Ortlieb v. Amazon: The Implications for Paid Search Marketers

In July 2019, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled that Amazon’s advertising on Google using the branded term “Ortlieb” was a trademark infringement because the Google ad led to a list of results on Amazon that included competitors’ products. Some commentators and bloggers erroneously concluded that the German court was in effect banning brand bidding. Others downplayed the impact or didn’t fully understand the nuances of this decision.

Ulla Saleh
Sep 24, 2019

Understanding Trademark Rules and Owning Your Brand Voice

I caught up with Christi Olson, Head of Evangelism for Search at Microsoft at the leading search conference MozCon. In her presentation, “What Voice Means for Search Marketers,” Christi provided an overview of Microsoft’s 2019 Voice Report and offered suggestions on how to prepare for the growing prevalence of voice search. Her presentation focused on voice search usage and how to adapt your strategy to take advantage of voice search adoption.

While MozCon focuses on SEO and organic search, Christi’s presentation raised many questions for those of us interested in paid search and brand protection. Christi was kind enough to answer my questions.

Ulla Saleh
Aug 26, 2019

Why Manually Monitoring Your Branded Keywords in PPC Doesn’t Work

When I speak with prospective customers about the benefits of our paid search monitoring solution, one thing I commonly hear is: “We don’t need automated software; we are already monitoring and remediating issues manually.” Another common refrain is: “Our agency handles all of that.”

John Ethier
Jul 9, 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

Bing-Yahoo Expanded Partnership Brings Easier PPC Compliance

In January, Microsoft and Verizon Media announced a major update to their partnership. Starting in March, Bing Ads will be the sole advertising platform for Yahoo and AOL ads. We’re excited about these changes because it will become easier for Paid Search Managers to run their campaigns.

Stephen Borlik
Mar 4, 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

Latest Google Ads Policy Update to Call-Only Ads

Noticed anything different when setting up call-only ad campaigns in Google Ads? In December, Google made changes to their call-only ads policy. While the changes may appear relatively minor, they have implications for advertisers wishing to use this type of ad. These updates are in line with Google’s philosophy of providing a smooth customer journey and ensuring that people engaging with ads on their search engine are finding what they want.  

Ulla Saleh
Jan 9, 2019

Did Amazon Pursue a Competitive Brand Bidding Strategy Over Black Friday?

Buzzfeed published an article last week largely based on a study conducted by Adthena, a paid search competitive intelligence company. The main point of the story was that Amazon engaged in a targeted strategy to aggressively bid on competitors’ branded terms over the Black Friday to Cyber Monday period.

We found the article and the supporting research to be misleading. Nothing in either piece supports the point of view that Amazon was doing anything intentionally aggressive or even differentiated. The purpose of this blog post is to provide more context as well as correct information on competitive brand bidding and Google’s trademark policy itself.

David Naffziger
Dec 17, 2018

Black Friday Brand Bidding Spotlight: Nintendo

For the last couple of years, we have used BrandVerity’s Paid Search Monitoring tool to examine brand bidding during the busiest online shopping days of the year – Black Friday through Cyber Monday. We set up monitoring on some of the most anticipated gifts of the holiday season and see how advertisers take advantage of the holiday search volume surge to attract clicks. In many cases, we find ads that mislead customers and win commissions on unearned clicks.

Ulla Saleh
Dec 5, 2018

5 Essential Steps to Monitoring Your Trademark in Paid Search

This is the last in our four-part series on protecting your trademark in paid search. The earlier pieces included a deep dive on Google Ads trademark rules, a step-by-step guide to submitting trademark infringements to Google, and a set of commonly asked questions regarding trademark policies. While this series focuses on Google, the techniques and considerations are similar across all search engines.

Ulla Saleh
Sep 27, 2018
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