Colleen Harris
| 05/04/2017

The Three Big Google Changes You Need to Know About

There’s so much going on in the search world, it’s hard to keep track of which update was released and how each one impacts your dealership. We’ve gathered and recapped the most important recent local search updates you need to know about.

1. Proximity Matters

Each year, Moz, a Seattle-based analytics company, looks at factors impacting local search. In their 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors survey released last month, they revealed a new number one factor for local search results: Proximity of Address to the Point of Search. Simply put, that means that search placement is driven by how physically close the person searching is to the location more than any other factor. In the spirit of taking advantage of more personalized search results, Google has begun customizing the “local pack” based on location. For a dealership, this means a well-optimized Google My Business Listing is more important than ever so you’re ready whenever that initial search takes place. In fact, 50 percent of customers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day —all the more reason to ready your SEO.

2. Stars Make the Difference

It’s been thought that the online reputation of a dealership can make or break a sale, and now we have data to back that theory up. Bright Local released a new study looking at the impact a business star rating on Google has on customers’ engagement. They found that stars really made a difference; a business that increased their Google star rating from a three to a five saw an increased click-through to their business listing. On the other hand, businesses with one or two stars got fewer clicks than a business with no stars. Your dealership star rating on Google is either bringing in customers or driving them away. Hone in on a reputation management strategy that asks customers for reviews – and more so, asks for reviews on Google.  


3. Answers in the Results

We first saw Google’s “Rank Brain” impact the automotive world by putting a dealership’s hours directly into the search results. Google has decided to take that one step further by adding business information. Now, when a customer searches for your phone number, the information appears on the top of the screen. On mobile, the link is clickable, allowing for click to call. With “search interest in dealer phone numbers up over 78 percent in the past year” this layout is going to be what Google will serve up to your shoppers. Similar layouts are now served up for address and review searches. These answer boxes in the search results show just how important it is to have someone paying attention to how your dealership looks in Google. Google makes changes all the time, and if you don’t stay on top of them, your business could suffer. These three changes are the most important recent changes, but if you want to be sure your online presence is keeping pace, take advantage of CDK PowerSEO or any of our various experts to help your SEO strategy thrive.

Colleen Harris
Colleen Harris

Colleen Harris is a Product Manager for Business Intelligence at CDK Global and has more than 13 years of digital marketing experience in the automotive, healthcare and entertainment industries. She brings a passion for link building and content creation, and has been referred to here at CDK as the “Google Whisperer." Outside of CDK, Colleen has volunteered as a digital consultant for non-profits in the Seattle area.