The world of SEO and online marketing continues to change overnight. This requires businesses of all types including those operating in the automotive sector to keep up with the latest trends and strategies for ranking better on Google. By implementing new changes in your coding, you can help in improving the functionality, responsiveness, and user-friendliness of your automobile site. This enables car-enthusiasts and lovers to find your site easily and buy/sell vehicles or schedule maintenance/repairing.

If you fail to keep up with the newest trends, you may fall behind the competition and suffer a decrease in rankings on SERPs. Bear in mind that each of Google’s algorithm and search quality guidelines can make a huge difference in how your automotive site is presented to customers and viewers. Have you been working on improving your automotive SEO? If so, then it is imperative that you gain knowledge about the latest changes Google has introduced from the beginning of 2016. These include:

Updated Search Quality Rating Guidelines

At the end of March, Google had declared updating its search quality rating guidelines. Although the original release of the document was in November 2015, the updated version was published only a few months ago. According to these updated search quality-rating guidelines, strong emphasis is now being placed on mobile optimization and local targeting and SEO. There is also a de-emphasis of Supplementary Content. You can download the complete document released by Google here.

In light of these new changes in search quality ratings, automotive websites must focus on creating mobile-friendly websites for better ranking. Additionally, rather than focusing on SEO, you must focus on the local targeting aspects of the site. This can be done by claiming your profile in business listings, working on your local keyword strategy, and receiving quality inbound links from reputable businesses that come under your area, city, or town.

Warnings for Non-Mobile-Friendly Site Owners

At the start of April, Google had revealed that they would be issuing warnings to webmasters and business owners, if their websites are not optimized for mobile. These warnings are shown directly to the site owner in mobile search results, but eventually users and viewers will notice the warning too. For instance, if they perform a search on Google and gain multiple website listings, those that don’t support mobile will be displaying a message “Page is not mobile-friendly”.

This can prove incredibly harmful to the status and reputation of your automotive site, as majority of users and viewers nowadays check out websites from their mobile. In fact, mobile traffic has increased more than desktop traffic over the last 2 years. This just shows the importance of creating a mobile-optimized version of your automotive site. If you fail to do so, you could be missing out on targeting a whole market of prospective customers who would want to buy/sell a vehicle from you or acquire your maintenance/repairing services.

Toolbar PageRank Switched Off

A few months ago, Google declared that it would be switching off its Toolbar PageRank from the browser. This means, any browser or tool you used for obtaining page-ranking data from Google for your automotive site won’t work anymore. Yes, the tool did come in handy for measuring the quality of your automotive website and initially even built up the search engine’s reputation for being better and smarter than Ask.com, MSN Search, and Yahoo – but it resulted in Google’s results becoming a big mess.

Website owners began to receive multiple emails, spam comments on blogs, and various other errors. Therefore, a decision was made to switch off the PageRank feature completely. It does still operate internally with Google’s ranking algorithm though. To keep up with this drastic change nevertheless, automotive websites must find an alternative third-party PageRank tool for monitoring and improving their website’s SERPs on Google.

Search Console PageSpeed Notifications

In order to help businesses improve their navigation, responsiveness, and page speed, Google is now sending out notifications in Search Console for PageSpeed tips. Website owners will receive a message from Google for updating the version of Page Speed. The message reads – “Google has detected that your site is currently running PageSpeed < 1.9.32.14 or < 1.10.33.7, an older version of PageSpeed. Outdated or unpatched software can be vulnerable to hacking and malware exploits that harm potential visitors to your site. Therefore, we suggest you update the software on your site as soon as possible”.

This message isn’t hard to interpret and really proves to be a no-brainer. In order to boost the chances of your automotive site-ranking better on SERPs, consider updating the version of PageSpeed you are running. This will not only improve your speed, but also enhance security against malware, hacks, and viruses that could potentially harm your site. By updating your PageSpeed, you will notice a significant improvement in response times, navigation, and scrolling.

Google Panda Becomes Part of the Core Algorithm

First released in February 2011, the Panda algorithm of Google is responsible for stopping sites with poor quality and content from working their way into the top search engine results. The algorithm is updated after every few months. It features its own set of rules and policies that can guide you in improving your automotive sites. Google has now confirmed that the Panda algorithm is officially part of its core ranking strategy.

This means, the low quality sites or “thin sites” in particular won’t be able to get anywhere close in the first or second pages of Google, unless they deliver quality and strong content. It’s a survival of the fittest for those operating in automotive business. Keep this algorithm’s specifics in strict focus and alignment of your automotive SEO strategy for ensuring that you site boasts high quality and ranks in the top of search results.

If you are planning to take your automotive website to the next level, make sure to understand these latest changes mentioned above and try your best in implementing new ways to strengthen your SEO strategy. This can make all the difference between a site that ranks well and one that does not.