75. Location Keywords in Place Page Custom Attributes (PLACE PAGE)
76. Matching, Public WHOIS Information (OFF-SITE)
77. Velocity of +1′s on Website (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
78. Volume of Check-Ins on Popular Services (e.g. Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter) (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
79. Number of Shares/Likes on Facebook (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
80. Number of Followers/Mentions on Twitter (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
81. Authority of Followers/Mentions on Twitter (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
82. High Numerical Rating of hReview/Schema Testimonials (WEBSITE)
83. Volume of Testimonials in hReview / Schema.org (WEBSITE)
84. Velocity of Check-Ins on Popular Services (e.g. Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter) (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
85. Volume of HTML Testimonials (WEBSITE)
86. Velocity of Followers/Mentions on Twitter (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
87. Velocity of Shares/Likes on Facebook (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
88. Inclusion of Offer on Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
89. Authority of Shares/Likes on Facebook (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
90. Participation in Adwords Express or Google Offers (OFF-SITE)

You hit on a point as well, market and re-market to your customer-base. Use a qualified CRM that allows you to do just that. Ask them for their reviews, it works!

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