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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Google Base to Replace Auto Classifieds?

Will Google Base end up replacing Auto Classifieds?

Google Base is an online repository that allows anyone to categorize content. It is a free service that allows anyone to upload content. All content contains attributes that further categorize the content so that users have the ability to search Google Base content for specific products, services or information. One of the categories inside Google Base is autos.

Since it's a free service, anyone can upload their vehicle contents along with a picture of the vehicle and have it searchable. You might be wondering why will Google Base be able to overtake the big online classifieds such as Cars.com, Autotrader.com, AutoMart.com, AutoExtra.com etc..? Because Google is a company that makes money off of selling ads based on searches. Think of the possibilities that Google has with Google Base to integrate the vast online repository of information with it's other services?

How about if someone searches for Toyota's for sale in the Dallas, TX local market. Google can bring up a map of the local zip code in addition to a list of Toyota's for sale that are listed in Google Base and add the locations of those vehicles to the map. How about if Google integrates the Google Base content with the Search Engine? If you have used Google frequently, you will notice the top placement of some products when you search on certain products. This happens a lot when you are performing a local search. Wouldn't it be great, as a dealer, to have your inventory appear at the top of a search when someone searches for a particular vehicle in your area on Google? This power could enable Google to start to overtake the likes of AutoTrader.com and Cars.com since they cannot offer the same benefit to dealers. Since Google is the top Search Engine, and since ~80% of car buyers perform a search online before a purchase, one starts to understand the potential power of Google Base.

Google Base accepts datafeeds, and is one of the locations that we send dealers data to everyday. This is an excellent opportunity for car dealers to cut out the middle man for leads and plug into the ever growning online vehicle search.