Sponsored Listings Explained

Jeremy Balog
Feb 7 · 4 min read

Used Equipment Guide is the world’s largest search engine for heavy trucks and equipment. Buyers can intuitively search over 2 million indexed items for sale from over 3,000 industry sites using UsedEquipmentGuide.com or the UEG mobile app.

In February 2019, Used Equipment Guide launched Sponsored Listings that enables sellers to promote their inventory through sponsored placement at the top of search pages. Previously, sellers could only promote themselves using branding opportunities throughout the site. When buyers search items for sale, the search results page featured a single branded ad at the top of the page followed by 10 organic search results and a single branded ad at the bottom of the page.

Doggett Machinery native ad (position 1) with organic listing placement (position 4)

The new format for search result pages displays a total of three ad slots at the top of each page. These three ad slots will be populated by either three sponsored listings or a single branding ad with two sponsored listings.

Auction System

Sponsored Listings utilize the same auction-based system used for branding opportunities to bid on placement. Bids are based on vCPM (viewable cost per thousand impressions) with a $100 minimum bid. Sponsored Listings bids will compete for position with Native Ad placement at the top of search pages, but native and banner ad opportunities throughout the rest of the website currently remain unchanged.

Quality Scores

Used Equipment Guide has built its reputation on providing the most buyer-friendly website by giving buyers what they want versus what sellers want them to see. To ensure buyers are only seeing relevant Sponsored Listings and sellers are not wasting money targeting unqualified buyers, we have developed an algorithm to generate quality scores.

Quality Scores are dynamic — they are different for every user and every search based on several attributes. As a rule of thumb, Sponsored Listings will always be a subset of the organic search results for a user’s search. If a user has 1,000 search results, there will only be 1,000 possible listings that can appear as Sponsored Listings. Proximity is also factored into quality scores — an item 15 miles away from the user will have a higher quality score than an item 1500 miles away.


Sponsored Listing position is determined based on listing bid and quality score. Assuming all sellers in the bid pool are equal, the highest quality score will win the top position in search results at the top of page 1. Assuming all quality scores are equal, the highest bid will win the top position.

Bid × Quality Score = Position

Since Quality Scores are dynamic based on a user’s attributes and inputs, the best way for sellers to increase the volume of impressions for inventory is by using more aggressive bids to offset a lower quality score.

For example, a Kenworth truck for sale that is 15 miles away from a user might have the top position with a $100 vCPM bid. For another user, the same Kenworth truck is 150 miles away, but another bidder has a Peterbilt truck that is only 15 miles away and shows in the top position with a $100 vCPM bid. Since the bids are both $100 vCPM, the closer item with a higher quality score will have higher position. To have a higher position, the Kenworth truck with a lower quality score must be sponsored at a higher $110 vCPM to have a better position than the higher quality score Peterbilt at $100 vCPM.

Factoring in quality scores provides a better user experience for buyers and generates higher quality results for sellers as budgets are not consumed by unqualified, uninterested buyers.

Doggett Machinery native ad (position 1) with sponsored listing placement (position 2)

Best Practices

Sponsored Listings is a scalable pay-for-performance solution for sellers to generate high quality traffic to their online listings. To ensure the highest levels of data quality, we recommend sellers provide a direct inventory data feed that ensures listings are properly indexed in a timely manner.

Used Equipment Guide only indexes listings with a valid make and model. To achieve the highest quality scores, it is recommended that each item have a valid year, meter (hours or mileage), and asking price.

By default, Google Analytics tracking tokens are appended to urls to track inbound leads. All traffic from Used Equipment Guide will have a source of usedequipmentguide.com and a medium of organic or sponsored. Sellers can use this to analyze and understand how Used Equipment Guide, due to it’s data quality and targeting, is able to drive high quality traffic to their online inventory.

Questions? Call us at +1 (828) 398–0300 to talk to a human.

Jeremy Balog

Written by

Founder & CEO @ UsedEquipmentGuide.com — working to make opportunity more universal.

Used Equipment Guide

Used Equipment Guide is the largest used equipment search engine in the world. One Search. All Equipment.

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