A popular keyword strategy in pay-per-click advertising has been to set premium bids for the terms that include your competitor’s brand name. Well, this highly effective strategy will now be a thing of the past within Yahoo!’s paid advertising program.
In highly competitive industries, it has been an easy way to capitalize on your competitors’ hard work. Assuming your rival company has done a better job of building top-of-mind recall in your target audience, why not bid on their trademarked brand name and secure pay-per-click traffic from searchers looking for their website.
Not any more. Yahoo! has just implemented a new ruling, whereby the bidding on trademarked terms will no longer be allowed unless you are the owner of the trademark. These endeavours to protect trademarked names will leave many lesser known brands looking for a new strategy in their paid search advertising campaigns.
Considering the efforts companies go though to secure their brand names and technology through copyrights, patents and trademarks, it was only a matter of time before search engines preserved these branding regulations. But behind every honest looking strategy there is usually some ulterior motive, and on this occasion, I believe Yahoo! is hoping to attract bigger brands to their paid search advertising programs.
Considering one of the major predictions for 2006 hints at more large companies entering the search engine marketplace for branding purposes, this might be an instrumental strategy by Yahoo! to reduce brand advertisers’ concerns about competing bidders. Rest assured, if it begins to pay dividends, it won’t be long before Google implement similar rulings.