Unlocking the Potential of Google Vehicle Listing Ads: A Definitive Guide for Auto Dealerships

The world of auto advertising is undergoing a significant transformation, especially with the latest announcement from Google. With 79% of new car buyers using search engines for their research, it’s crucial to understand this new feature. In this guide, we will delve into the details of Google Vehicle Listing Ads (VLAs) and how they compare to other advertising platforms like Facebook Marketplace.

Google Vehicle Listing Ads

The Buzz Around Google VLAs

If you’re in the auto dealership business, chances are you’ve heard about Google VLAs, standing for Google Vehicle Listing Ads. They offer a unique opportunity to showcase your car inventory right in Google Search Results, and in an industry first, these are feed-based inventory ads. Just think of them as Google Search Ads but turbocharged with visuals.

These are paid placements that show up when users search for vehicles on Google. Unlike traditional Google Search Ads, VLAs are visually rich and display several details about your inventory:

– Dealership location

– Vehicle make, model, and trim

– Price

– Proximity to the user

They are exclusively for used vehicle listings, enhancing your ability to target a specific market segment with tailored ads.

Why Google VLAs Matter?

Google is undeniably the world’s most-used search engine, with over 5.4 billion searches per day. When people are in the market for a vehicle, Google is often their first stop. This presents a golden opportunity for auto dealers to capture qualified leads directly where they are searching.

VLAs vs. Google Search Ads

At first glance, Google VLAs bear a striking resemblance to Google Search Ads, with one significant difference: VLAs display real-time inventory. If the vehicle is in your stock and matches a user’s query, your VLA is eligible to show up, making the process highly efficient.

It’s vital to consider how VLAs will affect your current Search Ads budget. Due to the similarities, there may be some overlap. A good starting point is to keep your existing Search Ads budget intact while allocating a secondary budget for VLAs. Monitor the performance and make data-driven adjustments accordingly.

How Do Google VLAs Differ From Facebook Marketplace Listings?

While Facebook Marketplace was once a free platform for listing used vehicle inventory, it has changed its policies and now requires payment for ad placements. Google VLAs are predicted to outperform Facebook listings in the long run, especially given Google’s enormous reach and data analytics capabilities.

Key Benefits of Google VLAs

  • More Qualified Leads: VLAs pre-qualify leads by showing key details about the vehicle.
  • Omnichannel Goals: They optimize for both online and offline conversions.
  • Automated Targeting: VLAs display the most relevant listings based on user queries.
  • Increased Exposure: VLAs serve alongside your text ads, amplifying your reach.


Google VLAs offer several benefits, including more qualified leads, optimizing for online and offline conversions, and automated targeting. They are available for both new and used inventory, primarily in the U.S. and Canada.

Looking Ahead: Performance Max

According to Google’s recent announcement, all VLA campaigns will upgrade to Performance Max by September 2023. This is designed to optimize your campaigns further and extend your reach across various Google platforms. To learn more about it, read this article: “Harnessing Google’s Performance Max for Auto Dealerships: A Comprehensive Guide.


Google VLAs offer an incredible opportunity for auto dealerships to engage more effectively with their target audience. These visually rich ads not only enrich the user experience but also bring in more qualified leads. As Google continues to evolve its ad offerings with features like Performance Max, staying updated and adapting your strategy is crucial for long-term success.

Author's Note

Glo3D specializes in DIY & AI-Powered Media Software designed to elevate the online presence of auto dealerships. While our primary focus is on creating visually stunning and interactive content, we recognize the importance of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Leveraging our expertise in AI-powered media software for auto dealerships, we understand the need for engaging and interactive listings in today’s digital marketplace. Our tools help dealerships take their online inventory to the next level. For more in-depth industry insights, stay tuned to Glo3D. We’re here to help you navigate the digital future of auto sales.

P.S.: This article has also been published in the UCD Magazine.


Sean Toussi

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, please email Sean@Glo3D.com

Glo3D.com Content Team,

DIY and AI-Powered Media Software.

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