Microsoft Boots its Display Business and Takes Over AOL Search

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced they would be taking over AOL Search and shifting some parts of its advertising work onto both AOL and AppNexus, an online advertising company.

Jul 2, 2015

Major Changes to Bing-Yahoo Search Agreement

On April 16th, Bing and Yahoo announced a change to their longstanding search partnership. Search Engine Land posted an immediate follow-up to the announcement with useful details and analysis, and followed up with an update last week that provided more information.

Jennie Scholick
Apr 28, 2015

Google To Update Policy Regarding Software Download Ads

One of the major takeaways from both editions of BrandVerity’s Branded Keywords Report has been that Download & Toolbar sites, which bundle free versions of software with other products, such as toolbars, malware, or adware, are a major problem for software technology companies. In fact, in our study covering Q4 2014, nine of the top 10 advertisers on branded technology terms were Download sites.

Jennie Scholick
Mar 24, 2015

Display URLs Not Appearing on Yahoo and Bing


We've recently been finding some ads appearing on Yahoo and Bing without a Display URL. We first noticed this on Yahoo, where the ads were simply composed of a headline and description text (without any space for a Display URL to appear). In some more recent monitoring, the examples we've found on Bing have always included a lone dot in the Display URL field. In the Bing example on the right, you can see this dot followed a gap where the Display URL would normally be.

Dec 5, 2014

Google AdWords' Close Variant Keyword Policy and Trademark Compliance

As you may have seen, Google announced last Thursday that in late September they will be doing away with the option to disable close variant keyword matching on exact and phrase match keywords. In brief, marketers could previously target their ads to exact strings that people search for—or to particular phrases that people include in their searches. Now, the only option is to also target what Google calls “misspellings, singulars/plurals, acronyms, abbreviations, accents and stemmings,” when using exact and phrase match. TechCrunch offered a good overview of the change shortly after it was announced. Generally, the announcement has garnered some negative reactions among marketers as illustrated in this Marketing Land post, which highlights various responses to the new policy.

Jennie Scholick
Aug 20, 2014

Announcing Custom Processes with Google & Bing

We're excited to announce the launch of our new custom processes with Google and Bing! These processes enable us to provide feedback directly from the search engines about the status of your trademark complaints, giving you better visibility into your results whenever you report a trademark violation through our system. Our hope is that these new improvements will make it easier than ever to protect your brand from third-party trademark abusers in paid search.

Mar 6, 2014

These Valentine's Day PPC Ads Made Us Chuckle

Valentine's Day sure seems to bring out the creativity from paid search teams. Maybe it's easier to stand out when so many advertisers are using the traditional jewelry and chocolates narratives, or perhaps it's just fun to manufacture relevance to the topic of love.

Feb 14, 2014

Affiliate Found Hijacking Rich Ads in Search

Yahoo made an interesting move a few years ago by introducing branded favicons for certain paid listings. The concept made a lot of sense at the time (and to this day). Not only would the new visual element encourage clicks—it would also add a level of trust for the searcher. Considering the potential for brand confusion with search ads (via tactics like ad hijacking, search arbitrage, and various other forms of trademark abuse), this was a win-win for brands and consumers alike. Brands could make themselves stand out. Consumers could be assured that they were heading to their intended destination.

Jan 28, 2014

Search Arbitrage Site "5earch" Goes Silent

When it comes to brand bidding and trademark abuse, the breaking stories often center around new schemes and tactics. But today we have some more positive news. no longer seems to be actively engaging in search arbitrage. And furthermore, the site doesn't seem to be active at all anymore.

Jul 22, 2013

Fireworks and Paid Search: Advertisers Breaking PPC Rules?

July is the month for fireworks. Not just as an American ritual, but also in terms of search engine queries. There are far more searches for terms like “fireworks”, “firecrackers”, “bottle rockets” and other patriotic explosives in July than in any other month. Just check out the very consistent July spikes in this Google Trends graph:

Jul 3, 2013
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