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Can I bid on competitors companies names?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I'd like to know if I can place bids on keywords which are my competitors business/website names? For e.g: if a customer searches 'hoover', can I place bids using 'hoover'? 

 

Is this unethical, or illegal, or generally frowned upon?

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Accepted by rashu (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: Can I bid on competitors companies names / trade names

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

jewb2; Welcome to our community;


In most countries you can use trade-names as keywords . Please refer to the detailed Policy for specific regions (e.g. EU) and countries. 

 

-Moshe

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Accepted by rashu (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: Can I bid on competitors companies names?

Top Contributor Alumni
# 3
Top Contributor Alumni

Whether or not you can use a competitor's name as a keyword depends on the circumstances surrounding the keyword.

 

If it's a copyrighted or trademarked term, then usage is regulated, as Moshe says, by the applicable laws of the country or region. If it's not a copyrighted/trademarked term, then there's probably no restriction anywhere and you're free to use it.

 

What I wanted to add to this conversation was a warning about using DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) for the ads in any Ad Group where you might wind up using c/t terms as keywords. You'll want to avoid DKI in those ads, to make sure that your ads don't wind up displaying any legally restricted words.

 

Good luck!


Theresa
Google AdWords Top Contributor
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by rashu (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: Can I bid on competitors companies names / trade names

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

jewb2; Welcome to our community;


In most countries you can use trade-names as keywords . Please refer to the detailed Policy for specific regions (e.g. EU) and countries. 

 

-Moshe

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by rashu (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: Can I bid on competitors companies names?

Top Contributor Alumni
# 3
Top Contributor Alumni

Whether or not you can use a competitor's name as a keyword depends on the circumstances surrounding the keyword.

 

If it's a copyrighted or trademarked term, then usage is regulated, as Moshe says, by the applicable laws of the country or region. If it's not a copyrighted/trademarked term, then there's probably no restriction anywhere and you're free to use it.

 

What I wanted to add to this conversation was a warning about using DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) for the ads in any Ad Group where you might wind up using c/t terms as keywords. You'll want to avoid DKI in those ads, to make sure that your ads don't wind up displaying any legally restricted words.

 

Good luck!


Theresa
Google AdWords Top Contributor
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Re: Can I bid on competitors companies names?

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆

As the others have correctly said there are different cases depending on location.

 

There have been cases of companies taking Google and each other to court (interflora and M&S is an interesting example).

 

My advice would be to be very careful and if they ask you to remove your ads, i'd probably do it as quickly as possible!

 

Cheers

Kane

Re: Can I bid on competitors companies names?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

We have that as standard practice to bid on competitor terms. There's nothing unethical about it - it's an even playing field, they can bid on your brand terms, and you can bid on theirs.

 

Whenever a client gets a letter from a competitors legal team, they are given (with a disclaimer) a letter that kindly sais what we are doing is fine, if you have any problems, please file it with Google.

 

Almost all smart companies stop the "legal" thing right there...

Re: Can I bid on competitors companies names?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have found that although this is probably not illegal, anyone with an ethical bone in their body would not only avoid doing this, but when they see someone else doing it, it should make the hair on their neck stand up.  Dont do it!  It makes you look desperate

Re: Can I bid on competitors companies names?

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

I have to say I agree with you daves, and welcome to the forum.  The "everyone else does it" argument has never seem more than a playground whine to me.  There are plenty of inventive and interesting ways to rise above the competition without infighting.

 

Jon

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