Change in Google Policy Energizes Search Advertising

Search advertising is an effective but unremarkable channel for reaching customers and prospects. Measurement of effectiveness and budget management through the keyword bidding process make paid search appealing to advertisers seeking to make every marketing dollar count. Paid search is unremarkable in terms of its "flash." Limited to text only and limited in length, the power of search ads is their ability to drive traffic to a landing page where the persuasive efforts really begin.

This model for search advertising is being shaken up by the industry giant, Google. It has relaxed a policy concerning the use of trademarked terms in text of search ads. The policy had been that only the trademark owner could use a protected word or term in search ads. Now, Google will allow search advertisers to use the trademarks of others in their ads. The policy change will likely create a new look for comparative ads on Google. Generic claims of product superiority are not as powerful as more specific comparisons of a brand to its competitors.

Some advertisers have complained about Google's policy change, and there is a legitimate concern that competitive trademarked keywords might be bought to portray brands unfavorably. Conversely, comparative advertising is hardly new. Brands have been challenged by competitors in TV commercials, radio spots, and print ads for years. Search advertising is the newest frontier for battling competitors.

Link: Online Media Daily - "Google's Trademark Policy Could Bring New Money to Paid Search"

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