Marketing Mojo Restores Top Google Rankings for Mazda

Mazda SEO case study

Overview

For Mazda, changes in site architecture and search engine algorithms had a decimating effect on rankings for their dealer location pages. The issue was four-fold:

  • The pages for each of Mazda’s dealer locations could only be accessed via a dealer locator search on their website, where visitors could type in a zip code to find their nearest locations. However, Google’s search engine robot cannot fill out forms, so it was unable to type a zip code to access that information and index it.
  • A directory of dealer locations was then developed as a path that search engines could use to find the dealer pages. However, the directory structure could only be accessed from one link on the site, deep in the sitemap page, and was four clicks away from the homepage. As a result, Google’s Mayday update in 2010 impacted the indexability of the store locations because the directory structure was too far removed from the home page.
  • Mazda also used JavaScript to dynamically pull the addresses, phone numbers and dealer names from a database and put that content on the dealer location pages. Search engines were not able to read this JavaScript content.
  • Mazda also had multiple websites, which used the same exact dealer location pages, only with different URLs. This is considered duplicate content, for which Google can penalize a website in search rankings.

At its worst, only 10% of the over 600 dealer location pages had top ten rankings on Google for selected keywords, which were a variation of the town name and the words “mazda dealer(s).” Before the Mayday update and the JavaScript issue, well over 75% of those keywords had top ten rankings.

Solution

Marketing Mojo cleaned up the directory structure of the store locations and recommended adding a footer link to all pages of the website to that directory structure.

To address the JavaScript issue, we recommended they utilize “noscript tags” containing the dealer names, addresses and phone numbers in HTML.  This gave the search engines something they could read.

Canonical tags, which refer search engines to rank the pages that you want to rank rather than their identical counterparts on other URLs, were implemented to avoid issues of duplicate content.

Results

The implementation of these SEO solutions had a significant impact on improving many keyword rankings, resulting in the dealer location pages getting found and indexed by Google. Rankings bounced back for the dealer location pages, and top ten rankings were restored for about 70% of them.