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Google seems to make it up as they go along, according to how its financial sheet looks at the time...

Back in October, Google announced that it was lifting restrictions on gambling, which opened the floodgate for the gambling companies that had since 2004 been left to look at alternatives to PPC to drive traffic to their sites.

However, as Google’s profits took a little slip, they lightened up.

In May of this year, they also stopped enforcing the protection of trademarks on Google AdWords, opening the doors for brands to use competitor brand terms to drive traffic.

One could argue that this is a bit of a cheat, and misguides users by sending them to sites unrelated to who they were looking for in the first place. Others might take the view that all’s fair in business.

In this scenario, Google wins by increasing the levels of competition and thus generating greater revenues. Businesses prepared to engage in this activity may win in the short term by scooping up traffic from their competitor’s brand name.

Companies may lose out on traffic that was originally intended for them when people sought them out and found themselves at a competitor’s site. The consumer may lose by being misled (or they may not care, it’s not their advertising budget that’s getting chipped away one click at a time).

In short, Google seems to make it up as they go along according to how their financial sheet is looking at the time.

With their slowing AdWords profits, Google have announced their intention to allow spirits to run Google Adwords campaigns in the UK for brand promotion.  

So, when this goes ahead in the New Year as has been reported, how will this effect marketing budgets, consumer experience, and Google’s overall perception in the industry?

I guess the question is, when companies see sliding profits, how far are they prepared to go? 

Grant Whiteside

Published 8 December, 2008 by Grant Whiteside

3 more posts from this author

Comments (2)



Good post. Agree that Google has lost it's moral compass of late in favour of hard financial gain.

almost 8 years ago

Jake Hird

Jake Hird, Director of Research and Education at Econsultancy

... As an addition this post, most people will now be aware of problems starting to crawl out of the woodwork with no trademark protection.

The past couple of days has seen the florists, Interflora, filing a lawsuit to stop M&S and Flowers Direct from using their brand name 'Interflora' as a sponsored search term.

Despite being within Google's policies, Interflora is currently arguing that the actions of M&S are a breach of trademark law.

It'll be interesting to see where this will lead - I know a lot of brands were unhappy with Google's decision back in May - although I think it'll be settled quietly, rather than opening the floodgates for other companies to start suing.

almost 8 years ago

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