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MerchantCircle Syndicating Blog Posts For Free

One of the free business directory platforms that dealers can use to syndicate content, collect reviews, or include for Page One Defense is  I encourage all members of this community to claim and enhance their MerchantCircle free listing.  You do not need to pay for an upgraded account.


I received an interesting email today which caught my eye because a number of the clients in their "Automotive Newsletter" were ours and I saw that they were syndicating the blog content in the newsletter.  I just wanted to bring this up to members of this community because its another free bonus from this platform. 


Dealer blog posts can be syndicated for free in their various industry newsletter blasts.  Just though this was interesting and another reason to check the Automotive SEO benefits you can achieve from publishing content on


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Tags: building, content, link, merchantcircle, publishing, seo


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Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on July 7, 2011 at 4:08am

Brian...From your PDF titled: "Google Page One Management (GPOM) Strategies" (link at bottom of my post)

Page 4: (I added bold to words for emphasis)

"Identify the sites that are not “brand enhancing”: lead collection or advertising websites for example. A good GPOM strategy will push these lead collection websites off of Google Page One search results.
Paul Rushing, Automotive SEO Consultant, has stated many times that consumer review websites should not be allowed on Google Page One for searches on your business name. I have come to see the wisdom of this statement because your competitors can place Google Adwords on your own review page and draw customers away from your business.

Confused? Take a peek at your business listing on or and see the Google Adwords ads running. These advertising hotspots can be targeted by your competitors to run their ads and drain your brand’s equity."

Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on July 6, 2011 at 4:37am
When I was an ISM I got suckered into a lot of "free" things for which I blame no one except myself. My inexperience coupled with my eagerness to "get us out there". As I enhanced "free" listings, providing info that was not available to MC and others, I soon started seeing that MC and others had an easier shot at trading on our name. Providing expanded info for our bodyshop as an example, put valuable keywords on thier site. I agree with Keith wholeheartedly ...I have grown increasingly suspect of anything "free". Because cost is not readily seen or understood it does not mean it does not exist, it does!.... it may mean you have to look a little harder to find it. There will always be a trade off of some sort. Weighing the trade off is another matter. Some may choose to give MC legs with enhanced listings, considering it the lesser evil as compared to Edmonds and others. In my future, If someone is to appear on page one other than me it will not be because I helped them. I will do my best to understand the profit motive behind anything free (there will always be one) and then weigh the advantage(s) against it's cost. There are those now who will charge "small fees" for what they would gladly give away but somehow charging lends credibility ( a new state of the art printer for 29.95!...what they did not tell the consumer was they were gonna abuse them on the ink) If cost is not obvious, I resent having to look for it. Wouldn't it be great if dealers were presented with "...this is what you get "free".... and this is what is in it for me". It would save a lot of time.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 1, 2011 at 9:20am

As Keith and Scott point out, populating the first page of Google search results when a consumer searches for a dealer with sites that are controlled by that dealer, AND are free from outside or competitor advertising, is certainly desirable... However, Brian's original post pointed out "You do not need to pay for an upgraded account".


If a dealer is unwilling, or deems this form of digital marketing as unworthy of paying the fees for sites like PrestoReviews and other properties that are ad free via the dealer's direct payment of fees that support the site's business model, THEN publishing content at no cost to the dealership can appear very attractive (as brian points out).  However, there is nothing in this world of any value that is truly free (other than love, and even that seems to extract a toll), and so the ads that Keith showcased appear on another dealer's content because the payment for those ads supports MerchantCircle's business model.  


So, as these comments have shown, free content publication and distribution (as posted by Brian) is actually not free... It is paid for with advertising that COULD be from your competitor!


From my perspective, it is the blend of strong website assets that the dealership pays for and controls, such as PrestoReviews and the INTELLIGENT use of advertising support content publishing platforms, such as MerchantCircle, that can be blended to create the most effective overall mix of automotive marketing tactics. 

Comment by Keith Shetterly on July 1, 2011 at 9:14am
Brian, that's why I love you, 'mon.  :)  Write me if you want to pitch AAN to my dealer.
Comment by Brian Pasch on July 1, 2011 at 8:50am


I agree with you but there are dealers that have unique problems that they are unwilling to budget to fix them so I made that catchall statement.  I would much rather have strong WordPress microsites on Page One.

Comment by Brian Pasch on July 1, 2011 at 8:43am


As Ralph points out dealers should claim all public listings, to make sure that have syncronized data.  So whether you using MerchantCircle or not, every dealers has one, and it shows is Google search often enough that at least the data should be correct.


When you develop a SEO strategy, there are many places that create strong and relevant links back to a dealership website that have ads.  Press releases are notorious examples.


The links are important even if the pages are not viewed often.  So, you wouldn't use MC as a primary blog, but it can be part of a Google Places synchronization process and link building process.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on July 1, 2011 at 8:39am
You can see how I feel about this in a mix of other actions and options, here at ADM:
Comment by Scott Falcone on July 1, 2011 at 8:39am



I think that the statement ..."or include for Page One Defense..." may be advice that you should reconsider. IMHO the ONLY thing that should be on a dealer's Page One (meaning their primary Page One which is generated from a search for their name and or Name/GEO/Make) should be dealer owned/built properties. Anything else probably "leaks" as Keith pointed out in his screenshot and does not have the dealer's best interest at heart. Dealers will become more aware of this over time and demand more from their vendors controlling their digital footprint to make it happen.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on July 1, 2011 at 8:33am
Ralph, I'm just not going to support MC or any site I can avoid that has this practice--why would I burn cycles writing against ads, when I have other options?  Brian, for Page One Defense, MC is as big as we make it, "directory" or not.  Do we want it to become the next "AT of Reviews"?  Why would we do that, knowing how things developed with AT?  What if AT next buys DealerRater, what then?  If I'm missing something negative in the use of Presto Reviews, which we pay for as a safe-from-ads review environment, as a Page One Defense, somebody please let me know.  I'm rebuilding the digital presence of a dealership right now, and I'm going to first "digitally house keep" the properties that I know are ad-free.  I was considering AAN for just that reason, as well, and . . . well, this whole thread has thrown me for a loop on that one.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 1, 2011 at 8:14am

First and foremost, claiming your dealership's business listing on is just plain old "Digital Marketing Good Housekeeping" and should be on a dealer's checklist of tasks assigned to his/her Marketing Manager... In my opinion, this task, along with claiming other business directory listings is non-negotiable and must be done by all dealers (and all businesses of any kind) as part of getting your marketing communications house in order.  And, another tip... Do NOT use toll free tracking numbers that are not reverse directory listing shown as being OWNED by your dealership! (doh)


Whether or not a dealer publishes content to MerchantCircle, as Brian recommends is a valid question subject to debate on a number of bases, just as Keith points out.  From my perspective, having managed content creation and distribution for over 600 dealers at a time, I am not certain that I would choose to publish content on MerchantCircle instead of several other viable options, such as, Facebook Notes, a dealership sponsored Ning Network (same platform as ADM), or even on a blogging site such as Posterous or LiveJournal. 


What I believe would make more sense is to use MerchantCircle for Press Release publishing... But, only for Press Releases that would take advantage of the ads being placed by competitors within MerchantCircle... Such as a Press Release that speaks about Ron Carter CJD surpassing sales and customer satisfaction scores of their neighboring competitor, Don Davis Chevrolet... Or, anything else that would turn the tables around and use that competitors ads to draw attention to the content being published in an advantageous way.

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