Neural Matching fuels Google Bedlam Update

Neural Matching fuels Google Bedlam Update 

Google uses sophisticated algorithms to generate search engine results and to reduce the impact of artificially manipulating those rankings. It regularly refines its algorithms with thoughtful, advanced updates. In November 2019, Google made its most recent major algorithm update, which has been called the Bedlam update by many people. Specifically, the update incorporates neural matching into the existing Google algorithms. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your SEO campaign, you must understand what this update is and how it impacts you. 

Understanding Neural Matching

Neural matching sounds like a sophisticated concept, and its inner workings are complicated. However, at the base level, it simply means that Google is using artificial intelligence to match words with more complex concepts. Google actually started using neural matching in 2018 as a type of advanced synonym recognition system. Most recently, this has been incorporated in more detailed fashion for local searches. Google states that neural matching has now gained increased priority in search engine rankings in an effort to provide more relevant search results to users. 

One of the many advanced benefits that neural matching may have on local businesses is found in business names. For businesses with a name that is not keyword-friendly, neural matching now can identify synonyms or relevant search terms that can potentially boost the business’s website ranking organically. On the other hand, for businesses that have a keyword-friendly name, the specific words in the name may have less impact on search results than they once did. 

Exploring the Impact on Your Marketing Campaign

As is the case with many other Google algorithm updates, businesses and online marketers have been scrambling to understand the update and to make adjustments that work in their favor. This advanced algorithmic update has posed a significant challenge due to the fact that results have been seemingly random since the update rolled out. Adding to the complexity of the situation is the fact that Google is regularly releasing smaller updates as a means to further refine its processes and to improve the user experience. 

Because neural matching is directly based on artificial intelligence, one reason for seemingly random and sporadic results may be because the system is learning rapidly and making adjustments as it goes. This fluctuation is significant, and some sources have reported that it is up by as much as 24 percent over a 3-month period that ended in December 2019. 

Neural Matching fuels Google Bedlam Update

Making Smart Adjustments to Your SEO Campaign

Car dealerships today are heavily reliant on online marketing campaigns that utilize effective search engine optimization strategies. With this in mind, your business may have already been impacted by the recent changes to Google algorithms. Looking forward, you need to know how to adjust your marketing efforts to minimize the negative effects that this change has had and to maximize the positive possibilities available. Given the incredible volatility in search engine results currently, the most thoughtful approach may be to continue to apply smart SEO strategies that have proven to be effective up to this point. Over the next few weeks or months, Google may continue to refine its neural matching efforts, and artificial intelligence may more effectively learn how to rank websites based on relevance to local users. 

Search engine optimization and online marketing have consistently been changing landscapes for dealerships and other local businesses. Efforts that were once effective many years ago may not result in penalization and a drop in rankings. This particular algorithmic update requires more detailed research, observation and analysis before it will be clear if and how online marketing campaigns need to be changed to maximize results. 

At Customer Scout, our SEO experts have been actively monitoring the impacts of the neural matching update. We have the expertise to identify changes that need to be made to our clients’ marketing campaign so that they achieve and maintain high rankings. With our specialization in car dealership SEO, we are the marketing team that you want working for you. To learn more about neural matching and to request a demo of our services, contact Customer Scout today.

How will Google BERT change automotive marketing

How will Google BERT change automotive search results

Google BERT and Automotive Marketing - Customer Scout

Google announced BERT—Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformers. BERT is a change to the manner in which Google processes user search queries, and in the following, Customer Scout will look at how this new approach affects car dealers and other local businesses.

What the Automotive industry needs to know about BERT?

Google BERT is an artificial intelligence that seeks to understand the relationships between the elements a search query comprises. In other words, Google aims to provide better results from search queries phrased in more natural language. Google deems it to be the biggest leap forward in the history of the search engine and estimates that will affect at least 10 percent of the queries it processes.

What Is Google’s Goal With BERT?

Conversational search queries have become more prevalent as more people use voice searches through various smart devices. A text search query might look something like “car dealers San Jose,” but the person speaking to his or her Google Home is more inclined to ask something like “which car dealers near me sell certified pre-owned vehicles.” But even natural language is sometimes broken in nature, which means that Google BERT must be able to make presumptions based on context. Concepts and context are integral to what BERT does, which is put less onus on the user to create a perfect query.

What Is the Impact for Auto dealerships?

At this point, it is not possible for Customer Scout or anyone else to say with any certainty what the impact will be on local business—or online businesses for that matter. BERT will certainly be in effect for searches that return local pack results, but it is at this point unclear if SEO strategy changes are needed.

How Will BERT Affect Local Auto Dealership Rankings?

This is perhaps the more interesting question. It will certainly affect tracked local rankings. But how so? One manner in which an immediate impact has been felt is ranking based on short-tail keywords. The effect on long-tail keywords has not been so immediate, but that likely reflects how professionals use SEO ranking tools. The affects on natural language will become more apparent over time.

Consider it this way. If you already have useful content that is rich with the appropriate keywords, that cream will already be rising to the top more often. But there will be long-term benefits to BERT as well, and the impressions, click-throughs and backlinks should not only increase but be more organic in nature as we move forward. This will certainly affect your complete search profile in a positive way and, in doing so, eventually improve your tracked local rankings as well.

Of course, there is the possibility that your competitors experience traffic that is more organic but you do not. In that case, it is possible that your rankings drop. The different should not be significant, but every bit is valuable, and thus, your focus turns to optimizing existing and future content to rank better.

Is It Possible to Optimize for BERT?

Optimize content specifically to score well with Google BERT and thus improve your tracked local rankings. The reason for this is that optimizing for tightly manicured search terms is simple but optimizing for natural questions is much more complex.  You can just do what has always been effective when it comes to search engine optimization: create compelling content. Contact Customer Scout to increase your SEO and digital marketing effort.

Upcoming Automotive SEO Trends in 2020

Upcoming Automotive SEO Trends in 2020



Your automotive dealership relies heavily on online marketing to drive sales and to define its brand image. Simply creating online content is not an effective way to get the recognition that your auto business needs today. Content must be written specifically with effective SEO strategies in mind. This is a constantly changing landscape, so it is important to look forward in order to see what trends will influence your online marketing efforts in the coming year.

The Increased Prevalence of Snippets – SEO

According to Google, almost 55 percent of clicks from search engine results are driven by snippets. These are short answers to common questions. Google determines which snippets it will show based on a website’s relevance and authority, so your automotive business’s ability to have this coveted position can pay dividends.

Voice-Based Searches – 2020 SEO Factors

Approximately half of all search engine queries will be voice-based within the next year. This means that localized searches as well as long-tail keywords will become increasingly important to an auto dealership’s campaigns. Your search engine optimization strategy should take this trend into account in order to maximize search engine rankings and increase online exposure.

Improved Algorithms for Relevance, Distance and Prominence l SEO

If your online marketing strategy is based on buying reviews or comments, you may be wasting your money. Search engines are actively improving algorithms that weed these factors out of the equation and that focus on products or services in the local area that are legitimately based on customer satisfaction and relevance. With this in mind, it may make sense to focus on improving your customer satisfaction rating strategically rather than inflating your image artificially.

Continued Popularity of Videos – 2020

Live TV has been falling out of grace for years as consumers transition to online videos, and this is expected to continue. Many consumers would also rather watch videos to get information rather than to read reviews, blogs and more. However, SEO is essential when posting videos in order to improve their visibility with search engine results. For example, the video’s headline and description should be written around well-chosen keywords. Importance of Dwell Time and Click-Through Rates

Search engine algorithms take into account how many people click on your link and how long people spend on the page. This information is increasingly used by search engines to determine relevancy. Therefore, ensuring that your landing pages provide truly useful information and are well-designed with user-friendliness in mind are essential components of an online marketing campaign for your auto dealership.

Relevance of a Mobile Interface

Among consumers who are searching for local content online, 88 percent will use a smartphone. Google uses a mobile index rating to determine how user-friendly and relevant your mobile interface is. This is separate from other algorithms and metrics used for the desktop platforms. To benefit from superior mobile rankings, your mobile interface must be well-designed and feature useful information related to searches. This information should be easy to see because many users will not scour a website to find the information that they are looking for. Instead, they may quickly click off of a website in search of a website that offers the information readily.

New Engagement Metrics

Google is now taking into account how engaged consumers are with your business or website. For example, Google may analyze how many users look for your business’s location using Google Maps. It may also analyze how many users have saved your business’s phone number in their smartphone’s contact list. Metrics are also pulled from Gmail, Google Assistant, Chrome and other sources to gauge engagement.

User-Centric Content

Online content should be designed around a comprehensive SEO strategy, but it also should be written with users in mind. Content must help readers in some way, but it should not be overly salesy. Consumers are often inclined to block out information that has a strong sales-oriented slant. Instead, they frequently look for content that is delivered in an unbiased way. Keep in mind that longer content is often filled with more useful information to the consumer. In addition, longer content may increase dwell time. When longer, relevant articles or content is posted regularly, Google may reward your website with a higher ranking.

Keeping up with the changing trends in search engine optimization and online marketing is time-consuming and confusing at times. However, this is an area where your auto dealership must excel in order to thrive. Customer Scout provides effective search engine optimization services that are specifically customized to meet the unique needs of car dealerships. To learn more about our services, contact Customer Scout today.