/ September 2, 2010

Google announces major change in trademark policy but what does this mean for you?

As Google announces a major change in its trademark policy to put the UK, Ireland and Canada in line with U.S we look here at the effect it will have on our clients and the market.

Currently in the UK, Google permits other companies to bid on your trademarked terms, but they cannot make mention of your brand in their ads without permission. In an effort to “improve ad quality and user experience”, Google will adjust their trademark policy to allow some ads to use trademarks in the ad text and possibly permit other companies to mention your trademarked terms in their Google Adwords/AdSense ad copy.

Essentially what this means is that Google will no longer police trademark usage. For those of you who have submitted your marks to Google expecting them to prevent anyone unauthorized from using them in the text of ads, you need to understand that shortly those protections will be gone. As long as the advertiser has the trademark on their website, selling the product or service, or providing unbiased information about the product or service, they are free to use the trademark in their ad text regardless of whether the owner of that mark has given permission for its use.

So what does this all mean for you? Well, from now on advertisers in the UK will be able to create specific ads for each of the brands they sell which will reduce the number of overly generic ads that appear across our networks. In our eyes it signals the beginning of a more dynamic paid search landscape, streamlining online advertising to help create a more narrowly targeted ad text highlighting specific inventories.

However, it also means Google has opened itself up to a myriad of scams and fake sites designed solely for the purpose of redirecting hard earned traffic to ‘informational’ type sites and allowing others to capitalise on your marketing efforts. Policing trademarks will fall back onto the shoulders of the mark owners which increases costs and will require a skilled team to implement.

In order to prevent traffic leakage and misuse of your brand logo and messaging, it means an increased reliance on your agency to provide ongoing reports into what’s happening in your search space, as well as protection against revenue decline on your high conversion terms.

If you’re interested in finding out more we’re always happy to talk. Call us now on 01603 252555

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