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ethics of bidding on competitors terms

 5:27 pm on Nov 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Is it considered unethical to bid on a competitor's name for a competeing product? e.g. you sell xyz and you bid on the term for company 'abc' which sells a competing product...thanks.



 5:32 pm on Nov 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you have a price comparison page where abc and xyz are mentioned, I think that you are covered.


 5:41 pm on Nov 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Scorpion, look at this way...how p!ssed off would you be if your competitor bidded on your brand name?

If your answer is "pretty p!ssed off", then don't do it. You will be targetting a competitor and they will know about it.

Like Mike said, you can cover yourself, but do you really want to start a battle? Can your business afford to maintain a sustained level of marketing and advertising to counter any offensive by your competitor? Is your site squeaky clean (its likely to be picked apart by your competition)?

Is it ethical? No, probably not, but its business. Just be prepared to face any consequences. :)

Just my opinion though!



 6:01 pm on Nov 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Is it considered unethical to bid on a competitor's name for a competeing product

Google's opinion - NO
(Do a search for OVERTURE in Google and you will see Google AdWords ads under Premium Sponsorship)

My personal opinion - NO

IMHO, forget "ethics" and bid for it if the price is attractive. However, if you do get a request from your competitor to remove the ad, you should probably get rid of the ad.


 6:23 pm on Nov 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I suppose it depends on the keyword reviewer/editor. I put in a keyword on Overture for a competitor. First time it was accepted. I modified the text today and it was rejected. Reason: "Competitor"


 7:18 pm on Nov 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've had people bidding on my domain names. It's very annoying, especially since these sites attract returning customers.

However, ethics is so relative. There's no black and white so it's whatever your comfortable with.


 7:32 pm on Nov 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

A major competitor is using my company name as their title in an adwords campaign. My company name is a 2 keyword phrase but in reverse order to what 95% of most surfers would use to search.

Totally pissed me off but I have not asked them to remove it. Instead, I used their company name as a title on one of my web pages ... just to see if there is any reaction. Nothing so far, but its only been a month and I'm guessing they haven't noticed it yet!

If you are going to do it, be prepared for the pay back! :)


 7:32 pm on Nov 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

A concern from another direction: If the user is looking for Company A or Product B by name, and you bid on (or optimize for) those terms, then you're not actually what the user was looking for so how effectively would traffic gained that way convert to sales?

I suspect that visitors who found you because you took advantage of competitors' names would not be as productive as people who found you in other ways. If you did decide your ethics were loose enough to do that sort of thing, some careful tracking and analysis would be in order to make sure it was cost-effective.


 12:18 am on Nov 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

It also depends on the size of your competitor.

If you are competing against a Walmart, they won't even take notice. Compete against some company of similiar size, they will take it personally, and the price wars and other bad stuff will start.

Don't start any battles, that you can't either

a) win
b) run away from fast.

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