Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 3.233.226.151

Forum Moderators: buckworks & eWhisper & skibum

Message Too Old, No Replies

Google Adwords Keyword Suggestion Tool

Suggesting copyrighted terms?

     
4:28 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 28, 2003
posts:209
votes: 0


Recently I had to contact a webmaster to remove a trademarked term (of mine) that he was using in Adwords.

He happily removed it, but pointed out that it was suggested to him by the Google keyword tool!

If this is true, I really think Google should cross-reference their suggestions with the trademark database. Perhaps they do but it is not fully implemented?

4:45 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 13, 2003
posts:4744
votes: 8


I would agree completely. I think other PPCs need todo this as well. Whenever I get sent their free list of KWs to try, it almost always contains trademarked terms.

Although, it would be more useful if in the Sandbox, G made another list and said, these are trademarked terms, you can't use them.

This would let us evaluate trademarked terms, looks at those sites (useful research here), and it would help them enforce the fact that they are explicitly showing you terms you can't bid on for their own legal purposes.

4:48 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 15, 2000
posts:77
votes: 0


Yes. I've had the same issues with google and our trademark is still listed as a suggested keyword. But then again so are my competitors. I do agree that there should be some cross referencing in place.
5:08 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 28, 2003
posts:209
votes: 0


Although I think the Google rep's are in a 'silent period' now, I would love if someone from AdWords could comment on this.
5:12 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member shak is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 28, 2002
posts:4154
votes: 0


the "annual global Google sales conference is taking place" so we may not see a response back till next week.

also I think this is slightly more technical than AWA giving us a clear cut answer instantly.

maybe add this to the wish list...

Shak

6:46 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 13, 2003
posts:4744
votes: 8


Good idea, Shak.

Done.

8:07 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 19, 2002
posts:1022
votes: 1


Is this really their responsibility though?

9:23 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 28, 2003
posts:209
votes: 0


I think it is one thing to ALLOW trademarked terms without verification, but a whole different to SUGGEST them.
4:15 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:July 21, 2000
posts:1402
votes: 0


Correct - I've just had to go through the rigmarole of writing letters in the suggested format to Google for people placing AdWords with my trademark as the trigger.

Pain in the butt!

But should it have been in the suggestions? I think not!

6:07 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 15, 2000
posts:77
votes: 0


I actually made a point of mentioning that our trademark term was being listed in sandbox as a trigger for broad match terms when I wrote google to follow up on my complaint submission.

Here's part of their response:


snip

I could contact competitors, but it seems like google are only doing half the job when these complaints are submitted. If a trademark term is suggested as a keyword, that means I'll have to add one more item to my list of google adwords management chores, "must police trademark terms". Maybe I'll to make it my new mantra.

b

[edited by: Shak at 6:19 pm (utc) on Jan. 29, 2004]
[edit reason] Strictly NO email quotes please. [/edit]

6:23 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 13, 2003
posts:4744
votes: 8


Did you submit the forms G requests to show you own the trademark on the term?

I've found G takes trademarks pretty seriousally, and haven't had much trouble getting G to remove specific trademarked terms.

9:24 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 28, 2003
posts:209
votes: 0


Agreed, if you follow their process, they will comply.

However, it not cool that they are making it so easy for people to bid on trademarked terms electronically, while you have to create this whole paper document on letterhead to get them to take it down.

Clearly, this policy is in the best interest of their revenue.

Google claims to have so much respect for IP, but are undermining their own position by suggesting Federally trademarked terms.

9:46 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 21, 2003
posts:20
votes: 0


I think it would be extremely difficult for g to automatically screen out trademarked terms. The problem is that most trademarks includes words/names that in themselves are not protectable by trademark. Often they are made up entirely of words would not be protected in themselves. Furthermore, trademark protection generally is of limited extent so although Bluegreen widget Co. may have the trademark on Bluegreen they often cannot stop me from separately trademarking Bluegreen when referring to gadgets (as long as I do not diminish the value of their trademark nor cause any confusion). Each case requires some individual judgement.

For these reasons it would be virtually impossible to just take a list of trademarks from the trademark office and exclude them from the permitted keywords for targetting.

The words suggested by g are most definately created by some sort of algorithm based on word combinations that have been searched for and to build intelligence to know that when this word is used in combination with some other word it is trademark protected would be totally unrealistic.

Although the current system is somewhat of a pain, I think that if they had any other system it would create huge problems.

What may be reasonable is a reminder on the keyword tool suggestion that you are not permitted to infringe others trademarked terms.

9:53 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member shak is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 28, 2002
posts:4154
votes: 0


What may be reasonable is a reminder on the keyword tool suggestion that you are not permitted to infringe others trademarked terms.

Superb Suggestion (imo)

Shak

1:25 am on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 28, 2003
posts:209
votes: 0


No offense, but I find that absurd. Although some people use them unwittingly, many more know exactly what they are doing.
5:50 am on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 21, 2003
posts:20
votes: 0


Hi finer9,

I'm not sure what you think is absurd.

I agree that most people who target other trademarks do it intentionally. However, I think many may not realize that there is anything wrong with this. After all they say "I'm not actually using the trademark at all, I'm just paying getting on the same page as where a trademarked term is used" Even googles terms of service don't seem to make it clear that this is wrong. They generally only talk about relevance. I couldn't find anything that specifically said targetting a trademarked term was wrong. (Didn't do an extensive search, but it wasn't very prominant anyways)

My point about difficulty of automating any "trademark list" is that trademarks are generally made up of names and words and in a different context those names or words would be perfectly legitimate target words (your trademark name may also be the name of a town, or dictionary words that are related to their product). It is definately true that if they were using it legitimitly they would probably have to add a bunch of "-tmproduct catagory" type tags to try and keep their ad from showing on nonrelated searches. It is also possible that the person using the trademark term as a key word has a legitimate reason to use it (they sell that brand of products). My point was that automating this type of filtering would be extremely difficult.

3:53 pm on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 13, 2003
posts:4744
votes: 8


This is G's [adwords.google.com...] (sorry for not linking it - but the system isn't letting me link a https right now) for their trademarked terms.

It seems G could easily add a filter if someone had submitted the paperwork to the AdWords results.

I agree that most people who target other trademarks do it intentionally

I don't know if most people realize that many broadmatch terms show up for searches that include trademarked terms. Some of the broadmatchs can be fairly liberal.

As stated before, there are many legitimate reasons for bidding on trademarked terms. If you sell that brand product on your site, many companies have no problem with you advertising for their trademarked term.

If G got a copy of every trademarked term and filtered their results. Then to be shown for a term you'd have to prove you have permission to bid on that term, it would put a high burden on advertisers trying to get permission from big companies. G would probably be swamped by a lot of paperwork/investigation of people who are trying to bid on trademarked terms compared to the amount of paperwork they currently receive to just remove the offending ones.

11:00 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 30, 2002
posts:1377
votes: 0


This isn't a simple issue I'm afraid: there are hundreds of official TradeMark databases and it's nearly impossible to know when you're violating a trademark and when not. TradeMarks are always local and connected to area's of interest. Some TM databases are not even online available.

HitProf
TradeMark owner, recently violated :)

2:36 am on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member adwordsadvisor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:July 9, 2003
posts:4799
votes: 0


I would love if someone from AdWords could comment on this.

I do have a few comments on this thread, but would like to take more than a few minutes to compose them. So, I'll post again on this tomorrow.

maybe add this to the wish list...

Consider it done!

AWA

3:30 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 2, 2004
posts:73
votes: 0


some, like me (and it seems G) , don't feel that there is anything wrong with using trademarks as a keyword.

here is a recent and more philosophical dicussion of the issue:

[webmasterworld.com...]

3:51 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 19, 2002
posts:1022
votes: 1


Actually Google does see a problem with it. They're even willing to do a little investigating. ;)

'http://www.google.com/tm_complaint.html'

4:04 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 2, 2004
posts:73
votes: 0


"Still, the law is unclear in the United States about the responsibility of search engines to police trademarks in paid search. Google says in its terms and conditions that advertisers themselves "are responsible for the keywords and ad text that they choose to use." But if asked, Google will perform a limited investigation and respect "reasonable" requests to remove trademark terms from the bidding process. "

[news.com.com ]

because it is a 'grey' issue, they have to hedge. But if they were really 'against' it they would be much more 'cut-and-dried' in their policy.

6:45 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member adwordsadvisor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:July 9, 2003
posts:4799
votes: 0


OK, back with a few thoughts.

Firstly, the point (made many times above) regarding excluding trademarks from the Keyword Suggestion tool, is well taken. The idea certainly makes sense to me, too. And, while I can't speak to the technical issues involved, I'll certainly pass your comments on to the right folks.

In fact, I've already have done so. ;)

With that said, I wanted to add a few quick words about the Keyword Suggestion tool. It seems as if there may (sometimes) be a bit of a misunderstanding about the intent of the tool.

Bottom line, the Keyword Suggestion tool is not suggesting that you use all of the keywords that it returns. Instead, it is suggesting that you make an informed decision about them.

Essentially, the tool is a database that knows nothing at all about your actual business, your site, or your ad. All it knows is what word you've entered. It then returns related words, and asks you to decide whether they are pertinent to your situation. Some will be, and some won't be.

In fact, in the 'More Specific Keywords' section, it specifically says that you should consider NOT using some of the 'suggestions':

...You should also identify any irrelevant terms and add them as negative matches (otherwise your ads will show for terms that don't pertain to your business).

So please don't think of the words being returned by the Keyword Suggestion tool as a carefully crafted list that one should simply cut and past into the keyword entry box. (Hey, I know that no one on this forum would do so, but I've seen it happen many a time!)

Rather, think of the KW Suggestion tool as a place to start thinking about the right keywords for your ad.

Finally, please feel free to add additional comments on this subject, and I'll pass the new ones on later in the week.

Thanks!

AWA

7:05 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 2, 2004
posts:73
votes: 0


AWA,

Thanks for the info. Please pass along that *not* everyone is opposed to having our trademarks (or using other trademarks) as keywords.

Informed consumers are happy consumers.

Tell G to 'keep up the good fight'!

8:13 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 28, 2003
posts:209
votes: 0


I sincerely appreciate the reply. I understand Google is not in the business of engineering tools that work against revenue, but this one seems to be a legal CYA in my opinion!
8:16 pm on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 26, 2003
posts:1372
votes: 37


does pepsi buy or ask permission to say they're better then coke?

As long as they're not acting on behalf of you or in a similar fashion, aren't they allowed to use your name as a keyword?

search for: ibm, microsoft, dell, sprint, nextel, ebay and they all have ads for them.

frankly it would be a sad world if you can't compete on keywords even if they are a competitors name/brand as there is nothing stopping you from doing the same within reason.

5:13 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 28, 2003
posts:209
votes: 0


I think maybe they could use your brand as a keyword if the page goes to a factual comparison, where the brand is properly represented.

I think it is not acceptable to use your brand as a keyword if they take visitors to a page that is JUST about their competing product.