Brand as currency in the search playing field

Things you can (and can’t) do to protect your brand online. CHRIS THOMAS

Chris Thomas

By Chris Thomas

Many companies make a fortune creating Google ads and bidding on competitor brands. A good example is Ksubi, a global designer clothing manufacturer and online retailer.

Here’s a screenshot from Google showing brand bidding in all its glory.


Fortunately many companies have already lodged their trademarks with Google, so that Google removes competitors bidding on their brand and product trademarks. Agony Aunt spoke about trademark creation on Wednesday.

It takes a couple of months for Google to verify that you are in fact a legitimate trademark owner, but obviously it’s well worthwhile because you prevent brand dilution, increase clicks to your website and increase your sales!

You can find the information you need from Google to get the process underway from Google’s AdWords Help Centre.

As soon as your trademark is approved by Google your competitors will see the following notice inside their Google AdWords campaign.

They’ll also see a link under their Google ad showing this:

So far so good. But for some companies, Google has changed the online advertising landscape again!

You may have noticed a new “search within a site” box in Google listings. Google’s dubbed this new search feature ‘teleporting’. Here’s an example.

However, there’s been some disquiet among website owners as teleporting essentially allows competitors to bid on your brand. Watch what happens when we perform a search for “steering wheels” within the teleporting box.

What Google’s done here is place a whole bunch of competitor Google ads around AutoBarn’s “steering wheel” result. Great for Google. Bad for AutoBarn.

I naively expected to be delivered into AutoBarn’s site when I first tried it. I guess this makes AutoBarn’s own internal search feature redundant…

The New York Times mentioned in a recent article that Amazon may have requested Google to remove teleporting from its own Google listing. A search for “Amazon” at Google shows the feature is not there. There other big online names for which the teleporting feature has recently disappeared too.

I’m not aware of any way to contact Google Online to request the feature to be turned off, so perhaps a phone call to Google’s head office in Sydney might assist? I’ll save you the trouble of finding the number at Google (it’s quicker to use the White Pages! – try a search at Google for ‘contact Google Australia’ and you get a page with a postal address!).

The number is: +61 2 9374 4000. If you’re really lucky you might get to speak to a human!


Chris Thomas heads Reseo a search engine optimisation company which specialises in setting up and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns, Affiliate Programs and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.

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