It’s not every day one company makes a decision with the potential to affect the global economy, but that is what happened last Thursday, when Google made a decision to lift its ban on trademark bidding. This means, AdWords advertisers are allowed to bid on trademarked terms, and use the terms in their ads, with the intent to divert traffic to their site.
Ironically, this decision comes days after a Texas software development company filed a class-action suit against Google because of its trademark policy on behalf of all trademark owners in the state, and on the same day real that estate investor John Beck filed his suit, a broader action intending to represent trademark holders across the country.
The controversy surrounding trademark bidding is nothing new, and the reactions to Google’s latest decision range from anger to excitement. Trademark owners are up in arms, and those who were already upset with Google’s bidding policy now have even more reason to take legal action. Advertisers, on the other hand, are busy figuring out the best way to monetize trademark searches in their favor, a move that will invariably lead to more money in Google’s pockets.
Will Google’s decision help bolster the economy? It is hard to say. Spending more doesn’t necessarily equate to a higher ROI. But if there is more money flowing into paid search, doesn’t that have an effect on the economy overall? And what does the current rise in search volume signify? Are consumers relying on the Internet to save money by comparison shopping, or can the rise in traffic simply be attributed to a bunch of people out-of-work looking for their next job?
Only time will tell. In the meantime, the battle between advertisers and trademark owners continues.
What is your opinion on trademark bidding? Do you think Google is simply being greedy by allowing advertisers to bid on trademarks of trusted brands or do you think trademark bidding could help make the online search experience more akin to real-life where competitor products sit side-by-side on store shelves? Post your thoughts below.