Google Jelly Bean SERPs – a Treat for Some!


Google Android Jelly Bean

Google’s new Jelly Bean SERPs

SERP’s are the key to consumers finding your dealership online. It’s no surprise that Google is the SERP-master when they own 88% of all search traffic. Google SERP’s are evolving quickly in the mobile world.

Roughly 60% of a dealer’s SERP traffic results from searches of the dealer’s name. The next most popular search type combines a “locale indicator” plus a manufacturer name. Boston + Ford is one example. These two SERP results can drive up to 80% of a dealer’s search traffic, so it’s important to own these search phrases.

But how can you do that?

Building search credibility for your dealers name is straightforward, using proactive reputation management. If you want to own page one, use prominent social media and reputation sites to encourage consumers to leave feedback. Yelp, Citysearch, and are just a few sites to consider. These pages will float to the top of the brand name SERP in short order as new, fresh content is gathered.

Today we’re focusing on the second search type: Locale + Manufacturer. Google has just made significant changes to “local intent” searches and how these results appear on mobile devices running Android OS. We found these changes in the newest release of the Android operating system, called “Jelly Bean.”

Let’s take a look… I apologize for the looooong screenshots but it is necessary in examining mobile SERP.

Here’s a SERP for “Boston Ford Dealers”, as viewed through the Google Chrome browser. Notice the familiar placement of (in order):

  1. Paid listings
  2. Organic results
  3. Local listings
Desktop Chrome Browser SERP

Desktop Chrome Browser SERP

Here’s the same search on Apple’s Safari browser on an iPhone running iOS 6.0.1.  It’s similar, but the order of content has changed to:

  1. Paid listings
  2. Local listings
  3. Organic results
Mobile Safari Browser SERP

Mobile Safari Browser SERP

Hmm… local listings here have priority over organic search results. With 30% of search traffic (and growing) coming from mobile devices, reputation is increasingly important.

Now, let’s look at Android’s new “Jelly Bean,” which Google is still rolling out. The new OS offers access to this SERP through both the standard Google search bar:

Google Mobile Search Bar

Google Mobile Search Bar

As well as with the Google Search App (when run from Jelly Bean):

Using the Google Search App on an iPhone yields the same results as seen on a mobile Safari Browser, but on Android’s Jelly Bean it’s VERY different. Notice that our order has completely changed to:

  1. Local listings
  2. Paid listings
  3. Organic results
Mobile Google Search on Jelly Bean

Mobile Google Search on Jelly Bean

Wow! Local listings are more prominent than even paid content?

This is a Google first and perhaps a sign of SERPs to come. Additionally, this Jelly Bean SERP now provides a “Write a Review” button (once you click through to the business listing), which is the only way for consumers to leave a review on a mobile device. This is a BIG step for local dealerships and begins to address the loss of Google reviews on mobile devices.

What does this mean to you and your dealership?

Although we used to be able to optimize our search or reputation strategy for just one view, Google now provides multiple views across different devices. Think “Adaptive Reputation Management”. Email click-throughs for dealership-generated-surveys to Google+ pages that are not optimized for mobile devices are landing in a black hole. It is a process that consumers could not take action on, until now!

For all dealers, 2013 is the year mobile adoption changes the way you think about consumer experience.

What are you doing this year to optimize the consumer path to your dealership as local mobile search evolves?


Brice Englert

When Brice isn't looking good for the camera, he's leading the Interactive Media Products and
Marketing Services teams for Dominion Dealer Solutions. Brice is one passionate guy about all things digital and has been acknowledged as a subject matter expert in consumer engagement, reputation management, and email marketing. You'll often find Brice speaking at many of the industry events. We're always excited to have him here on DealerRefresh - sharing his knowledge with the community.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “Google Jelly Bean SERPs – a Treat for Some!

  1. Brice, it’s about time you publish an article here on DealerRefresh. We’ve only been talking about this, for what – over 3 years maybe?
    DealerRefresh readers, lets thank Brice for his contribution with a like, tweet or better yet, a response to his question: 

    What are you doing this year to optimize the consumer path to your dealership as local mobile search evolves? 

    This is a serious question with many elements that need to be considered. “What exactly goes into optimizing the consumers path to your dealerships mobile experience?”

    Using a very broad stroke: 

    – Your Mobile real-estate: websites and or applications 
    – The path taken to your mobile real-estate: search, social and direct. 

    The “broad stroke” isn’t to be taken lightly as one could hold a full time position around mobile experience and marketing alone for the dealership. Well, maybe you could bundle that in with social media. 

    As you pointed out, this is ALL ABOUT “local intent”! 

    A few quick considerations… 

    Top relevant keyword searches now need to be performed on a consistent basis across mobile browsers on the top mobile operating systems. 

    Mobile paid search needs to be considered (done) and managed. 
    Review sites like Yelp and Google need to be re-introduced as a top priority. Yes it SUCKS, but wouldn’t you agree this needs performed? could use your attention as they’ve been the listing site at the forefront of mobile. Your reviews on now have prominent (mobile) display. 

    Continued organic optimization around “local intent” keyword phrases. Get that dealer blog fired up? 

    Brice, maybe you could clarify for the community on what you mean by…
    “Email click-throughs for dealership-generated-surveys to Google+ pages that are not optimized for mobile devices are landing in a black hole. It is a process that consumers could not take action on, until now!” 

    Dealers have struggled with maintaining a consistent stream of reviews across all the reviews sites, especially with Google reviews and their merry-go-round of changes that have resulted in a compete pain in the ass. I’m sure you could shed some additional light on this… 

    With these changes to mobile SERPs and knowing the “intent” of the consumer thats searching on a mobile device, as you’ve pointed out in the article – it’s extremely important to have a game plan around your dealers mobile experience and how reputation management is a strong element to this. 

    Side note: I found it interesting that the Ford dealer with the highest number of google reviews in your search was at the bottom of the local results.
    Also interesting is that the jelly bean search didn’t include and review score in the SERP.

    • @dealerrefresh Great points Jeff – I amy have answered your question on the email black-hole with my reply to Aaron.  Most proactive reputation programs center around consumer followup, in short, follow the value-chain from email send to review being left and question if that process can be completed by all customers on all devices.  An example value chain is:
      Service RO Closed
      Email Sent
      Email Delivered
      Email Opened
      Email Click-through (say to a address)
      Customer Login (may already be done, can’t be done on iOS Safari)
      Customer Review Submitted
      Good side notes too… the algorithm is certainly complex but my best advice to dealers is engage their customers as a community and get them talking on whatever site, network, or device they prefer… just get them talking and listen, improve, engage, and promote.

  2. Brice–
    I appreciated the screenshots you provided, which opened my eyes to the drastic differences between Android and Apple SERPs, but I guess I’m still a little unclear about what the argument of this piece is. How can local search results be further optimized if Google lists them solely on how far away they are? I’m on board with what you’re saying about proactive reputation management with review sites and social, but do you think Google is saying that (by listing local at the top of Jelly Bean) proximity trumps all? Forgive my denseness if I totally missed the boat here.
    I’m also unclear about what you mean by “the loss of Google reviews on mobile devices” near the end of the piece. I know firsthand about losing Google reviews (our dealership lost about 400 good ones), but how do mobile devices figure in?

    • @Aaron Wirtz It is dramatic and as mobile carries on will only grow.  Good question and I completely understand your lack of specific clarity.  As you can see in the Jelly Bean SERP, the results are not based on distance but rather Google’s algorithm.  I did this search from Western Mass and as you can see gave away local intent with a locational term “Boston”.  The results are neither “by distance” from my office in West Springfield, Ma, nor are they “by distance” from the center of Boston.
      So, to your question with how to optimize, the answer we have heard directly from Google and what we can surmise from SEO and Rep Mgt experience is simple, everything!  Factored into the current algorithm are:
      – Local citation content = this is the content that is seeded “around the web” that Google uses to build your Google+ Local page.  Be sure to claim and optimize that page with pictures, hours, value props, videos, and fresh fresh reviews (not just all great reviews)
      – Website SEO
      – Location
      – and other no doubt
      – In the future = “Co-citation” – look for more information on that as the year goes on
      So on your last point, 2 things happened…
      1) the Google Cliff (where dealers saw massive loss of reviews in 2012) which I actually documented with a study and you can find by Googling, “The Google Cliff” (Sorry Jeff) and
      2) I was making the point that many folks didn’t realize which is if you try to find a dealership on your iOS Safari browser, I challenge you to “Leave a Review”.  That button does not exist, it cannot be done.  Except on Jelly Bean!  For many dealers who try email followup with calls to action to “leave a review on Google” 30% of their clicks are likely on mobile devices and 50% of those devices are likely iPhones which will send the consumer to a mobile broswer page where they cannot complete that action.
      Great questions, thank you!

  3. It’s funny because not 3 days ago our Auto Trader rep stopped in and told me dealers are wasting their money on SERP results (SEM & SEO) which I thought was odd. Apparently AT has a new study conducted which shows dealers are still doing things all wrong – again. His reasoning was because as an Auto Trader dealer, most of the exposure you get online invariably will be via their partnerships with various websites. My argument was with SERP, you can capture the customer before they get to Auto Trader or a partner site, and I’ve been tracking my sources quite accurately over the past 6 months: Everyone almost goes through Google, and not one shopper/buyer mentioned Auto Trader – okay ONE. The hardest thing for Auto Trader to prove is who bought a car from us because of Auto Traders existence. They show impressions, and other impressive stats, but the one that still eludes Auto Trader is proving spending $50-$80,000 per year is really working with no tangible evidence other than saying “look at how many people saw your ads”. Like SEO, SEM and the SERP can’t do that too.