Automotive Digital Marketing

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Knock, Knock. Who's there? Google Lead. Google Lead WHO?

San Francisco. This is ground zero. Google, it appears, is trying to build the 'bomb'. The new car lead bomb.

Reading Chuck Barker's white paper on Google got me thinking about the current elephant in the room, . Brian Pasch had written a brief a few months ago, but I have heard little about it since. Guess what? It's still here.

Google is in the new car lead business, directly. You read that right, direct from Google: New Car Leads and Phone Calls. You can sign up for the program here:

Think I'm joking here? Change your Google search location to Palo Alto and then change your zip code to 94301.  Now search for 2012 Toyota Camry. Notice anything? Yeah, search inventory and direct quotes from Google appearing on top of the organic results, but below the SEM ads. When you click the Get Quotes button and enter the Cars sections, be sure to change the 'searching within' zip code to 94301.  VOILA! Look at that. I tell no lies.

Or, you can go directly to the page here without viewing the SERP (change zip code to 94301 to see inventory):

Now pay close attention to just how Google will send you that lead. Anonymously. Yes, a customer can search from any dealer in the area, get quotes and even calls from dealers, and yet the dealer will not know who that customer is. Oh and when a customer clicks on a specific VIN number, Google informs them that you may be able to get this vehicle from other dealers, so go ahead and click all 12 for quotes. As taken from the dealers sign up form "Consumers can choose to connect with you even when you don’t have a specific car in inventory. We know that you can order the car, dealer trade, or find other solutions to help consumers get the cars they want". Nice. But Google will charge you for this opportunity.

They also provide data similar to other pricing sites (TC, Edmunds, ect...) on invoice, MSRP and what others are paying. Click Google Price Info below the MSRP. Nice yet again. But for this great service, they will charge us nothing. Super.

Google has been perfecting this Ad Comparison program with the Mortgage side for some time now.

The folks at 3birds marketing have a nice comparison write up between the Google Mortgage Ad Comparison tool and the Cars Ad Comparison tool. Read it here: .

One thing I find very interesting is that there are only a few OEM's available for search. Why is this?

Things that make you go hmmmm...... Are we ignoring the Red Line here? Or is this just a false alarm and they really don't have plans to make a 'bomb'?  Any input from the Netanyahu's on the vanguard of automotive digital care to make the call?

Well, I digress for now.

-Matt T.

Views: 755

Tags: Ad, Ads, Autos, Bomb, Cars, Google, Netanyahu


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Comment by Jim Bell on October 5, 2012 at 12:22pm

There is a dealer in my 20 group that is on the program right now.  The leads have been crap for them.  They have been on it since the launch and they have yet to close one lead and they are very strong in our 20 group.  The downfall on the offering is that you have 7 times to make contact with the customer and then all lines of communication go dead.  There is no ongoing marketing with these customers AT ALL.  That is what we pay for and why we should get the direct contact info.

Comment by Kim Essenmacher on October 3, 2012 at 11:56am

This is awful!

Comment by Michael Dukes on October 2, 2012 at 6:11pm

Google + OEM's + scared dealer participation = a new way to give the consumer all the power in the world.  Their core search engine algorithims are all based off the consumer receiving the most relevant results to their searches of vialable information/offers.  This seems to stink of heavy outside influences and Google's goal of dominating the consumers experiences utilizing their platform.

Comment by Matt Tucker on October 2, 2012 at 10:48am

Good point David. However, Google has our data. The indexed inventory of every dealer and vehicle in the country is in their database. They only need dealer 'buy-in' to charge the dealers for this golden chance.

What I see happening is Google getting OEM buy-in. They then force the hand of every dealer, like it or not. I don;t know about the OEM's you've dealt with in the past few years, but the franchises I deal with are not really concerned about gross. They want volume. If Google can present this as a major, easy to use and track, volume producing tool for the OEM's = Game over.

Like I mention above, it is interesting to see the OEM's currently searchable on the site. Some big names have not yet bought in. Hence, in my opinion, why Google/cars remains in 'beta' testing.

And yes, Peter, it is strictly price shopping which is why it reeks of OEM connections.


Tic, Tock.....

Comment by David T. Gould on October 2, 2012 at 10:16am

A gentle reminder that Google needs the dealer's inventory (data) to "run this engine"... This only works if we let it work. Years ago I questioned why dealers continue to support AutoTrader (check out how much that one alone has cost us) and similar "for charge" inventory coordinators and was rebuked. I do not wish to fight about this here or elsewhere, we reap what we sow. Here is literally the million dollar(s) question: With today's technology, how far of a stretch is it for the national auto dealer association (or similar organization) to provide a coordinated dealer inventory platform for consumers to find new and used vehicles they are looking for without the vendor's teeth in the form of big monthly invoices and race to the bottom pricing?

Comment by John L Mecham on October 2, 2012 at 9:06am

"They're heeeerrree!"

Comment by delete please on October 2, 2012 at 8:25am

Great image! I think the only thing this is gonna do is appeal to dealers who just want to whore out the cars at zero profit.  If they are encouraging people to get 12 'blind quotes' then it's strictly price shopping and disregarding dealer reputations, service, etc..  There are much better ways to get better, higher quality leads than this type of service, I'm shocked dealers actually fall for it and sign up!

Comment by Arnold Tijerina on October 2, 2012 at 3:58am

Thanks for the compliment on our article. 

Comment by Peter Klein on September 30, 2012 at 7:43am

lol great image

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