How to Avoid a Google Penalty for Your Dealer Website
Nothing could be more frustrating for a blogger or marketer than to lose most of his site visitors all of a sudden. This unfortunate event happens regularly, usually when Google decides to roll out their algorithm update. This unforeseen event could have huge negative consequences for your dealer website, especially if you are not up to date with everything Google does.
Since Google rolled out its latest update in April 22, 2015, an update called “Mobilegeddon”, things have radically shifted into the favor of mobile-friendly sites. Here is a detailed list with Google’s algorithm change history https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change.
The Importance of Auto Dealer Marketing
Automotive marketing is paramount for your business, as it allows you to stay connected with your customers and offer them top-quality services at competitive prices. As an auto dealer, you want to set yourself apart from the competition and come with something new, groundbreaking that would help you break new ground in your niche.
In this struggle to come out on top, you need to implement certain marketing strategies, such as keeping your social pages up to date, using automate marketing to personalize your marketing campaigns, gathering feedback through online surveys, responding to online feedback, offering special promotions and creating compelling marketing videos that promote you as an authority in your niche. However, that’s not all you have to do. You also need to ensure you comply with all Google’s policies in order to avoid being penalized by the king of the online world.
In case you have been penalized by Google, here is how you can discover how serious the penalty was.
– Minor penalties: include losing one or two points in Page Rank, losing all Page Rank entirely or dropping in SERP rankings.
– Medium penalty: include a big drop in SERP rankings
– Severe penalty: could mean total removal from Google’s indexing algorithm.
You can avoid all of these penalties by following the tips listed below.
Mobile – The New Trend
The first thing you need to know about Google’s latest update revolves around the importance of mobile-friendly content. If your site is not mobile-friendly yet, you should not postpone this decision any more minute – hire someone experienced to design a responsive website for you. The more mobile friendly your website is, the more relevant it will be considered in your niche.
The truth is that mobile has overtaken desktop usage, as more and more people decide to access the Internet while on the go. In order to meet their demand, Google has decided to put more emphasis on mobile friendliness than ever before. Hence, they are now taking into account information from indexed apps when determining the ranking of a website.
For instance, if you have a car dealer app in the store and you promote it online, do not forget to connect it to your website and it will rank much higher in search engine rankings. Many people might even find you in Google through your app, which will be listed on the first search result page.
However, mobile is one part of the equation. There are many other aspects you need to take into consideration if you want to avoid a Google penalty for your dealer website. Here is all you need to avoid in order to thrive and be successful online.
No Link Farms
First of all, you need to make sure you have no link farms on your website. A link farm consists of more links placed on a webpage with a sole purpose – to increase your page rank. Most of these links would link to entirely unrelated websites, which probably have a higher Page Rank than your website, but are not in the car dealership niche.
Additionally, a site with too many links from various sources could make Google believe that most of these links are not authoritative and not useful for users, but made mostly for SEO purposes. If Google detects that, they won’t hesitate to penalize you. In a nutshell, avoid link farms and avoid having too many links from websites in other niches. Play it safe and Google will definitely reward you.
No Hidden Text
Hidden text is another black hat SEO method to promote a website. Since Google discovered it last year, thousands of car dealer websites were penalized. Hidden text is those keywords written in the same color of the page, which can only be seen by Google’s robots. Make sure you don’t have hidden text on your site, especially if you allow users to add their own content on your indexed pages. You can also use the NO FOLLOW or NO INDEX tags, but I strongly recommend using software that detects hidden text. Read this article for more precious information about hidden text: http://www.seobythesea.com/2013/03/google-invisible-text-hidden-links/.
No Automated Software for Site Submission
There are many tools available online that offer automated article submission for directories and high PR sites. The issue here is that this is a black hat SEO technique that manipulates ranking results. Hence, try to submit your site to directories manually. Google will notice that and won’t penalize you.
Avoid Duplicate Content
Google’s latest update can easily identify duplicate content and penalize you accordingly. If you’ve copied your content from other websites or you just used a spinner to get a new article, go and remove that article as soon as possible. Google will penalize you drastically if they find out you have duplicate content on your website. In order to ensure your website has only unique content, you can check it with an online tool. The best one I can think of is Copyscape.
Take Care when Guest Posting
Even though guest posting is highly recommended, it is important to do it the right way. Hence, avoid having too many links from only one source. Moreover, make sure you have less than 20% links for your guest posts. Internal links are more important here than external links. When guest posting, try to use contextual links instead, as they are up to 10 times more powerful when it comes to ranking power than author bio links. To learn more about contextual links, click here: http://www.highervisibility.com/top-10-advantages-of-contextual-link-building-for-seo/.
In Google’s eyes, being relevant is the new main Page Rank factor. Ensure you have only relevant, authority links on your website. Moreover, use as many LSI keywords as possible. Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. For instance, instead of using the “best car dealer” term over and over again, you can use several LSI terms such as top car dealer, local car dealers, professional automotive dealer, and the list goes on.
Build your Brand
In order to avoid a Google penalty, make sure you promote your brand accordingly. Add a physical address, a phone number, and ensure your business has a brand of its own. Additionally, gain more trust from your customers by getting links from sites that have .gov and .edu links and by linking to websites with .edu and .gov.
Lastly, avoid fake social accounts and gain your visitors’ trust by taking advantage of Google’s authorship markup. Here is all you have to know about Google authorship: http://searchengineland.com/the-definitive-guide-to-google-authorship-markup-123218.