Keywords Are Not Dead: They Are Relevant In Promoting & Selling Products



The term ‘keyword’ is broad and perplexing, there may still be misconceptions in the Aftermarket as to why they are, in fact, relevant in promoting and selling products. Let’s debunk the myth.

Keyword [kee-wurd] noun; a word that serves as a key, as to the meaning of another word. A significant or memorable word or term. Used to classify or organize digital content or to facilitate online search.

Google initially used keywords (meta keyword, keyword meta data, keyword meta tag) for SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), as a means of determining a website’s relevance or ranking on subject matter. In 2009, Google announced that practice was no longer in use due to abuse. Thus, keywords were no longer a factor in regular organic ranking results. This practice was replaced with better analysis of page content, tags and other meta tags. All that said, this is completely outside of the purpose of Keywords in the Description segment of PIES and the two should not be confused.

The SDC initially announced support of the usage of Keywords at the SEMA Show in 2017. Keywords have great significance in describing a product and connecting that product to a consumer. We believe this is an under-utilized asset in PIES. Many of you many not even be aware that it is already in the Description segment under the Code ‘KEY’. The SDC is designing and developing a program to help our members procure keywords and assist with automation to add them into data sets for your Data Receivers to use at-will. The importance of making the connection in terminology through keywords is important in internal searches. In many cases, it builds the bridge between finding or not finding a product on a seller’s website.

I may say, ‘hey, let’s go grab a soda’, you make say, ‘let’s go grab a pop’, and he may say, ‘let’s go get a Coke’. We all mean the same thing, ‘let’s purchase a carbonated beverage of our own choosing’, just worded differently. Through verbal communication, we are able to understand what each other is asking. Keywords provide the means of digital communication in a similar manner, resulting in an understanding of what is being searched.

Some have publicly stated that the SDC is out of touch with what is needed to sell products and that there is undue complexity in the Standards. This is a short-sighted assumption. We proudly support and promote the ACES and PIES data exchange standards for a reason. It works. It is the most efficient way to transmit data to power the myriad of systems that your resellers, W/D’s, jobbers, repair shops or dealers use. Everything from point of sale, inventory, shipping, eCommerce, you name it, can be communicated by these means. The Standards allow us one channel to transmit into multiple internal systems.

Keywords are not intended to rank your website. Everyone is already aware of that old news. But, keywords are intended to help your resellers aggregate products on their web pages through internal searches. Adding keywords to your PIES file for each of your products will:

  • improve product visibility
  • connect you with a consumer that phrases things in a different way
  • connect alternative terms and phrases
  • relate products to actions
  • relate products to other related products
  • relate products to a purpose or usage

PIES is the mechanism we can transmit our common search phrases and usage terms through. It’s about connecting the dots from manufacturer to consumer and having common usage terms and phrases.