I see three types of companies when it comes to trademark monitoring in paid search. First, the majority don’t monitor their trademarked keywords. Then there are the companies who once in a while do a search on their brand to find multiple advertisers using their branded, trademarked terms in ad copy and do nothing. Finally, there are the few that use trademark monitoring service like AdGooroo or The Search Monitor. If you are one of the first two companies you’re paying higher CPC on your branded terms than company three and capturing less traffic and conversions.
Search Engine Trademark Policies
Search engines have policies (Google, Yahoo and Bing) and actions that defend your trademarked terms, all you need to do is ask. With so much trademark infringement going on in paid search, search engines can only respond to companies who turn in their defendants. If you want Google, Yahoo, or Bing to remove advertisers using your terms in their ad text you have to send them a request to do so (Google, Yahoo and Bing).
Why should this matter?
Bottom line is if you have other advertisers infringing on your brand, you’re likely paying too much for your CPCs. You will reduce your click costs and increase your traffic or conversions (depending on your site goals) by removing trademark-infringing advertisers. You end up paying less for better positions by removing advertisers that compete in your keyword auctions. If money isn’t your thing, competitors are illegally using your trademarked terms and you have the power to stop them!
Manual Verses Automatic
If you have lots of time in the day, by all means create a list of your trademarked terms and their variations, search them in all three major search engines, take screen shots and send an email to your engine rep or fill out the Google or Yahoo and MSN complaint forms. I’ve done this and it takes a couple of hours a week. The other option is to use a trademark monitoring service, which will monitor your terms at all times and send you reports on advertisers that are using your terms in their ads. Filling out the compliant forms and following up still takes some time, but not nearly as much as performing it manually. With the monitoring platform, we catch many more ads and are able to remove a larger volume of illegal ads each week.
We monitor trademark infringements for our clients and were able to reduce average CPC by 33% in one month of monitoring, completing complaint forms, and following up with the engines. Our client has over 200,000 branded clicks a month for an estimated savings of $6,000. A prime example of why you should defend your trademarked terms.