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Google Issues New Trademark Policy

 4:10 am on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google Updates AdWords Trademark Policy For U.S.A. [adwords.blogspot.com]
That is why, in an effort to improve ad quality and user experience, we are adjusting our trademark policy in the U.S. to allow some ads to use trademarks in the ad text. This change will bring Google's policy on trademark use in ad text more in line with the industry standard. Under certain criteria, you can use trademark terms in your ad text in the U.S. even if you don't own that trademark or have explicit approval from the trademark owner to use it. This change will help you to create more narrowly targeted ad text that highlights your specific inventory.

Please note that this policy update will only apply to ads served in the U.S. on Google.com and to U.S. users on the Search and Content Networks. Also, while we will start accepting new ads that contain trademark terms as of 11am PDT on May 15th, those ads will not begin showing until June 15th.

[edited by: engine at 3:13 pm (utc) on May 15, 2009]
[edit reason] Linked to story [/edit]



 4:32 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

somebody needs more cash :_)


 5:07 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

somebody needs more cash :_)

My thought exactly!


 5:16 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Who DOESN'T need more cash? :)


 5:38 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is totally about money.


 5:58 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

It makes sense though. We've run into problems with it in the past. I should be able to promote products that I'm authorized to sell by the manufacturer in my ads. If I'm not allowed to sell them, I can't use the term. Seems pretty fair.

But yeah, the money is nice for Google, too. I'm sure it'll hit the courts again, soon, too.


 7:11 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Interesting to see if this changes the terms and conditions of affiliate deals being done through the various network providers regards to keyword bidding.

Judging by the fact that the communication specifies the exact time that it will be possible to start bidding on these TM keywords, it can be assumed that they predict a pretty heavy takeup.


 7:39 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Now if only Amazon would lighten up about their associates using the term "kindle"


 7:43 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Now if only Amazon would lighten up about their associates using the term "kindle"

Amazon banned all associates from doing PPC advertising.


 7:54 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

There are actually two issues, and it's the 2nd that concerns me:

(1) You can't have an ad you paid for go directly to Amazon from the ad with your associates tag (http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2009/04/06/no-more-ppc-for-amazon-associates);


(2) You can't use certain terms, even if the traffic goes to your site first, before going to Amazon:

[Y]ou may not . . . seek to purchase or register any keywords, search terms or other identifiers that include the words "amazon," "endless," "kindle," "javari" or any other trademark of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates, or variations or misspellings thereof (for example "ammazon," "amaozn," "kindel," "endlss," "enldess," "javary," etc.) ("Proprietary Terms") for use in any search engine, portal, sponsored advertising service or other search or referral service.


This is especially bad for sites that provide extra value around the Kindle, because terms such as "ebook" and "electronic book reader" don't cut it.


 9:25 pm on May 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Another viewpoint on this subject from The Register...

Despite facing multiple lawsuits over the sale of trademarked keywords on its web-dominating ad machine, Google has expanded the use of trademarks by US advertisers.

Yesterday, with a post to the Google AdWords blog, the company said it will soon allow the use of trademarks in the text displayed by its online search ads.



 4:20 am on May 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just a thought re Amazon, maybe they want to restrict the usage of terms that they can, in order to prevent the CPC prices of those terms being bid way high - to the benefit of nobody affiliated with Amazon.

As a product supplier, this concerns us as well. We don't want resellers bidding on the same keywords that we do - it will just inflate the CPCs and we end up working against each other.


 11:36 am on May 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Regarding not "want[ing] resellers bidding on the same keyword that we do":

If you put this together with the two scenarios I describe above, I think it makes some sense for Amazon's policy (1), where they say the links in the ad can't go directly to Amazon; in that can, there is no "extra value" (except in better ad copy) that brings Amazon business, and, as babbadmonkey says, it inflates CPCs, and the associate and Amazon work again each other.

(2) Is different, however. Whether or not it represents genuine inflation of CPC and worthless competititon with Amazon is an open question. The reason is: There very well could be add-on products to the Kindle -- as either services or products -- and how can you advertise those if you can't use the word Kindle? E.g., a service that might analyze the availability and costs of Kindle books, and then provide links back to Amazon. In this case, the ad directs you to the associate's site, which provides additional value -- and then there's a link to Amazon.

It seems to me that there could be cases where Amazon is shooting itself in the foot by not allowing this kind of value-added traffic, from ad to associate's site and then to Amazon.

As I said before, it is especially awkward for the Kindle, because how can you attract traffic regarding the Kindle without using the word "kindle"?

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