At the end of 2021, Google released a broad core update that rewards websites with higher rankings who are giving their consumers better quality content for their search queries. So, how is that affecting your dealership websites?

Google’s broad core update is most likely going to drop your rankings, so you’ll need to consider a refresh of your site. But honestly, your dealer website has most likely required an update for a while. So, consider this a good thing. What you’ll need to do is ask yourself the following questions.

Is your content authentic?

It’s not unusual, and even highly recommended, that you do reviews of your vehicles for consumers to read. But, if these reviews are syndicated or copied from your OEM or other dealers, it’s not original to you. That’s going to drop your search ranking.

contentIs your content valuable for your users?

I was on a recent luxury off-road vehicle OEM website, attempting to read up about their models. What I found was fluffy, high-overview, and lacking in any valuable information. Consumers are looking for details, comparisons, and information that leads them to separate your vehicles from your competition. A lack of helpful content is going to lower your search rankings.

Is it unique?

This is going to be challenging with so many dealerships selling identical vehicles. And you may have to give this one up. However, it does provide you an opportunity to know what your consumer is looking for in your specific area. In addition, tailoring your content with local area names, events, experiences, and roads will improve search results.

Related: How to build valuable, digital content for your car-buying audience

Do your content titles reflect what is in the content, or are they misleading?

There’s nothing wrong with beginning content discussing engine performance and ending with a CTA of the importance of interior comfort. But bait and switch in content is as bad as bait and switch with car prices. Don’t sacrifice time-on-site rankings on the altar of getting people at any cost.

Does your written content follow standard grammar, style, and spelling rules?

For example, “Minimum Viable Product” is a term often used in putting up pages and content, but it still needs to follow good grammar and spelling.

Are you using content copied from other dealer or OEM websites?

Templates are standard, and it’s easy to use the OEM copy on your website. But unfortunately, this is going to hurt your search rankings.

Are pop-ups and pop-unders making it hard for users to read your content?

You should know by now that throwing a pop-up about the latest APR offer to a person landing on your homepage is a bad idea. If they’re looking for the latest offers, they’ll search for that and land on your offers page. And pop-unders are just as irritating to the consumer when they leave your site. Google is going to punish you for that practice now. Considering consumer behavior, no one likes a puppy dog salesperson following them around the dealership, and they don’t like pop-ups.

So don’t panic or hit the red alert button. Instead, just consider the recent Google Core Update a call to do best practices in content. And get a good content writer. They’ll help you out, and your customers will love you for providing the information they need.

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