Court: Not infringement to use competitor’s trademark in Google AdWords

Harvard Journal of Law and TechnologyUsing a Competitor’s Trademark as a Keyword for AdWords is Not Trademark Infringement:

The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the use of a competitor’s trademark as a keyword that activates sponsored links in Google’s search engine is not trademark infringement. 1-800 Contacts, Inc. v., Inc., No. 11-4114, -4204, -4022 (10th Cir. July 16, 2013). The court affirmed the lower court’s summary judgment to defendant with respect to 1-800 Contacts’ claim that was directly liable for misdirecting customers to click on links to after searching for the phrase “1-800 Contacts.” Id. at 4.

That’s what a court found, which isn’t to say that Google has to have the same rules. After this 2013 court ruling, Google changed their policy. Now they allow trademarked terms for keywords. They still block at least some trademarked terms from being used in the text of the ads depending on the usage, and trademark holders can file a complaint.

Google AdWords Expands Call Metrics

Good stuff.

AdWords Account-wide Negative Keywords

About time.

New Google AdWords “Automate” Feature

Kim Clinkunbroomer has the details.

New tracking options for Google AdWords

Inside AdWordsTracking your ad clicks with dynamic destination URLs

Starting now, your destination URL can include the {matchtype} and {network} parameters. Here’s a quick example of how you might use these parameters:

Let’s say you have a keyword-targeted campaign running on Google search, search partners, and the Google Display Network. If your website is, you can use the new and existing ValueTrack parameters in your AdWords campaign to set the destination URL to:{keyword}&matchtype={matchtype}&source={network}.

If an ad click comes from a search partner, and the keyword that triggered the ad, used cars, is a broad match keyword, in your web logs you will find that the ValueTrack parameters in the URL have been replaced with the following:
{keyword} = used cars
{matchtype} = b
{network} = s
In your web logs you will see:

FWIW, for our B2B business the only network option that works for us is Google Search, which only shows the ads on Google proper. No partner sites, no display network (i.e. blogs and other Google AdSense partners). YMMV, but this is how I set our campaigns:


Why? Because our conversion rate on everything but Google search sucked monster trucks, that’s why. Lots of clicks,  lousy results.

Redfly: why you should bid on your own company’s name on Google AdWords

I see companies all the time paying for their ads to appear when you search on their name. I always thought it was dumb. If your company is already the #1 natural Google search result, why pay for the ad?


I’m looking at you, Microsoft. I mean, it isn’t like people won’t be able to find the natural link to, right?

After reading these Redfly articles I’m no longer sure I was right to make fun of those companies. In fact, I created a Google AdWords campaign for my company’s name because I’m pretty sure I was wrong.

Redfly – 5 Reasons You Should Be Bidding On Your Company Name

One of the reasons is that people may misspell your company name so badly that even Google’s suggestion feature won’t get them to the right page. Sure enough, we have a name that a surprising number of people misspell. When I set up the campaign I made sure I used keyword combinations with the correct spelling as well as the common misspellings.

Redfly – What Every AdWords Advertiser Should Know About Quality Score – The Ultimate QS Improvement Guide

That second article has a killer reason to bid on your company name and it’s one I never would have thought of:

A final historical CTR improvement tip: always bid (and bid high) on your company or brand name. You will get a massive boost in historical CTR because 70%+ of the time, your ad is what searchers are looking for. You will pay pennies per click and decrease the normalized Quality Score and historical account CTR of any competitors bidding on your brand or company name!

That makes all kinds of sense. Example. Our AdWords click-thru rates are in the neighborhood of 2%. I know from Google Webmaster Tools that our natural search CTR for our company name is 43%. I’d love to get some of that CTR juice flowing into my AdWords quality scores.

Google Explains Adwords Quality Scores, Bids and Ranking

Super clear explanation of how bids and quality scores determine your ad position and cost per click. RSS readers can follow this link.

Here’s another Google video explaining the basics of calculating bids to get a return on investment.

Do you talk like you Google?

I was in a meeting yesterday, talking about a new Web site. The discussion turned to the terminology we were going to use for services. Different people in our industry use slightly different names for the same services.

I had statistics from inbound search engine links showing exactly what terms customers were using to find our site. There was no question which of the competing terms our customers were using. I had gotten agreement from management to use those terms on the new site to improve our search engine ranking.

A particular term surprised one person in the meeting. He said he had always used a different term and so had most of his customers. I believe him.

There’s a simple reason for the disconnect between his experience in talking to people and what I found via analyzing Web logs using software. People don’t talk the same way they Google.

If I ask a friend how to cook a turkey I’d say something like “Do you have any advice you can give me on preparing a turkey in the oven?” On Google I’d grunt out something more like “how cook turkey.”

Google has trained me to know that it ignores words like to, a, and and the, so I’ve dropped them from my Google search syntax. Over the years I’ve learned phrases that score good search results and I’m sure you have, also. We’re dumbing ourselves down to think like a search engine.

People don’t talk like they Google. Everyday intuition is sometimes inadequate for predicting how people search. If you want to know what words people are using to find your site use software like Sitemeter, WebTrends, Google Analytics and Google AdWords that parse referring URLs from search engines and analyze the search keywords inside the URLs.

If you’re using Google Adwords, be sure to visit the Opportunities tab and check for keyword ideas. I continue to find search phrases there I never would have guessed on my own. The latest surprise is that people are using the same search phrases they’ve always used to find our services but adding the word professional to the mix. Apparently some people have learned that without that keyword their searches are returning freebie advice and tools that aren’t doing the job they need.

Google AdWords seminar in Charlotte, NC Nov 16-17

Via an email from Google AdWords. I don’t have any experience with these folks, but Google seems to endorse them. I may attend the second day, but looking over the syllabus I’m a little concerned it’s too basic. I may wait and see if the more advanced Adwords seminars or the Google Analytics seminars.

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