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Annual announcements are nothing new for Google. If nothing else, Google rolls out new marketing elements, metrics and key performance indicators on a daily basis. If any company knows change, it’s Google. The Google algorithm changes approximately 500 to 600 times a year.
As SEO and SEM experts know, you have to test your assumptions when changes occur and redevelop strategies accordingly.

Historically, Google’s changes have involved three key concepts:

  • more relevance for today’s consumer
  • more clean-up of spammy activities
  • more money in Google’s pocket – aka financial changes

Late last year, Google made a change to Google Ads whereby the Ad Rank Score now calculates the speed of the target page and categorizes the user experience. It affects your online presence, your cost-per-click, and impacts cost since page speed is now a major ranking factor for mobile searches.

For stores that have deep linked VDP URL search campaigns—and who doesn’t? —for used cars, you should be wary of internet service providers that encourage you to take 49 photos of used cars. The corresponding impact of how quickly those pages load is key, and the more photos that exist on a single VDP can absolutely affect site speed.

Additionally, are you looking at page speed on a desktop with a Wi-Fi network? 70% of your website’s pages are visited through a mobile device. Slow-loading pages are like an invisible force field around your dealership ironically keeping customers out while driving your costs up.

The good news and bad news of it all is that your Ad Rank is recalculated each time your ad is eligible to appear. It’s a real-time, online auction.   Whether or not it’s ADESA, Barrett Jackson or Google, each car that runs down the lane will have bids that are affected by your competition, by the context of the consumer’s search, by the speed of your website’s pages, and by the relevance of those pages at that moment.

Keeping track of your mobile page score affects your advertising budget. Your Quality Score and loading speed on mobile devices make up your Ad Rank—a key to success in today’s retail automotive environment. 

 By: Jim Flint - Digital Dealer


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