We have all seen the mini-version of this. Girl finds picture of supermodel, sets picture of supermodel as Facebook Profile Picture, then tries to snag unsuspecting guys to send her money.Â Well, today, we are going to address the business variety of this little idea. Â
Brand Abuse is insanely frequent in the online world. Nowhere else will you find it more than in Google Adwords, which we all use. When resellers and fraud websites are using your brand illegally, typically you won’t even know about it! Â When these people use Branded Keywords and take some of your traffic, it will damage your Google ranking and your online reputation.
Part of the problem is that Google doesn’t really care to protect your brand for you. Â Any advertiser on the planet can show ads of whatever wording or phrasing they would like. This means if I am the owner of, say, Toyota, I can show ads to people searching for Honda Cars. Basically, you can’t just own the keywords that are directly your product name. This obviously can account for some sneaky tactics, and leaves it up to you to protect yourself against your competitors or fraudulent companies trying to steal your traffic and business.
There are many tools available to help monitor your Branded Keywords, and will let you know immediately if someone is bidding on your brand keywords. These are not hard to find online, there are many that are better than others, but we can get more into that later.
One of the easiest and most common ways that I find people will discover brand abuse, is if they type in their brand in google, and link to sites that don’t even sell their branded product! That is probably the easiest way to find out what is going on with your branded keywords.Â Manual processes aren’t always so bad!
If you find people that are using your branded keywords, then make sure you own the capital on your branded keywords. There may be some legal recourse that you can take when you find spam-type websites that are messing up your brand keyword strategy in google, as well as simply outbidding them(which will be worth it if they are actually making that much money off of your search terms!).
It is fairly common for Brand Abusers to use someone else’s branded keywords to redirect traffic. This obviously isn’t a good situation, but thankfully this is easy to detect, and can be fixed when it is damaging your reputation. Get yourself a protection plan, and keep up on the monitoring of these keywords as to keep the problem from popping up again.