Effect of the Google Trademark Policy Change

In a recent blog post, Matt Holland our Head of Search, wrote about the Google Trademark Policy Update: Big Change for PPC Advertisers that takes effect on 14 September. He wrote about how resellers in the UK, Ireland and Canada will be able to use branded keywords within their ad-copy for products that they are reselling. Previously this was not allowed.

I was thinking about how we could project the effects of this change, so that brands could consider the challenges that they are likely to face. Then our Senior Analyst, Anthony Pearce, came across the screenshot below.

Musto clothing screen shot

(Click on the image above to see in a full screen)

This screen grab shows a keyword search on Google UK for ‘Musto Clothing’.  Currently Musto are not trademarked so with the paid search results their resellers can use the brand’s terms within their ad copy and also bid on these brand terms.

The paid search results are populated with Musto.com at the top and then all their resellers below.  Regardless of whether you trademark or not, from 14 of September this is how paid search results could look. With the addition of competitors’ paid search adverts for good measure.

What then does this mean for brands? First of all it signals a more dynamic paid search landscape, increasing costs and accompanying traffic leakage. It means an increased reliance on your agency to provide ongoing reports into what’s happening in your search space, as well as protection against revenue decline on your high conversion terms.

If you’re like to chat to me about this further, do give me a call or drop me an email.