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Is Google fair

1:58 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have a client that has a very well known Trademark. It is registered with Google in many countries.

I am authorized to bid for that client on his trademark using his domain URL.

I having been doing this for the past 8 months with CTR of 30% + Top position and costs at around $0.01 - $0.02 a click.

This Trademark keyword gets around 120,000 impressions worldwide each day,

The past few months my clients Trademark has been targeted by at least 3 Chinese scam sites. Their adverts are 1 or more of the following -
1. False advertising.

2. Contain the variations of the trademark,

3. Incorrect URLs ( They actually put my clients URL as the display url. These means my legitimate, authorized advert will not show for THEIR TRADEMARK)

4 Multiple adverts for the same scam site. This then pushes my advert to position 4 and lower, with lower CTR and higher costs. I have increased my costs to try and combat this.

This week I have found out that Google have not managed to collect any money from these scam sites. It seem they have used false or fraudulent credit cards. So they have had 2-3 months of FREE false advertising at ludicrous high bid prices. It seem I am the only advertiser who has paid money for the targeted keyword, and my bid prices have at least TRIPLED.

To be fair, Google have done their very best to try and remove the sites. They have spent a lot of time on this exercise.

I have ask google for a rebate ( ie I only pay my previous normal costs ) and they have refused. Is this fair? Is it a reasonable request? I just want a few opinions.

Many thanks in advance

3:09 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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IMO it's not a reasonable request: it was your choice to bid higher, not google choice (anyway I understand you points).

If you've a real registered trademark (as you state) you can write to google trademark office to disallow other people to bid on your tradermark term (I did after about 10 emails of complaints with google).

Good Luck! :)

5:34 am on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:Apr 12, 2004
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I've also been a victim of this.

In my situation there was no trademark involved though but I've had these Chinese scammers place 5-7 ads and knock me off the front page. Of course, it's all done with stolen card numbers apparently so they get in for free while my business gets destroyed.

Trying to get a rebate is really not the best option in this case and is unlikely to be granted.

The best course of action IMO is get on Google's behind the minute these types of ads show up.

Perhaps getting a lawyer involved due to the trademark matter might carry some weight...then again, maybe not. You could consult one.

In my case I just watch my markets get destroyed by people who copy my entire ads and direct the traffic to Chinese mirror sites using stolen cards.

Google needs to step it up big time in this arena. Fraud is always a nightmare to stop but when you have repeat offenders doing the same thing I wonder how it happens...

6:43 am on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Is this fair? Is it a reasonable request?

Well, I do think it's fair and reasonable. But, I also think your likelihood for success is minimal enough, that I'd agree with luke175's advice:

The best course of action IMO is get on Google's behind the minute these types of ads show up.
7:33 am on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:June 2, 2006
votes: 6

I feel your pain as I had numerous mini heart attacks because of such and similar cases.

I believe it was about 2 years ago or so that I asked Google AdWords to issue credits for the cost that has been generated based on the appearance of ads that were against the TOS, and yet stayed there due to Google's incapability of stopping and removing them in timely manner, even after I would report them with the most possible data I could gather, for sure more than enough to take action after policy team would confirm it.

IMO, it is just that they can get away with it. I don't even recall when I mentioned lawyers and Google AdWords last time, but I wouldn't be surprised if 7 or more figures would be on the table considering the amount of time since one display URL per result policy has been introduced, while for the whole time we've been seeing bunch of those that have been going through with invalid display URLs. If we take that the turn over for invalid display URL should be 2 business days, all of those that hanged for more (and hang on right now), would be the cause of "extra cost" that should not be there.

Now, back to reality, you should be sitting on their back and point to ads in question as soon as you see them. Plus, in many cases, be ready to bring your brain down to a level of grade 2, as many of front people are just like that.

Last week I finally called about ads that were advertising pirated software (obvious case, or at least enough evidence to start investigating), and the young lady on the other side asked me to point her to the part of AdWords' TOS that says pirated software was not allowed.
The ads were not there as of this morning, but I see them now (again).

Go figure - 1-866-246-6453

The bottom line of this "blah, blah" is:

If you are incapable to support your own TOS, you pay for it.


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