Dan Patrick is the Digital Media Group Manager at Dealer Product Services. He also served as a SEO Analyst and Copywriter at Walgreens, CouponCabin, and LocalLaunch! Prior to his career in Search Engine Optimization, Dan was an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist in the Chicagoland area. In his personal life, Dan is a major automotive enthusiast, having attended major events including the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and the Indianapolis 500. Thus far, he has attended major events for Indycar, NASCAR, NHRA, TUSCC, ALMS, GRAND-AM, TRANS-AM, and more.

Google Declares War on Link Building

Link Building Can Do More Harm Than Good

In the last few days, there’s been some earth-shaking developments in the SEO world. Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, announced that link building, one of the cornerstones of a solid Search Engine Optimization campaign since the beginning of the field, can do more harm to your site’s health than good.

That’s like Ford suddenly declaring that your Mustang’s oil no longer needs changing because “it can do more harm than good to your car.” Continue reading Google Declares War on Link Building

How to Properly Format a robots.txt File

How to Write a robots.txt File

There’s been a metamorphosis in Search Engine Optimization over the past few years. We’ve gone from keywords to content and from rankings to traffic, however, among all the changes, some things remain the same. You just can’t forget the basics, like how to write a good robots.txt file. Since this is such an essential element to a website, they can completely block your site from the Search Engine Results Pages of both Google and Bing if written improperly. If this doesn’t sound very appealing, you must learn how to properly format a robots.txt file in order to avoid crippling your site’s traffic.

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Welcome to the Jungle – Volume 4 – “Grease Monkey Evolution”

Entering The Jungle ArticleIf someone was to ask me at the beginning of the year where I would be in six months, I wouldn’t have had an answer for them at that point. I simply didn’t know. Then in March, I found myself being offered an awesome position on the SEM/SEO/Social Team here at DPS. At that time, my knowledge was very basic. After the first couple of days in the department, I could see it was a very fast-paced, analytical and collaborative environment. I had a lot of learning to do in order to keep up with the team but I was, without a doubt, up for the challenge.

Fast forward to today, the opportunity to be involved in each area of the department has been quite rewarding and has been something that I enjoy each and every day. While it was difficult at first to grasp the multiple strategies and concepts of SEM and Social in particular, it has started to become second nature. Every day is different and being able to spread around to the different areas within the industry helps me maintain a high excitement level, day in and day out.

Continue reading Welcome to the Jungle – Volume 4 – “Grease Monkey Evolution”

Google Pigeon Update seeks to reward companies for excellent local search

Google Pidgeon Update
Google’s newest update promises better local search results for the average user – and more headaches for bad SEOs

For the last few years, Google has made a real effort to optimize the experience for each and every searcher. In the SEO industry, if you haven’t been tracking rankings in specific geographic areas, you have been woefully behind the times.  Google created yet another big update during the past weekend – this one nicknamed “Pigeon”.

While the “Pigeon” name didn’t officially come from Google, instead, it came from Search Engine Land, it stuck in a major way among SEOs because of its emphasis on local search rankings as well as pigeons’ tendency to ‘fly back home.’

Continue reading Google Pigeon Update seeks to reward companies for excellent local search

Lessons from SMX Advanced Day Two

SMX Day 2

How natural speech tech and content can make or break you, and how to properly assign credit in automotive search engine marketing

While SMX Advanced Seattle Day One was filled with useful SEO, PPC and Social Media nuggets, the second day of the digital marketing conference had a bit of a slower pace, but still plenty of lessons for both the novice and veteran search engine marketer. The biggest takeaways were, again, that natural speech is coming and quality is better than quantity in content. While these two ideas were already set in stone prior to SMX, the conference further reinforced these ideals.

Continue reading Lessons from SMX Advanced Day Two

Lessons from SMX Advanced Day One

Day 1How content and another barrage of Google updates have changed the game for Automotive Search Marketers

SMX Advanced is now behind us and digital marketers have finally landed back at home to digest all of the great information gleaned from the conference. Within the SEO industry, content creation has become a major part of what we do. For the good ones, it’s become second nature. If it hasn’t, you’re no longer an SEO, or, at least you will be soon looking for a new job. As a result, this year’s SMX Advanced Seattle based a huge majority of its presentations around Content Marketing and how to properly create and execute Content Marketing strategies.

Continue reading Lessons from SMX Advanced Day One

Welcome to the Jungle – Volume 2 – “Swinging Through the Vines”

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It is hard to believe that almost two months have gone by since I started this new, but exciting, journey into the world of Search Engine Marketing. In the beginning, things seemed overwhelming. Continuous observation, insights, training, and the patience of the seasoned vets I call my colleagues, has helped me progress at a rather fast pace. Beginner’s anxiety has now faded away which has made taking deeper dives that much easier.

At first, I wasn’t particularly thrilled when I was told I would be the ‘Toyota Prius” of the department. Nothing against the Prius – it’s a great car for what it does – it’s just not quite my style. But what I was thrilled about was the fact that I would be a “hybrid” – able to work with, and contribute to SEO, Social Media and SEM teams. I knew I had a lot to learn and the most important thing was getting down to business right away.
Continue reading Welcome to the Jungle – Volume 2 – “Swinging Through the Vines”

Create SEO content for users, not search engines in 2014

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There was a great quote buried in a mundane SEO article almost two years ago – ancient history in our industry – that still rings true today. Now, I would modify this statement by taking out “SEO” and replace that acronym with “Search Engines” in general.

Google and Bing have finally reached a point where they are so sophisticated that all trickery has effectively been taken out of the SEO playbook. Now, as SEOs, we can finally exhale!
Continue reading Create SEO content for users, not search engines in 2014

Conquering the mysterious Google Knowledge Graph

Why Knowledge Graph logos need a mix of patience and a willingness to embrace your Google+ page

Each time a potential client asks our one of our Social Media staff about the Knowledge Graph, it reminds me of a cartoon I saw in a recent Search Engine Journal Facebook post. It shows Google as the vengeful father of the shunned Social Media platform Google+, determined to make the world love his son. The cartoon is utterly hilarious for people within the SEO industry.

Search Engine Land CartoonWhy? Well, the Google Knowledge Graph pulls much of its information directly from the Google+ page. That’s right, Google+ – not Facebook, not Twitter, not Instagram, and definitely not Snapchat. Google is not pulling these photos and posts from the social media properties that most businesses mainly use.
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