2 Recent Automotive SEO Changes You Need to Know About

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Posted on by Meaghan StPeter
Categories: This Month in SEO, Uncategorized Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: SEO (search engine optimization) is constantly changing. And while it is an essential piece of a dealership’s marketing strategy, not everyone has time to keep up with the constant change. For me, though? Well, that’s my job. So, in an effort to keep everyone on the same page, I’ve put together this quick overview of two important automotive SEO changes from the last month that you need to know about.

#1 Helpful Content in the March Core Update

Google rolled out its quarterly core algorithm update in March, which was, yet again, focused on helpful content. This has been a focal point through the last few updates in an effort to continue weeding out low-quality content from the search engine results pages. This update, in particular, sent an uproar through the internet, with many websites receiving manual actions and seeing their rankings drop to zero, or non-existent, overnight. To be fair, Google did warn users about this, if not through the continued refinement of results, then through their pre-March-update promise to remove up to 40% of websites that only offer spammy, low-quality content from their results.

An important thing to note from this update is that Google considers mass-generated and AI-generated content to be of poor quality. A common find on dealer sites is a long list of landing pages, all with the same couple paragraphs of content and just a different geo. This type of content already wasn’t being looked at as high-quality by Google, but with the continued focus on offering only useful results, you could start seeing those pages being penalized. At its core, Google’s way of valuing content isn’t changing; they’re just continuing to refine results that meet those already-set quality standards.

So, first and foremost, if you or your vendor are creating––whether via human writers or AI––spammy content, stop. And if you’re unsure whether your content is high-quality or not, I highly suggest taking a look at Google’s Helpful Content Guidelines. Ignoring your poor, spammy, or AI-generated content will only do you a disservice as these updates continue to roll out and Google continues to refine results to offer only the highest-value content.

#2 A Goodbye to GA4 Conversions & A Hello to Key Events

Speaking of Google changes, in late March, the search engine eliminated the term “Conversions” from GA4. They are now calling these user actions “Key Events” in an apparent effort to better align the naming with Google Ads. While the actual data and measurement of such isn’t changing, this change in name does open dealers up to confusion and vulnerabilities.

The issues begin with the fact that the effort to align terminology is only causing misalignment. What is now being labeled as “Key Events” in GA4 is still being called “Conversions” in Google Ads. So now, the same thing is being recorded under two different names, and the one you see is dependent on the platform. I don’t know about you, but this seems like it’s more confusing.

At its core, though, the main issue is that by using the term “Key Events” for what we know as “Conversions,” a marketer can more easily add extras to what they’re showing you. “Conversions” have a specific definition that would have us all excluding more trivial movements on your site, such as a VDP view or even a Click-to-Call. But one could argue that the term “Key Event” is all-encompassing and use it as an excuse to include those extra user actions, inflating data to enhance your view of your site’s performance. 

In short, marketers may feel more comfortable including more, less important, metrics in their reports, which can give dealers a false sense of improvement. This change in nomenclature isn’t the end of the world, but it is something to be aware of as you are presented with or analyzing your data in the coming months.

It’s Been a Big Month for Automotive SEO

With a core algorithm update from Google and the switch from “Conversions” to “Key Events” in GA4, it’s safe to say that the past month was an eventful one. It’s adjustments and changes like these that keep the world of automotive SEO interesting. 

With that said, it can certainly be a challenge to keep up in this dynamic industry. So, if you have questions or concerns about any of these changes or other marketing-related topics, contact us at Wikimotive today. We are happy to answer any questions you have and make sure you’re up to date on all things dealership marketing.