The law states that in order to charge another with trademark infringement, the infringer has to have used the trademark in a way that has caused consumer confusion about the identity of the advertiser and has to have been used “in commerce”. When a trademark is used as a keyword to trigger an internet advertisement, the question that arises is whether this is a use “in commerce”.
Google will allow companies to bid on their competitors’ trademarked terms as long as the trademarked names do not appear in the text of the ads. Yahoo does not allow competitors’ to place ads on trademarked names.
Many advertisers dislike the idea of paying for their company name due to the fact that they already receive good natural positions in the search engine result pages (SERP’s). However, we recommend implementing a branding campaign within our Search Engine Marketing (SEM) programs. And here are the reasons why:
So, you’re running Paid Placement Campaigns (PPC) in Google, Yahoo, and MSN. You have set them up and you’re finally getting visitors to your site. That’s all you need to do, right? Wrong! It is absolutely imperative to ensure that your paid campaigns are running properly, and that you are using the most effective keywords and ad copy, bidding appropriately, etc. One of the biggest mistakes often made is to sit back and let the campaigns run on “auto pilot”. I can pretty much guarantee that your competition is not doing that and therefore, you should not be either.
That being said, how do you improve the effectiveness of your campaigns? Sometimes it is just a matter of tweaking your ad copy or changing your keywords. Other times, it could be revising your match type or increasing your bids. Match type refers to the way an engine matches your keywords to the actual terms people are searching for. For example: Broad Match would be the widest range possible, which means you will get coverage for any variation of your keywords. This happens to be the default setting. Exact Match, on the other hand, would require the searcher to enter your keywords exactly how you have them in your campaign. This will obviously limit your exposure significantly. It might take some testing to determine which match type is best for you based on your particular keywords.