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Can competitor target my exact URL?

 2:45 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)


Can a competitor target my exact url as a keyword?

Is this legal, and if not , what is my recourse.



 3:30 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

IANAL, but Google will let someone take it as a keyword; they probably wouldn't let someone use it in an ad or a display url. The actual legalities of it - I can't imagine Google wouldn't have vetted that first, but you can check with a lawyer.

If it's any consolation, someone using your url as a keyword should get a pretty lousy QS before too long.

Also bear in mind that broad match being what it is, you may not necessarily be able to tell for a fact that they're using your exact url as a keyword.


 4:11 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Can a competitor target my exact url as a keyword?

They can in the US, Canada and the UK. Not 100% sure, but I think that in European markets its still protected (as long as your URL is a trademark). No idea about Asian markets. Where are you advertising?

Is this legal, and if not , what is my recourse.

IANAL either, but as far as I'm aware its legal (in the UK at least). However its still a fairly mute point, so sending a cease and desist can sometimes put enough of a frightener up them to get them to stop.

Also, I've worked on some very big brand PPC campaigns where competitors have bid on brand terms and as netmeg said, the QS often makes it very expensive for them. If you are bidding on your URL in PPC, try working to increase your click thru rate by trying a variety of creatives. The higher your CTR, the lower the competitors QS and the more it costs them.

[edited by: JamieBrown at 4:14 pm (utc) on July 28, 2008]


 5:01 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've also had some success with ads that state specifically that we're the *real* source for whatever it is - the "don't be fooled by substitutes" approach.


 7:09 am on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am not sure I have a case, as my clients domain is kewordkeyword.com. One could argue generic keywords, however exact url targeting is 100% specific.

If I were to attempt a cease and desist, it could scare them, but I need backup/proof before sending.


 2:28 pm on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Then you probably need to contact a lawyer.


 8:03 pm on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

they probably wouldn't let someone use it in an ad or a display url.

Amazingly enough, Google will allow another advertiser to use your URL as that advertiser’s display URL (provided that the destination URL points to your page). To do otherwise, they say, would go against their “ad auction principles”.

Obviously, this isn't really a problem since it's unlikely direct competitors would pay to drive visitors to your site. It is a huge issue when dealing with affiliates though.

[edited by: Channel01 at 8:04 pm (utc) on Aug. 5, 2008]


 7:14 am on Aug 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Cetain countries do not allow competitive advertising. This could definately be challenged in certain countries.

I think they should have a policy to stop this. We have a client who has 9000 uniques a month from url type-in in G.

Therefore If I was a competitior, I could potentially poach some of the 9000. As no one else is targeting this competitor, you could steal it for the minimum bid/click.

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