How Google’s Website Ranking Factors Rank OEM Websites (Vs Freelance Sites)

How do you measure?


Google measures everything from your website’s page speed score to your SEO or best practices score. Why? Because from Google’s perspective, all of your website data feeds into their algorithm’s ability to rank you against your competitors.

Since understanding and manipulating data is the key to success online, it would be helpful for you to know the important ranking factors that Google uses to rank you.

Let’s take a look at Google’s website ranking factors and what each means:

  • Page speed score – Refers to how quickly a user is able to view and interact with content on your website.
  • Speed ​​index score – Is based on the average display time of the visible parts of the page.
  • SEO score – A calculation of the user interface and technical aspects of a website.
  • Accessibility rating – A technical review, or accessibility checkusers’ ability to access content and navigate a website.
  • Note of best practices – Based on an audit that checks common web development errors.

How We Rank Dealer Websites

We wrote a tool called SurgeRecon which we use to measure individual dealerships against their competition on a whole range of key performance indicators (in addition to Google ranking factors), but since I don’t know you or your dealer, let’s have fun and rank the OEMs against each other (since our tool can do that too). If, after reading this, you would like an evaluation, contact me here or call me at 954.507.6468.

A page speed score refers to how quickly a user can view and interact with content. There are a lot of things that go into this calculation, but this explanation is pretty close for the sake of simplicity. As you might guess, mobile site speed is MUCH more important than desktop speed because most people browse on the phone. More than 80% of car shoppers typically use their phones, while those in the Hispanic community typically top 90%.

A few weeks ago, we ran a SurgeRecon mobile site speed report for over 35,000 resellers, then broke the list down by OEM versus independent franchises. Remember: these are Google’s numbers, not ours. The results are not good, to put it mildly.

Looking at the chart below, you can see that GM had the worst speed score at 15.6 while the Independents came away with the best score.

Admittedly, this list does not include all OEMs since we took the liberty of removing OEMs that had a very small footprint. That said, when you look at the results, you see winners and losers (with Bentley as the top performing OEM and GM with the lowest score).

It’s not all bad news. Average OEM speed has improved over the past year. Last year, the average OEM site speed was around 13.

Interestingly, independent dealers are the fastest of the bunch. The average OEM speed is 25while the speed for Independents is twice as good at 51.3!

What causes this difference? Why does Google’s algorithm consider freelance sites to load twice as fast on mobile devices? If we had the time we would have run a third party review to see anything likely clogging site speed, but since we’ve run such reports before we can say that third party code is usually the cause of the speed issues as well as other load speed clogging elements such as sliders. We’ve also found that independents aren’t using as many third-party tools (especially OEM-mandated tracking and analytics tools), which improves their performance.

The big question is what can be done to minimize third-party tools on sites, especially when you consider that the more of them you have, the slower the loading speed. But I’ll leave that to another discussion in the future.

from google Speed ​​index score measures the speed of visual display of the content of a page. According to Google data, when the page load time increases from 1 second to 6 seconds, the probability of a bounce increases by more than 100%. Go to 10 seconds and you get 123%. I wrote a whole article about it a few years ago with David Kane and Tom Kline, and the data is as relevant today as it was then. Look at the graph below, we can see that OEM mobile websites take about twice as long to load as independent sites. Not good.

Despite the poor performance, however, there is good news in that load times have improved since we wrote our article 2 years ago. The average speed index at that time was over 13 seconds. There is hope…

Overall, the average technical SEO score is quite good for both groups. For the Independents, the average score was 87.4while for OEMs, the average score was 85.4.

Who was the highest and who was the lowest? Volvo luckily shot a score of 96.1. It’s completely respectable. BMW, on the other hand, scored a 82.1.

It’s not hard to figure out what might be hurting your SEO score. Usually, you’ll find a myriad of small tweaks that can fix performance issues. You can probably get this information from your provider, or if you read the next paragraph you will find out what you can do on your own. 😉

You can’t ignore Google no matter how badly you want to. Google plays an outsized role in our world, so we must abide by its rules as well as the rules of simple reality, especially when it comes to device performance for our websites. The data above shows us winners and losers in terms of website performance, but it should also give us hope, as we can identify what is hurting load times (for PageSpeed ​​and Index Scores ) and SEO performance. We have this data and you can too if you use simple Google tools such as Page speed information (Where Contact us to help).

That said, there is more to the story.

Rejoice here: Part 2 will be released next week!

Charles J. Kaplan