Google is continually making small changes to their search engine to help improve results and overall consumer experience.
Some changes are minor, but others can send waves through various sectors, including auto retailing.
One of the biggest waves in recent memory arrived recently and immediately got the attention of third-party shopping sites such as Autotrader, Cars.com, and Kelley Blue Book. The sites say Google's algorithm adjustment immediately affected the rankings of free listings that appear below paid search ads.
And the sites soon discovered that they benefited from the changes. Their search traffic rose.
What exactly did Google's "March 2019 Core Update" do? The sites don't know, but they're happy to reap the benefits.
The episode highlights how digital marketers have to keep pace in a world where the playing field can change at any time, sometimes without warning or explanation. Google normally doesn't announce algorithm updates, but it did so after the March 12 changes.
"No one knows in the industry what it was looking for, what it was impacting," David Greene, Cars.com's director of search engine optimization, told Automotive News. "The only thing Google tells us is that broad algorithm updates focus on the user. Multiple industries have been impacted."
Read more here