Google Clarifies How It Obtains Automotive Data For Search Search Engine Confirms that It Pays to License Automotive Data Instead of Sourcing it From the Open Web

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News, SEO

Yesterday, we reported that auto industry folk weren’t too pleased about a new Google Search feature that displayed car specs in search results. Now, Google has clarified where exactly this data comes from and confirmed that it does not source it from the open web.

After our original article was published, the topic came up again on Twitter when Search Engine Round Table reporter Barry Schwartz tagged Google’s Public Search Liason Danny Sullivan in response to someone asking where Google sources its automotive data from.

Here is Sullivan’s response:

“We license the data shown. It’s not coming from schema or pages on the open web.”

As we reported yesterday, several SEOs involved in the automotive industry were not pleased that it appeared as if Google was sourcing data from automotive websites without stating where the data came from. One of the main concerns was that Google may have been “stealing” traffic from these sites without directing users back to the source.

READ MORE: New Car Spec Feature in Google Search Causes Uproar in Automotive Industry

Now, we know that this isn’t the case. Based on Sullivan’s comments, we can conclude that Google actually licenses this data and therefore pays to use it. This means that Google does not need to state where it obtained the data. This is similar to how Google licenses weather data.

So, there you have it. We’re glad that this one was cleared up and all the confusion can be put to bed.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

New Car Spec Feature in Google Search Causes Uproar in Automotive Industry


New automobile search features from Google are causing a stir amongst the automobile industry.

According to Search Engine Round Table, Google is now displaying detailed specifications for certain vehicles in search without stating where the specs were sourced from. 

Here is a screenshot of what this looks like that was published by Search Engine Round Table:


Now, you might be wondering, what’s the issue here?

 Here’s how Brett Tabke explained things in a thread on WebmasterWorld: 

“Google is testing active pricing forms for new cars in US directly on SERP’s. These forms can select trim styles, and other options to ‘price’ a car.” “This is similar to what they have done in the airline industry, but the first time they have done it with an industry with non-reactive and generally fixed pricing (such as air, and hotel rates).”

Brett further explained that “this will have a profound effect on the entire ecosystem of auto buying: from car sites, dealerships, affiliate sites, to even OEM accessory sites.”

For those who are still confused as to why this is a problem, as such specs are frequently made available by car manufacturers, see below some discussion on Twitter that helps to clarify things.

 What are your thoughts on all of this? Are you in the automotive industry and troubled by this new feature, or is this not a big deal to you?

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