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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru 5StarAffiliates's Avatar
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    Google & Affiliates - Rumor or True?

    There is a rumor circulating on some boards about Google possibly banning affiliates from 3rd party trademark bidding. This could put a serious damper on some affiliate's earnings.

    Have you heard about this? Any thoughts or guesses on what will happen?

    Google Rumors on Cutting Trademark Bidding [11/12/2004]
    http://www.revenews.com/wayneporter/...es/000277.html
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict racerman28's Avatar
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    I've heard this before and my feeling is they won't ban it...at least short term.

    The reason? They make bank from this. I know they are probably concerned with trademark issues but my thinking (and I never said I was a good thinker!!) is that until/if it becomes a bonafide thorn in their side they'll leave it alone.

    Especially when you consider they have shareholders to please by way of revenue.

  3. #3
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    I think it would be good. It would certainly raise the quality of Adwords, I'd probably click them more often.
    Peter T Davis

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    SitePoint Addict racerman28's Avatar
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    Yeah Peter, I think you're right.

    Kinda funny how Google harps about 'relevant search results' in their engine!

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard LeoWebDesign's Avatar
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    I know some companies are requesting it on an individual basis. Some are adding it to their TOS to try to control it on their end when you sign up as an affiliate, but I'm sure it would be hard to track and enforce. So I'm sure there is pressure from the companies.

    I also had the "We do not allow trademarked keywords" (something like that) warning come up in Adwords for a couple companies when I was creating ads.

    Their CPC would certainly be much less if they didn't have to compete for bids against their own affiliates!

  6. #6
    fad (n): a craze; interest... Fahd's Avatar
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    If I was running an affiliate program and I had my affiliates promoting my program for me on adwords and similar, I would be more than happy. Isn't that the whole purpose of setting up an affiliate program in the first place? To have others promote for you. Easy solution, companies that don't want their affiliates promoting on PPC, they should just get rid of their affiliate program. Whats the point of having one in the first place, if you dont want your affiliates promoting your program for you?

  7. #7
    fad (n): a craze; interest... Fahd's Avatar
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    The trademark issue mentioned is completely different and refers to bidding on competitors keywords. Example, someone searches for "Mercedes" and they get an ad for a "BMW". That is, I would be violating trademark rules if I was promoting BMW by bidding on the keyword Mercedes.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard LeoWebDesign's Avatar
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    It would make more sense for them to ban affiliate bidding, but not trademark bidding (not that I am suggesting that!). Bricks and Mortar stores and e-commerce sites could still bid on trademarked words. This would make the most sense and follow the offline marketing principles. Could you imagine if companies said to bricks and mortar stores... "You can advertise our product, but not use our name" It would make no sense!

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard LeoWebDesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fahd
    If I was running an affiliate program and I had my affiliates promoting my program for me on adwords and similar, I would be more than happy. Isn't that the whole purpose of setting up an affiliate program in the first place? To have others promote for you. Easy solution, companies that don't want their affiliates promoting on PPC, they should just get rid of their affiliate program. Whats the point of having one in the first place, if you dont want your affiliates promoting your program for you?
    It's not the manufacturers that have affiliate programs (in most cases), it's the stores selling their product. There are many levels of relationships there to deal with, and a big grey area.

    I think the issue is abuse by so many people that it is degrading the user experience. It's probably also a case of Adwords being much more successful than Google anticipated!

  10. #10
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fahd
    If I was running an affiliate program and I had my affiliates promoting my program for me on adwords and similar, I would be more than happy. Isn't that the whole purpose of setting up an affiliate program in the first place? To have others promote for you. Easy solution, companies that don't want their affiliates promoting on PPC, they should just get rid of their affiliate program. Whats the point of having one in the first place, if you dont want your affiliates promoting your program for you?
    None of that matters to Google. They want to maximize their own income from Adwords. Having better quality of ads would help do that.
    Peter T Davis

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by petertdavis
    None of that matters to Google. They want to maximize their own income from Adwords. Having better quality of ads would help do that.
    Well it does matter google the moment they loose a trial about that.

    And some trademarks have alredy sued google. And some have alredy won. A french tribunal made google pay 70.000 euros to a company because their trademark was being used in adwords.

    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/eco...9117200,00.htm

  12. #12
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Some of my keywords were disabled months ago for trademark reasons.

  13. #13
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    trademarks

    by allowing trademarks, google is opening themselves up to the same legal issues that people like Claria and WhenU have been facing. Companies like LL Bean and UHaul argue that since people like Claria and WhenU are using their trademarked name as a trigger for an ad they are commiting trademark infringement. The question is this, does a brand or trademarked name sitting inside a database for the purposes of triggering an ad consititute trademark infringement.

    I say absolutely not and most judges have ruled in this favor.
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  14. #14
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    I've gotten outside trademark infringement notices using the {KeyWord} tag in titles of my ads, which shows the searcher's exact search term as my title. They think I'm advertising on their site names. Hah.


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