Users Exploit Referral Programs with Ad Hijacking

Having worked with many different types of companies on their paid search compliance strategy, I’ve seen my fair share of program abuse. Paid search abuse takes many forms and involves a variety of bad actors, including trademark abusers or affiliate program violators.

With the rise of referral programs that reward users for referring new members, a new type of abuse has emerged. Referral programs are a useful means of acquiring new customers and users. By encouraging word-of-mouth with incentives, companies can accelerate growth at a reasonable and consistent cost. Referral programs are also a great way to transform loyalists into full-fledged brand ambassadors. With the opportunity to gain some extra perks, these star customers can bring on a lot of incremental traffic and revenue.

Brendan Lash
May 15, 2019

Search Engine Trademark Rules in PPC With Real-World Examples

The search engines’ rules around trademark use in paid search ads in the United States are nuanced and complicated. Unless you work with them every day, as we do, it can be difficult to know when an ad complies with the rules.

What is crystal clear though is the frustration you have when you see a competitor showing up on the search engine results page (SERP) using your branded keywords. Infuriating? Yes, but is it allowed? It depends.

Ulla Saleh
Apr 1, 2019

Gain Control of Your Trademark in Google Shopping

The Rise of Google Shopping

Most paid search experts believe Google Shopping is a big opportunity for online retailers and it will continue to play an important role in years to come. According to Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report for Q4 2018, while text ad spending fell 9% Y/Y following three quarters of single-digit growth, spending on Google Shopping ads grew 42% Y/Y in Q4 2018. This was the highest growth rate for Google Shopping spend since mid-2016. For retailers, Google Shopping ads accounted for 63% of all Google search ad clicks–an all-time high as well.

Maura Newell
Feb 5, 2019

How To Submit a Trademark Infringement to Google

You think a competitor is abusing your trademark in the copy of their ad. You’re a little rusty on Google Ads Trademark policy. You seem to recall something about how Google doesn’t allow trademarks in the ad text, but they can use them in the display URL. You go to the Google Ads support page that describes what is and what is not allowed, and by the end of reading it, you are more confused than you were before! Don’t worry! You are not alone. Many smart people have read and re-read Google’s policies on trademark and come away with more questions than answers.

Ulla Saleh
Aug 28, 2018

How to Effectively Implement a PPC + SEO Keyword Strategy

Keywords are the base variable between all channels, and they are how a user communicates with a search engine. A lot of organizations strive to attain PPC and SEO synergy, but sharing keyword data remains the most important aspect of maximizing the effectiveness of these two strategies. Usually PPC and SEO are handled by two different teams, so it is important to set a regular cadence for collaboration and communication. 

Jessica Bultman
Aug 23, 2018

Google Ads Trademark Rules 101

When competitors use your trademark in their Google AdWords campaigns, there are many adverse effects including decreased CTRs and increased CPCs for your ads as well as a poor customer experience for your customers. It’s also annoying for any digital marketer to see a competitor in the top spot on the SERP using your trademark! Check out more in part 2 of our 4-part series on Google Ads Trademark Rules.

Ulla Saleh
Jul 26, 2018

The Complete Guide to Google's Marketing Innovations Keynote 2018

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Google's big changes across all advertising products.

The keynote address at last week’s Google Marketing Live conference was packed with announcements that will impact digital marketers for years to come. The presentation ran for over an hour, so there was a lot to digest. We put together a complete guide to help you quickly navigate all this new material.

Machine learning and assistance continue to be the overarching focus for Google. According to Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior VP of Ads, Google wants to “be there and be useful” for consumers and advertisers by focusing on being valuable, transparent and trustworthy.

Google’s latest innovations help accomplish three things for advertisers: Better Results, Simpler Experiences, and Deeper Insights.

Jessica Bultman
Jul 19, 2018

Google AdWords Trademark Policies: Top 8 Questions

Google AdWords trademark policies can be confusing – especially if you don’t have prior experience with intellectual property or trademark law. We have been helping big brands, agencies, and networks protect their trademarked terms in paid search for the last 10 years. In that time, we’ve answered countless questions about AdWords trademark policies and brand bidding. I talked with our intrepid Customer Success Team to find out what are the most common questions they get asked and how they answer those questions.

Ulla Saleh
Jul 11, 2018

The Top 6 Reasons to Bid on Your Brand

Have you ever been asked by your CMO or a client, “Why are we bidding on our branded terms when we rank Number 1 in organic?” You may find yourself using phrases like “PPC best practice” or “controlling SERP real estate,” as you try to formulate a concise explanation.

Ulla Saleh
Jun 5, 2018

Affiliate Ad Hijacking: 5 Things You Should Know

Notice anything fishy in your PPC metrics lately? Is your impression share on branded terms lower than normal? Are the conversion rates for one of your affiliates almost identical to your branded paid search campaigns? You may be the target of an affiliate ad hijacker.

While most affiliates don’t engage in ad hijacking, when someone does, the impact can be very damaging to a brand’s paid search programs. Affiliates are supposed to be driving incremental revenue and helping you reach your goals, not stealing clicks and making your paid search programs more expensive!

In this blog, we’ll answer the five most common questions about affiliate ad hijacking and give you the information you need to identify and stop ad hijacking.

Ulla Saleh
Apr 3, 2018
What you don't know will hurt you. Start monitoring and protecting your brand.
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