Honda and Acura fight vs dealers over Google search keywords

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 24, 2014

It seems that Honda and Acura and their dealers are competing against each other for Google shoppers. Similar case could happen when dealers and brands bid for the same keywords generating the most visible ad positions on top of a Google search for a vehicle. According to Brian Pasch, whose PCG Consulting helps dealers with digital marketing, the dealer-brand rivalry can push up Google ad prices.

At a recent national dealer meeting, Honda executives told its dealers they were searching for ways to minimize overlap on Google advertising buys between each other. In the past month, Pasch made waves by saying that Acura mulls barring dealers from bidding on five popular keywords and phrases on Google: Acura,, Acura USA, Acura Cars and Acura Auto – in order to limit the prices.

He remarked that Acura’s strategy would unintentionally allow rivals and third-party shopping sites like, to get ad positions on top of Acura vehicle search listings, which currently are lorded by the brand and its dealers. Two of every three visitors to a dealer Web site are led from a Google link.

The links come in two forms: paid search ads appearing as shaded links on top-right side of a Google search page; and unshaded links appearing after the paid search ads at the top.

As a rule of thumb, around first paid search ad gets clicked twice as much the second, while the third search ad gets clicked twice as much as the third – making the top paid search ads very crucial to advertisers.

This is the prime reason for the importance of the debate at Honda and Acura, Pasch remarked. He said that if dealers are restricted from buying popular keywords, Honda and Acura’s vehicles and stores would lose visibility on Google. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Topics: honda, acura, google

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