Noting how more people are buying cars online, Google is introducing a vehicle ads format in Search that shows what’s available for purchase nearby.

More people are turning to the web to find their next car. In fact, 89% of new car buyers researched their new vehicle online.1 And shoppers aren’t just looking up information online — they’re purchasing there, too. In 2021, 16% of new car buyers purchased their car online, up from only 1% three years prior.2

These ads can appear when searching terms like “2019 suvs for sale” or “2017 used crossover,” and take the form of a “Vehicles for sale” carousel that’s labeled in the top-left corner. What’s offered can be purchased nearby or delivered.

Cards feature a cover image, make and model, price, “Used” status with mileage, dealership name, and city. Google also notes how “Tax, title, and processing fees may apply.”

Once they select a car, the ad will direct them to the vehicle description page on your website where they can fill out a lead form or get your dealership’s contact information.

Advertisers can “select which actions [they’d] like to measure, like leads and store visits, and assign a value to them.” The set-up process involves creating a vehicle inventory data feed and connecting it to the Google Merchant Center.

This feed contains all the details about your vehicle inventory, like make, model, price, mileage and condition. Google uses those details to match shoppers with the most relevant cars as they’re searching. Plus, by using Merchant Center, you can keep track of key inventory and ad performance insights.

In terms of effectiveness, Google says “advertisers who complemented their existing Search campaigns with vehicle ads saw a +25% average increase in conversions during beta testing.” Specifics include:

  • Used car inventory: “Asbury drove a 35% increase in conversions and a 12% increase in conversion value.”
  • “Ken Garff drove 55% more conversions at nine dealerships in the first half of 2021.”
  • “Powered by machine learning and automation, vehicle ads have driven incremental visits to CarMax’s website and have helped CarMax connect more shoppers with their next car.”

More on Google Ads:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: