Automotive SEO content provided by the industry CMS providers has bothered me for years. It became especially bothersome this year when the company I work for changed the CMS for 2 websites. So I was happy to get an email letting me know about a recent short little article – 5 Ways SEO Writing is Backfiring on Your Website.
I think the author of this short article, Timothy Martell, was being kind. When referring to duplicate content he states, “In the automotive industry, this practice is still common, especially among out-of-touch and out-of-date website providers.” I would have to say that the practice is no just still common, but rather that it is rampant and and the industry website providers are atrociously out-of-date.
But it’s not just the website providers. The automotive industry SEO companies do the exact same thing. (But I guess when the SEO companies are the CMS companies that is bound to happen.)
I took a random string of text from one of these CMS provided pages and did an exact match search in Google. The results – “About 1,710 results (0.89 seconds).” Do this across multiple pages of any one auto dealer website and we have a major problem.
Another HUGE point that Timothy brings up is the “keyword stuffing” being used by these same companies. Can you honestly tell me that this content is valuable to the customer/reader – “If you are looking for a [car make] [car part], [dealership] has a complete line of [car make] [car make] [car part] for almost every model at their [car make] dealership in [dealers city] also serving the [another city] and [another city] areas.” This is clearly not difficult to identify as spammy content. For some difficult examples take this little test on the New York Times website – http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/algorithm-human-quiz.html. If Google can figure out the difference in this stuff than the automotive industry has no chance in passing the algorithm.
So what’s the solution? If you are the Internet Marketing Director/Manager for an auto dealership or dealer group there is no doubt you’ve had difficulty getting a budget for content. But that is exactly what you need. Re-writing content for hundreds of pages of a website is a daunting task while also trying to create new content and keep up with the other marketing tasks. As a Marketing Director I do create a lot of the content on our websites but we are lucky enough to have several colleges in the area where I can hire great writers for reasonable rates.
Note – for anyone who may consider an article spinner, I’ve tried a few and they don’t work. The automotive terminology is unique and the paragraphs a spinner creates is humorous.