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Google launches automated vehicle ads

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Google will roll out vehicle ads to all U.S. advertisers beginning this month, the company announced Friday.

An example of vehicle ads in the Google search results
An example of vehicle ads in the Google search results. Image: Google.

Vehicle ads will roll out to advertisers in more countries at an undisclosed “later date,” Google said in the announcement.

How vehicle ads work. Vehicle ads are designed to allow auto advertisers to promote their entire vehicle inventory to potential customers on Google.com. This format includes an image of the vehicle, make, model, price, miles and the advertiser’s name (shown in the example above). 

Google matches users with vehicle ads by using the details included in the advertiser’s vehicle inventory data feed (more on that below).

When a user clicks on a vehicle ad, they’re taken to the vehicle description page on the advertiser’s site. There, they can learn more and fill out a lead form. Advertisers can select which actions to measure, such as leads or store visits, and assign them a value.

Advertisers cannot use vehicle ads to promote vehicle parts, accessories, tires or services.

How to get started. To use vehicle ads, advertisers must create a vehicle inventory data feed and connect it to Google Merchant Center. This feed includes data on makes, models, prices, mileage and condition.

vehicle data in Google Merchant Center
Image: Google.

Since this is done through Google Merchant Center, advertisers can track metrics like clicks over a given time period.

Why we care. Car prices have remained high as a result of supply shortages associated with the pandemic and increased consumer demand. And, last year, 16% of new car buyers purchased their car online, up from just 1% three years prior, according to Google.

Vehicle ads may help advertisers get in front of high-intent audiences. “Advertisers who complemented their existing Search campaigns with the vehicle ads beta saw a +25% average increase in conversions,” Google said in the announcement.


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Google’s not the only one with vehicle ads. Advertisers in this vertical may also be interested in Microsoft Advertising’s Automotive Ads, which also use data feeds to match ads to users’ searches and shows similar information.


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About The Author

George Nguyen is an editor for Search Engine Land, covering organic and paid search. His background is in journalism and content marketing. Prior to entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host and public school teacher.

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