Google is constantly evolving their algorithms and search engine focus, and 2012 was a year full of changes your dealership needed to be aware of.  Here are some of the major changes Google made this past year:

Increased Focus on Reputation & Trust

Google made algorithm changes to penalize sites that didn’t have credible and relevant content, design, and external links.  Over optimization became an issue, with Google recommending Webmasters focus on quality, relevant content that was regularly updated.

Algorithm Updates: Penguin and Panda

Penguin focused on penalizing websites with artificial external links, while Panda penalized sites for too much low-quality content. These updates were constantly being unrolled throughout the year; Panda had over 20 updates, and Penguin had over 10.  This shows that Google is not only updating their algorithms, but they are consistently fine tuning their updates to return the most accurate results to searchers.

Increased Communication

Typically, Google is pretty close-lipped about anything they do.  In 2012, however, they actually announced upcoming algorithm changes and sent messages to those sites with black hat webspam. This is a welcome change from years past where Google always kept Webmasters guessing.

Decreased Organic Search Listings per Page

As Google finds more ways to make money (Local Listings, Paid Search, etc), the amount of space on search results pages dedicated to organic listings keeps decreasing. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on the results in your area to make sure you’re still appearing where you want to.

If any of these were news to you, or you are unfamiliar with the updates, make sure you to talk your auto dealership website or SEO provider to help you understand and stay up to date with the world of search engine optimization.