Putting your cars in front of the right shoppers. Faster than ever before.

Refined search serves up compatible inventory to the right shoppers at the right time.

Shoppers expect search to be simple: After entering a few terms, they expect the most relevant results instantly. And it’s what they’ll get on Autotrader. Using our refined search experience, shoppers find what they’re looking for faster, have less need to filter, and actively engage with more content.?

How does Relevant Search work?

Similar to Best Match on Kelley Blue Book, Relevant Search takes several factors into consideration in order to provide shoppers with a sort option that presents the most relevant vehicles possible.

  • Search results display based on shopper search criteria, previous shopping behavior, merchandising, price and distance of vehicle to the shopper
  • Your inventory gets in front of more likely buyers
  • Alpha ads also serve up relevant inventory for maximum engagement
The Alpha ad has been redesigned and retooled. The ad is now in-line with listings and filters on the SRP and cleaned up to focus shopper’s attention on the activities that matter most to you. Plus, through an improved algorithm, the Alpha ad shows off the right vehicle to the right shopper.
Minimizes the need to filter results.

How this helps drive shoppers to your VDPs

Relevant Search delivers on shoppers’ needs and expectations to better connect with you. They can view more listings and actively engage with content, making them more likely to convert to your VDPs.

  • Intuitive, relevant results
  • Minimizes the need to filter results?
  • Faster navigation
  • Increased engagement?

It guides shoppers quickly by serving them compatible inventory, simplifying their buying process.

Merchandising matters: Discover how to attract more attention and higher engagement for your vehicles.

Best Practices ›

1.8M more VDPs

Better Engagement

The mobile-first and relevant search experience are working together to deliver simplified listings and pertinent inventory, fast. There’s been an increase of 1.8 million VDPs across the site in the month of June.?

Relevant Search Experience FAQs

Why did Autotrader change the default sort of its search results to Relevance?

Through testing, we found that search results sorted by Relevance received more shopper engagement and resulted in higher consumer satisfaction. Shoppers still have the ability to sort listings by Price, Distance, Mileage, and Year.

What is the benefit of this change?

This change is designed to deliver a streamlined consumer experience and increase the quality of dealer value events. This means driving more SRP to VDP conversion and getting more shoppers viewing more VDPs.

How does Autotrader know what shoppers are more likely to engage with?

We’ve analyzed behavioral data from our shoppers and paired these learnings with testing and insights to guide the four main categories of relevance:

  • MERCHANDISING – Shoppers are more likely to engage with well merchandised vehicles.1
  • VALUE – The perception of a price is as important as the price itself.1
  • DISTANCE – Distance factors into shopping decisions for many consumers2
  • SHOPPER HISTORY – Shoppers expect websites to remember their shopping history and use it to provide a personalized experience3

Since launching our Relevance search results model, shoppers experience a more efficient search and spend less time filtering, which results in viewing and engaging with more vehicles than the previous default sort.4

Is Autotrader changing the Premium, Featured and Standard listing tiers?

Not at this time. Relevant search continues to apply within our listing tiers. Relevant search takes into account dealer package level, but it is not the defining factor in relevancy criteria.

If two vehicles have the same relevancy criteria, which displays first?

The algorithm has a secondary sort order in place that is used as a tie-breaker in situations where the relevancy criteria is the same. As of today, the secondary sort order is price low to high.

Why were my vehicles not showing up before other non-local dealers?

We refined the relevance algorithm so that local dealers achieve more prominence than non-local dealers. We also limit the total number of non-local vehicles in each market and provide a filter so that users can include or exclude non-local inventory.