Are Smaller Brands Being Held To Ransom By Google Ads?

Google Ads

Back in the day it was pretty safe to assume that you would naturally rank well organically on Google for your own brand name and your ad spend could be spent on keywords and phrases that your target audience would be looking for.

What appears to be happening though is Brands are being forced to pay money for their own trademarked brand names to even have a chance of appearing in the top spot of Google.

Below you can see a tweet from the CEO of Basecamp Jason Fried showing the ad that he reluctantly feels he needs to run in order to protect his business, even though he is the top of the organic search, Google is showing 4 sponsored ads above that pushing the organic post below the fold.

Jason Fried Basecamp tweet

This isn’t the only incident either as in response to this tweet was the Co-Founder of Help Scout Nick Francis, sharing his pain too, to the tune of $25k in the past month running similar ads against their own brand name.

Nick Francis ads tweet

Do as we say not as we do?

In the tweet thread on Jason’s original tweet the official Google Ads account replied saying:

“To provide users with the most relevant ads, we don’t restrict trademarked terms as keywords. We do restrict trademarked terms in ad text if the trademark owner files a complaint…” – GoogleAds Twitter

However other Twitter users were very quick to point out that these are not the rules that Google applies to their own trademarks when it comes to Ad Text.

Google has an automated filter which will automatically pause any ads which have the word Google in the text.

Google trademark in ad text

Now it could be argued that Google have purely found a way to ‘automate’ the complaint procedure as it’s their platform but what is your take on this?

Do you feel this is fair from Google? A company who were famously “Do no evil” or is this crossing a line when it comes to brands and trademarks? Let us know in the comments below or over in our Facebook Group.

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For almost 10 years Dave has been involved with eCommerce with a particular interest in the marketplaces and the huge opportunities available for sellers when utilizing a multi-channel strategy. After a year of being the UK’s youngest eCommerce consultant it was the opportunity to start UnderstandingE with Matt Ogborne showing the world how to utilize Magento as the Third Generation of Multi-Channel software. Dave also recently started a YouTube channel called the Manc Entrepreneur (click YouTube icon link below to watch Dave's videos) where he discusses all things eCommerce and entrepreneurship aimed to help young entrepreneurs get started on their own journey. When Dave isn’t working his main interests include, Technology, Cars and throwing himself off high things into water.

1 COMMENT

  1. As a web surfer I have become used to seeing ads and depending on my device I will use ad-blocker. It would not bother as a user if I saw ads before seeing my destination SERP.

    From a webmaster point of view I can share the frustration with seeing ads showing above the organic SERP. However in ecommerce, competitors have been copying/pushing and shoving/hijacking each other since I can remember.

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