PPC FAQ – Bidding on Trademarked Terms

I answered some questions about PPC keywords last week then realized that you might find these useful.

Ask your own question in the comments. Depending on how many questions I receive I’ll answer either all or the best ones in future blog posts.

What about PPC bidding on branded, trademarked or copyrighted keywords?

The fact is, that in some cases you can bid on copyrighted and trademarked terms, but pay attention to how you do it! So please keep these guidelines in mind and you will avoid

When you bid PPC bid on competitor’s brand name, trademark or copyrighted term you may pay a premium.

Search engines will consider your web site less relevant simply because you’re not the competitor or the trademark holder and they will charge you a higher cost per click.

Separate branded keywords from your brand and general keywords. Place them into a separate PPC ad group or campaign.

Create a landing page that compares your products, services or prices against your competitor’s. You may avoid higher click costs by demonstrating direct relevance.

Legally protected names and trademarks cannot appear in ads without the owner’s permission. When you use dynamic insertion to inject trademarked terms into your ads the holder can file a complaint or request you to cease and desist. Exceptions would be if you had permission from the holder or were a direct authorized re-seller of the holder’s products. If your company is an authorized reseller or if you already have permission to use protected PPC keywords in ad copy you can usually request an exemption through the search engine bid management tool dashboard.


So that’s my PPC Bidding FAQ. Ask your own PPC bidding question in the comments and I’ll answer the best questions in a future Portent Interactive Blog post!

Elizabeth leads the Portent PPC Management team.

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  1. Nice! It’s important that folks understand this. It’s easy to rule out ALL trademarked terms, or get yourself in trouble. Somewhere in between lies what really works.

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