Google Trademark Policy Update – May 5th 2008

The new trademark regulations from Google, due to be implemented on May 5th 2008, will no longer have the same restrictions that we have enjoyed (or endured, depending on perspective!) with trademarks in the UK & Ireland. This change in policy brings the UK & Ireland into line with the policy in US & Canada where bidding on trademark terms is now commonplace.

Basically anyone will now be able to advertise to searchers using trademarked terms as a keyword. Restrictions to trademark terms in advert text will remain the same and will still be restricted by Google (as long as this exception was requested when making a trademark request).

This change could lead to competitors outbidding you on your own brand search terms and will require closer monitoring of brand terms along with tweaks to your brand adverts to ensure that you are seen first by the searcher and clicked on. Overall we predict a rise in the cost per click of trademarked brand searches.

Should I bother trade marking with Google anymore?

Google will continue to block advertisers using trademarked terms in their advert copy. This will ensure that someone appearing under the fictional brand OnlineShop as a keyword cannot say Cheaper than OnlineShop! in their advert text.

Additionally as the competitor cannot use your trademark terms they will have lower Quality Score than you. This will lead to them having to pay more than you for the same position which will help keep you at the top of the listings.

Are there any benefits?

Google claims that the new policy will provide more relevant results for searchers. The cynics among us will suggest that it may provide more revenue for Google by pushing up the price of brand advertising! For the smaller company this may provide the opportunity to piggyback a larger competitors brand presence and advertise under their trademarked terms.

All Attacat clients can rest assured that their dedicated Account Manager will be monitoring the impact of these changes on your account. If you have any concerns or questions please contact your Account Manger directly.


Further Reading:
Google – AdWords Trademark Policy Revision (UK and Ireland)

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