Google isn’t just useful for helping research your next car; it can also help you shop for one while you search. SearchLab initially reported that the search giant has opened up access to a vehicle listings feature that lets dealerships advertise inventory right beside search results (via 9to5Google and Search Engine Land).
The listings have been appearing as part of a beta, but SearchLab notes that now all dealerships in the US with a Google Business Profile can add any motor vehicle to their inventory as long as it has a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). That includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, and more. A support page for dealers shows activity from last year, as well as more recent updates earlier this month.
If you search for certain vehicles on Google, and there’s any inventory of that vehicle listed in your area, it will appear under a new “for sale” section within the Google-generated widget of the car’s specs. For instance, if you search for “Ford Fusion Energi” in Google on a computer, you’ll see a “Ford Fusion Energi for sale” section on the right sidebar.
On mobile, Google seemed to get a bit more aggressive with it. Searching for “Ford Fusion Energi” on an iPhone pushed a sponsored section and displayed local inventory on top before showing any information about the car itself. Then, after scrolling down past vehicle specs, we were hit with more listings.
Once you tap on “more cars,” you’ll go to the vehicles for sale page that looks like what you’d expect from Cars.com or Autotrader. Google gives you search filters and drop-down selections to find different car makes and models, lists out features, and even lets you adjust how far of a distance the dealership is that you're willing to go to. It’s almost like Google’s giving you a reason to not download another car buying app.