When Someone Bids Your Business Name

Someone bidding on your name or trademark? SEOptimise covers the issue in this article as it pertains to major brands in the UK.

The subject is timely as it pertains to my local clients and what I see occurring in the local space in general.

Talk to any small business owner and watch their reaction when they see or hear a competitor is bidding on their name or business. Someone like Sony or Apple can send a legal team to Google's door to fight back retailers from bidding on their products. A local plumber, roofer or glass repair business doesn't have the resources or know where to start.

Google offers this page for a general discussion on trademark abuse. Basically the business owner is urged to take direct action on the infringing party.

"...the advertisers themselves are responsible for the keywords and ad content that they choose to use. Accordingly, we encourage trademark owners to resolve their disputes directly with the advertisers, particularly because the advertisers may have similar advertisements on other sites."

So they advise the offended to talk to the offender. This is a touchy area. If your competitor has the brass to advertise using your personal or business name, effectively stealing your business, you are not in the greatest mood when you pick up the phone.

Who needs this headache?

What happens if the offending party tells the offended to blow off?

One tact is to have an attorney draw up cease and desist letter. The advertiser may simply cite Google's own Terms of Service and say too bad.

Another angle is to fight fire with fire and bid on the offenders business name, key services or products.

Yet another is to hire an online marketing specialist to deal with the issue.

A simple test to determine if a competitor is bidding on your personal or business name is to search Google for all of your identifiers. If you see your competitor's bidding on your name or business service don't panic. In some cases the business may not even know they are doing it.

In my experience it's an even split between business owners and unscrupulous marketers taking advantage of the lack of a competitors understanding of the process. So put your shotgun away and call in the virtual gun.

The link is above.

Consultation is always free.


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