If you’re an agency, you’re likely aware of the major Google AdWords trademark policy change that will be going into effect beginning June 4th-15th. This change will significantly impact the control we’re able to have over our client’s brand names within Google Paid Search.
What you need to know:
-Google will no longer investigate the use of trademarks as keywords in the US, UK and other countries as well. Anyone who wants to sponsor your brand name can, effective June 4th.
-Previously, Google restricted the use of brand names in ad text and would take action to prevent such usage. Only authorized resellers were allowed to use you brand, which ensured that most were restricted. This policy is being lifted as of June 15th, so previously disapproved ad text may now be permitted to run in both Google and the Content Network. Google will judge whether the ads will be able to run, and the trademark owner will not be able to prevent people from using their trademark in ad text. It is likely however that Google will not allow direct competitors to include their competitor’s trademark within their ads.
What you can do to protect your clients:
1. Ensure that their brand presence is strong- ensure you’re bidding on their branded terms, include their brand name within the ad copy, URL, etc.
2. Report display URL abuse to Google- if you find brand hijacking (causing traffic to be diverted to sites other than your client’s) Google will take action
3. Negotiate deals with competitors- agree to not bid on each others trademarked terms
Clients frequently question the value of bidding on their branded terms, when they have natural search presence and often times are listed within first page results in Google. As search marketers we know that having our client’s brand name present in both natural search listings and paid search listings can result in a sort of ‘page domination’ and ensure that we stand out against competitors who’s ads are likely appearing under our branded terms when searched for. This recent trademark policy change stresses the importance of this ‘page domination’ now more than ever.
For more on the Google AdWords Trademark policy changes, click here.