29 June 2009

Do you make brands that you don't like, pay?

Google serps page
Got an ethics question for you...

How many times does this happen to you, and what do you do about it?

You could take a stab at guessing the web address of a brand, but you use your favourite search engine to find it (for 80+% of us, that means Google).

You are now presented with a choice. Click on the organic link or click on their text ad, in which case they will pay whatever they bid for their name as a key phrase... say 50p.

Not so long back the company would have bid a minimum price - 5p or 10p - for their own name as a keyword, but in a controversial move last year *, Google opened up the Adword bidding on brand names to rivals, so now it can get quite competitive... especially in the travel sector.

So, what do you do?

I nearly always click the organic link.... but sometimes, just sometimes, if it's a brand I don't particularly care for...

*In May 08, Google changed its policy on companies being allowed to bid on their rivals' trademarks. It allows advertisers to bid on any brand names, but prevents them from using a rival's trademark in the text of the ad that appears in the sponsored search slot.

1 comment:

jeremyhead said...

I almost always click the non-paid link. The crucial thing here is that others can bid on a brand name... which kind of obliges companies to bid on their own brand names just to be safe. Prior to that anyone bidding on their own brand name was just chucking money down the drain...