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Brian Pasch

Brian Pasch CEO

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Google Blurs The Line Between Search Engine and Advertising Agency

I'm back on the Google Beat covering the latest discoveries for the automotive industry on search marketing strategy.  

I want to thank DrivingSales member Craig Waikem for commenting on my blog post about new Google PPC Adwords formats that collect email addresses. 

What Craig shared was a landing page that was displayed when he clicked on a Google Adwords advertisement.  

It looks like Honda and Google are testing a number of new initiatives and not just Adwords formats with built-in email collection 

What I saw was very chilling because of the Copyright at the bottom of the page:  Copyright 2011 Google Inc.

Google Co-Ops Automotive Classified Pages


The page in question can be found on this link:  http://automobiles.honda.com/certified-search/google/.  It is sitting on the Honda marketing website and it is a vehicle listing page that is very similar to what Cars.com, Autotrader.com, Everycarlisted.com and other classified websites display.

The page inserted by local ZIP CODE automatically  based on my IP address and displayed Honda cars nearby my home, as shown below:

 

When you click on a vehicle, the vehicle detail page (VDP) looks like this:

 

Enhanced Pay Per Click Marketing Tools


It looks that Google is helping manufacturers (Honda) like an advertising agency, to create classified advertising campaigns. What would prevent Google from taking this one step further and create an entire network of car inventory listing website for all OEM's.

Is this something that the larger automotive classified websites should be worried about?  Google obviously has access to Honda dealer inventory.  

Should automotive advertising agencies be the one more worried?  This microsite advertising model looks like a Tier 2 project (i.e. www.buyatoyota.com) that other companies offer. Tier 2 Automotive Advertising vendors should wake up and take notice that Google wants that business.

Should Google have more sepratation between their search platform and their advertising products? Is this example ripe for being accused of placing their own marketing services above others and drawing anti-trust concerns?

How Was Google's SEO Score?


On a side note, I looked at the Page Source and the SEO tags are awful. This is a PPC landing page and most likely viewed as a dynamic websites with temporary pages not to be indexed.  I was hoping to see how new techniques to help search indexing of Vehicle Detail Pages!

What do you think about this design and business model?  Is Google crossing some of its top advertising partners?

Change is in the air....and as always I will do my best to keep you ahead of the curve. 

Brian

 

Brian Pasch CEO of PCG

 

Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences

Jeffrey Taylor
Hi Brian, it appears that the little experiment that started in 2007 between Google and Honda has emerged again. Four years ago Honda and Google did this same thing except the exact same page layout appeared on honda.googlepages.com not Honda's website. It looks like the Google built platform has migrated from honda.googlepages.com to http://automobiles.honda.com The thought process here is that Google has a top ranked Brand recognition every year and allows Honda to attract more attention to their cars by co-branding with the Google name. Notice how small the Honda logo is and the Honda name is not very prominent. The Google brand however is front and center easily seen and recognized. This started in 2007 and I am curious to see where it goes from here. If Google gives preferential treatment to these pages in the organic results it could stir up a hornets nest and possibly legal issues. If they keep it in the PPC Adwords section using their platform to help Honda market cars under the Google brand, few will care. (Honda is paying for this) Let's keep an eye on this because if successful, it could end up spreading to more manufacturers. Once again Brian, thanks for bringing this up.
Craig Waikem
Great article! Thanks Brian for the follow up and shout out.

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