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Google’s New Rules for Winning at SEO

"The Rules Have Changed" written on a chalkboard

SEO is a long-term strategy for driving traffic. It’s not the impatient marketer’s game. Gaining authority and showing up at the top of search results can take years of hard work. But the rules are changing, according to a recent article on Here’s what dealers and marketers should know about the new rules of SEO.

1. Focus Less on Backlinks: Dynamic Content is King

For a long time, backlinks were virtual gold in SEO lingo. There are even whole companies dedicated to earning backlinks for businesses. But Google has caught on to the less-than-honest methods some marketers have used for scoring these links, and now they carry much less weight. In other words, backlinks should no longer be the primary focus of your SEO team.

Instead, dynamic content now plays a huge role in your ranking. Here’s what the Forbes article has to say:

“Now Google’s algorithm focuses more on the richness of your content, much like Instagram. This means the worth, depth, and differentiation of your content are more important than the sites that link to you. Things like the use of images with alt tags, visual aesthetics and depth of writing are all measured by the algorithm and can set you apart. So make sure to include keywords, along with images and video. Think of your new SEO-rich blog posts more like infographics and less like essays or articles.” – Jonathan Maxim (Forbes)

2. Think of SEO as a Long-term Investment

When comparing SEO with search ads, one guarantees quicker results than the other. Ads will shoot you to the top of the search page, but they disappear as soon as you stop paying. SEO, on the other hand, can last forever. And the longer you have your domain, the more authority you gain. Therefore, SEO provides a continual return long after you make your initial investment in creating the content.

Related: The Relationship Between SEO and PPC + How They Benefit One Another

3. SEO and Ads Go Hand-in-Hand

Yes – we did just say SEO can be a better long-term investment than search ads. But that’s only if you’re examining each in isolation. To get the most return from search marketing, you should allow SEO and ads to complement one another. High-ranking webpages give you organic reach and help increase your brand awareness among potential customers searching online for answers. Ads have the advantage of grabbing your customers’ attention, allowing you to retarget them with specific offers. Thanks to SEO, these customers have already been exposed to your brand and will be more receptive to your ad’s message.

Some parts of the SEO puzzle are definitely changing for 2020. Backlinks may be out, but content will always be number one. Keep focusing on creating quality, helpful material, and Google will reward you when it comes to rankings.

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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