Dealer websites will be pushed down Google's organic search rankings if not well prepared for the technology giant's latest algorithm update.
Reg Rix, managing director of Netcars.com, said the latest algorithm Google Panda 2.5.2 penalises websites that have a lot of pages with what it categorises as low quality content or duplicate content from other websites.
Rix said: “For dealer sites which heavily rely on Google traffic, disappearing from the first two results pages (the point when 99% of searchers give up) can spell serious disaster.
“Although dealers which have heavily invested in search engine optimisation (SEO) may not see a huge effect from the update, some may have seen a significant drop in organic traffic. The good news is that it’s not too late for those willing to follow a few simple steps.”
Rix is advising dealers to complete a monthly website health check to cut back on site errors such as duplicated pages and navigational issues.
He said: “Dealers should permanently re-direct any pages which are weak and add no value to the parent category page or simply increase the uniqueness of each page with images, videos and useful data.
“Freshly updated content is essential to add real value to a dealer’s website. Any content added should be unique and not copied from existing sites. A useful, information-rich site, with clearly written pages and accurate descriptions will impact positively on SEO rankings.”
Dealers should also make sure Google can read and index content from their website. There are free tools available like Google Webmaster which can be used to identify errors in a website. The tool can detail any information it had difficulty searching, the type of problem and the page or pages on which the error was found.