The affect of Google’s trademark change

From the 5 May Google will stop enforcing trademark protection on all searches in the UK and Ireland. This means that advertisers are no longer restricted from bidding on trademarked terms.

What does this mean to you?
If you currently own a trademarked term then you will be used to your ad sitting all by itself in a land free of all competitors. The bad news for you is that this won’t be the case for much longer. Once the policy change takes place, any tomdickorharry.com will be able to bid on your brand name and anything related.

You own the trademark…surely that means you can legally protect it?
Unfortunately not, UK law is not clear enough on whether bidding on a keyword in a search engine is infringing on the use of a trademark.

Yahoo were cleared on a trademark infringement case after ‘Mr Spicy’ tried to sue them for showing a competitors ad on this trademarked term .Yahoo argued that none of the competitors were bidding on the trademark, and their ads were matching on related terms such as ‘spicy’.

How will it affect your PPC campaign?
Well, costs for your brand-related ad groups will undoubtedly rise because your average CPC will increase. The increase will be relative to the amount of new competitors that appear, and I can imagine that this in turn, will be relative to the industry.

These ads will all be competing for your top spot, and they will be drawing visitors away from your site so you can expect lower click through rates and fewer clicks for a higher CPC. Sounding good so far?

How can I prepare for the change?
I would sign off some more budget for your brand campaign. You’re going to need it if you want to keep your ad on top of the competition!

You need to plaster your ad with your brand name. The competition still aren’t allowed to use your brand name in their ads, so the big bold words will separate you from them.

And if you’ve still got some budget left, why not set up a competitor bidding campaign? It’s a going to be a completely open market and if the competition bid on your brand, I wouldn’t show any remorse when bidding on theirs.