In a recent webinar hosted by BrandVerity, David Iglesias, a seasoned professional from the sales team, delved into the strategies for safeguarding your brand on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This blog post will summarize the key online brand protection strategy tips from David's webinar, focusing on the prevalent tactics, examples of infringements, and recommendations for brand protection in the paid search landscape.
Watch the full effective online brand protection webinar to hear all of David's brand protection strategies.
The Most Popular Tactics & Infringements of SERP Brand Protection
David began by highlighting the most common types of abusive activities that can pose a significant threat to online brands on the SERP. These tactics include hijacking or imitation, counterfeit product sales, trademark abuse, unauthorized online brand building, unapproved ad copies, and misleading landing pages.
Hijacking and Imitation Ads & Impact on the Brand Protection
One form of abuse observed is when third parties imitate a brand's online presence on search engines, luring unsuspecting users to deceptive websites. David presented examples of fraudulent ads that redirected users to websites closely resembling legitimate brands, such as Betfair, Wise (formerly TransferWise), and Kander. These imitations often aim to deceive users and potentially steal their credentials.
Counterfeit Product Sales
Advertisers frequently run pay-per-click (PPC) ads to sell replicas or counterfeit products, particularly in industries like retail and fashion. David showcased instances where advertisers attempted to imitate popular brands like Pandora, Ted Baker, and Nike. These deceptive ads lure customers with low prices and misleading ad copies, potentially resulting in financial loss and damage to the genuine brands' reputation.
Some advertisers exploit online brand names for competitive purposes by including them in their ads, despite having no affiliation with the brand. This violates search engine rules. David illustrated this type of abuse using examples of ads by Philo and an unauthorized customer service provider posing as Hastings Direct. These practices mislead users and harm both the brand's reputation and search campaigns.
Unauthorized Online Brand Bidding
Another challenge arises when partners, such as affiliates, resellers, or distributors, bid on branded keywords in violation of their partnership agreements. David demonstrated instances where partners competed with the brand's own ads, potentially increasing costs and diminishing the brand's visibility.
Online Brand Protection Strategy Tips for Search Result Pages
To combat these infringements and safeguard a brand's presence on the SERP, David provided the following recommendations:
Regular Monitoring for Online Brand Protection
Continuously monitor the paid search landscape to identify any abusive activity targeting your brand.
Establish clear guidelines and partnership agreements with affiliates and partners, clearly outlining restrictions on brand bidding and other practices.
Trademark Compliance for Online Brand Protection
Ensure compliance with search engine policies regarding the usage of brand names in ads, allowing only authorized entities to utilize them.
Maintain regular communication with partners to enforce compliance and address any violations promptly.
Ad Copy Approval
Implement a process to review and approve ad copies to ensure they align with the brand's messaging and do not mislead users.
Landing Page Relevance
Ensure that landing pages are relevant to the ad copy, providing accurate information and a seamless user experience.
Legal Action, if necessary
In extreme cases, consider taking legal action against persistent offenders to protect the brand's online reputation and prevent further abuse.
Protecting a brand's online presence on search result pages is vital to maintain brand integrity, prevent financial loss, and preserve customer trust. By understanding the prevalent tactics used to abuse the paid search landscape and implementing effective brand protection strategies, businesses can mitigate risks and safeguard their online reputation. Stay vigilant, establish clear guidelines, and work closely with partners to ensure a secure and trustworthy brand presence in the digital realm