More threads by standenman


Aug 2, 2012
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When I search my business name I get an adword ad from my major competitor. Doesn't that mean he is using my business name as a keyword? How do I stop it?
Hey there,

Unfortunately you cannot stop it.

This is a common tactic in PPC and it is unlikely to change in the future.

To elaborate on Nikos' answer, you can see Google's official stance here:

Google won't investigate or restrict the selection of trademarks as keywords, even if we receive a trademark complaint.


Trademarks in EU and EFTA
For ad campaigns targeting the European Union and EFTA regions, the ad text policy above applies. Accordingly, we don't prevent the selection of trademarks as keywords in the EU and EFTA. However, in response to a valid complaint, we will conduct a limited investigation as to whether a keyword (in combination with particular ad text) is confusing as to the origin of the advertised goods and services.


Google will review complaints and may restrict the use of a trademark in ad text. AdWords ads using restricted trademarks in their ad text may not be allowed to run. This policy applies worldwide.

In other words, in America, you have no recourse really to someone bidding on your keywords, but you are allowed to complain if they use your trademark in the body of the copy itself. In some other parts of the world, copyright law is such, that you can file a complaint and expect at least a limited investigation.

There was a case between Rosetta Stone and Google a few years ago that kind of settled all that for US law at least, if you're interested.
This is a common strategy when it comes to Google Paid Ads. A competitor can target your business's brand name, keywords that are in your business's name, such as "dentistry" or "dentist" and the domain is for example

If the Ad is relevant to the keyword in a specific location that the searcher is searching for a dentist in their area, their Ad can show at the top of Google, at the bottom of Google and in the local 3 pack.

There is nothing you can do as this is available for all businesses. I would advise investing in Google Paid Ads and SEO if you are not, so that your competitors are not getting all of your targeted customers.

At the end of the day, Google is trying to make money!
Yes, it sounds as if they're bidding on your keyword (your brand name). Nothing you can do to stop it except to ask them to stop bidding on your name.
Start running ads on your own brand name. They will be very cheap for you ($0.50 - $2), and that will help you drive the cost up for the competitors bidding on your term. It will start serving as a deterrent once their marketing budget increases due to this tactic.

There's nothing you can really do, especially if they continue to bid when they see results (leads) from bidding on your brand. Start a campaign of your own to safeguard your brand real estate.

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