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"Why are third parties running Google VLA ads on MY vehicles? Shut it down!"

I can't imagine why anyone would be upset with getting free advertising. I can see how it might drive up the costs of your own VLA a little bit, but I can't see it being so dramatic that it offsets the gains. My only concern is how the 3rd parties don't genuinely provide the most valuable information for customers and instead prioritize the dealers willing to pay the most money. It was mentioned that if your pricing is good, then one should be less concerned with a customer going to the 3rd party's site, but when you have the lowest price and yet you're halfway down page 2 due to sponsored ads it invalidates that argument a bit. Either way, I am still left with the feeling that free advertising offsets all of this. I also agree with @Kelly Wilson. If they are going to do it anyway, why not let it be you? I would be interested to know how the 3rd party site algorithms are set up to decide which vehicles from which dealers are displayed. Does anyone have some insight on that?
 
If you've hit your VLA budget but still have room for more impressions, why not appreciate the extra exposure from platforms like Autotrader and CarGurus?
It's like getting free advertising without the extra cost. Sure, your website might convert better, but some leads are better than none, right? Plus, pulling out could just give your competition a leg up. And about those inflated CPC worries? Unless every dealer opts out, it won't make much of a difference. Let's not rush to shut down these opportunities; they might just be blessings in disguise. And hey, considering CTR manipulation could add another layer to your marketing strategy.
 
OK - I've had a change of heart. Now that we've proven that a VIN can only appear 1 time in each set of listings per search regardless of which merchant center it comes from and that the size of 3rd party listing sites means outranking them is going to be hard, so it's about bidding higher.

It's, at best, a "where are you spending your Money" situation.

If you pay for the retargeting/display as an extra to your 3rd party listings account, they say you'll get the direct traffic and only you, but we know how that goes. If you don't pay but have listings, then they are using your inventory to drive clicks to their site. If you are running your own GVA/pMax (in-house or with an agency), this is a contributor to the rising cost and reduced effectiveness seen in more condensed markets. Do you bail on a proven ad platform, pay to play or let the 3rd parties win, or do you stand your ground and bid higher?

I would keep an eye on your traffic, conversions, and costs to balance where you're spending and the return you're seeing, with the understanding there will be a level of attrition with which you have to set your own comfort level.
 
OK - I've had a change of heart. Now that we've proven that a VIN can only appear 1 time in each set of listings per search regardless of which merchant center it comes from and that the size of 3rd party listing sites means outranking them is going to be hard, so it's about bidding higher.

It's, at best, a "where are you spending your Money" situation.

If you pay for the retargeting/display as an extra to your 3rd party listings account, they say you'll get the direct traffic and only you, but we know how that goes. If you don't pay but have listings, then they are using your inventory to drive clicks to their site. If you are running your own GVA/pMax (in-house or with an agency), this is a contributor to the rising cost and reduced effectiveness seen in more condensed markets. Do you bail on a proven ad platform, pay to play or let the 3rd parties win, or do you stand your ground and bid higher?

I would keep an eye on your traffic, conversions, and costs to balance where you're spending and the return you're seeing, with the understanding there will be a level of attrition with which you have to set your own comfort level.
It's a worthy experiment:

Ask a third party marketplace to remove your inventory from VLA/PMAX.

Look at your CPC before and after.

My money is on your CPC doesn't fluctuate up or down more than it does any other month.

But now you lost all those "free" clicks on your cars, and the third party marketplace diverted them to your competitors who have the same year make model car in-stock.

Google has really opened the floodgates with the amount of available ad inventory with PMAX, there's no shortage of impressions.
 
Has anyone done this?
My instincts tell me that the 3rd party marketplaces won't be able to tun on/off dealer VLA/PMAX requests.
Yeah most of them will do it when requested. However for some of the third parties it's all or nothing - if they turn off the VLA/PMax feed, it will also turn off any Facebook AIA, dynamic display ads, etc.

Car Dealers: I advertise on third party marketplaces because they have a large audience of in-market car shoppers.

Also Car Dealers: I don't want the third party marketplaces to advertise to continue attracting a large audience of in-market car shoppers.
 
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