No, it is not illegal to target competitor names in your Google Ads keyword list as long as ads are shown in the United States – even trademarked names.
Some businesses will go a step farther and even put the competitor name in the ad text with text in front that may read lower priced than…, more options than… using Google Ads dynamic keyword insertion to autofill in the competitor’s name into the ad text.
Do this at your own risk, it can work to bleed off a competitor’s traffic or to showcase your own product or services positive attributes. But if you receive a cease and desist notice take immediate action to remove that competitor’s name to prevent problems.
Yes, this is done frequently, and yes it can generate good conversions. But typically over time Google will start to mark the competitor names as low quality score as the advertiser typically will not have content on their website using the competitor name. So it can work effectively for a while in some business sectors.
As noted in the announcement, Google rolled out new column sets you can turn on to get a better idea of your new “Average Position” based on their new definition of what Average Position now means to them.
These new items are:
Impr. (Absolute Top) % – the percent of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
Impr. (Top) % – the percent of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.
Search (Absolute Top) IS – the impressions you’ve received in the absolute top location (the very first ad above the organic search results) divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
Search (Top) IS – the impressions you’ve received in the top location (anywhere above the organic search results) compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
Are you confused yet? The bottom-line is that we have seen many client accounts suddenly have a drop in Average Position in the regular column set now that the definition of what Average Position is according to Google.
The resulting action is that we have had to push up click costs or move to automated bidding algorithms in Google Ads in order to get back to ad positions that allowed for our best number of clicks and conversions.
Obviously clients are not happy about this. It is obvious that Google has adjusted the definition and algorithm for ad placement in order to drive greater profits.
As I manage many top performing accounts across a wide and diverse sector of verticals it is most unusual to see many accounts have the same performance dip in one month and on one specific date when other factors do not come into play.
The bottom-line is that you have to be very sophisticated in approach and management operating in Google Ads at this point in time. This platform is not a place for the inexperienced or do it yourselfer.
I have been a Google Partner and Certified AdWords Professional for years. I have studied and passed numerous certification exams, nearly from the time that Google instituted the AdWords certification program.
This announcement states that people were confused on what Average Position is and that it is not what they had thought. Here is the important quote from the announcement.
Contrary to common perception, average position is not meant to describe where the ad appears on the page. Average position reflects the order that your ad appears versus the other ads in the ad auction. As a result, an ad position of “1” means that your ad shows ahead of all other ads, but it doesn’t mean the ad was at the very top of the page. Sometimes no ads are displayed above the organic search results so the ad with a position of “1” appears at the bottom of the page.
Therefore, we’re rolling out four new metrics over the next several weeks that – unlike average position – provide clear insights on where your ads are appearing on the search results page:
Well, this is a change. All the AdWords test materials and study guides over the years have stated that average position was just that – a statistical average of where your ad appeared on the page to give you an idea of how high or low your position was as a factor of your quality score and bid.
Strangely, now Google has announced that no, we have all been mistaken and that Average Position was not that, but rather a factor of ad rank – which is very, very different.
This is a marked change and one that has impacted numerous client accounts in November. Where accounts were happily chugging along with great click and conversion numbers, November 6th hit and I had many accounts take a sudden nose dive in clicks and conversions. I saw this across several key accounts in very diverse sectors. It appears that Google has restructured the auction algorithm to cater to this new terminology that they have themselves created for Average Position as of this year.
Please visit my post on Wednesday, part two of this series to learn about the new metrics they have rolled out as part of this definition change of Average Position.
If you are a trademark owner, understand that Google Ads wants to help you control who can show ads that contain your trademark.
Google Ads has a form that you complete as the trademark owner. Using this form, you will need to prove to Google that you are the registered trademark owner. You will also be able to list by name and Google Ads ID those businesses that may use your trademark in their Google Ads advertising.
Once your trademark has been registered by Google Ads, if a business owner tries to use your trademark in their ads, the ad will be disapproved. Please understand that in the US advertisers can still use your trademark in their keyword list but will cross the line when they use dynamic keyword insertion as a way to try to fool Google into showing the registered trademark in an ad. However, using this approach an advertiser may skate under the radar for a while.
You can easily report any offenders to Google using the links found in the Google Help Center to get ads pulled sooner rather than later.
If you are advertising in the European Union, the rules are different. There your trademark term may not even be used in the keyword list.
If you need proactive and savvy help with your Google Ads program, please visit our website to learn more about how we can help.
There are two scenarios I see often in Google Ads – trademark infringement and site suspension. Today I am going to chat about trademark infringement.
For Medical Spa owners one of the biggest issues is getting ads to show using the term Botox. Even if you are a medical doctor who is able to provide Botox injections, you will not be able to advertise with the word Botox without getting an approval.
You will need your rep to pass the form for trademark use approval to the makers/suppliers of Botox at the corporate level. Your rep’s signature will not be enough to get ads to run. Authorization Form
Once a company principle has signed the form – make sure you have supplied your AdWords account number as part of the request process. They will send this online back to Google. Google will then mark your AdWords account as having the ability to show ads with Botox in the ads.
Now Google is pretty picky about the word Botox. They may flag your website and ads as disapproved for use of a Medical term and they may even suspend your website and all advertising for it.
The best thing is to not use the word Botox in your ad text. If you are advertising in the US you may still be able to use Botox in your keyword list, but if you have Botox on your website, you may get a site suspension forcing you to get an approval or remove all content.
If you do use Botox in your keyword list, make sure you do not use dynamic keyword insertion or you will surely run into a shut down issue.
Other words that have similar problems are all facial fillers and injectables like Restylane and Dysport.
If you need savvy help check out our services for Google Ads. We’ll use what we know to try to assist you in getting running again.
In our new world where over 65% of all Google.com searches are done on smartphones, what happens to a website that is not mobile-friendly in regards to lead conversions, store sales, and organic placement?
“Avoid losing customers on mobile devices by improving your mobile site. Recommended because 98.57% of your mobile clicks go to non-mobile-friendly pages on your site. 68.97% of clicks from all devices come from mobile. 98.57% 138 of 140 clicks go to pages that are not mobile-friendly.“
As Google Ads is incredibly focused on relevance and offering the best user experience, I expect in the future ads that are not showing mobile-friendly pages to start to receive very poor quality scores driving up the click cost and reducing exposure due to a low ad rank.
Google has been pretty forthcoming in regards to page speed as well. A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. For a store generating $60,000 in sales a month, that is a loss of $4,200 in monthly sales. In a year, that translates into $50,400. A non-mobile friendly site is not optimized for speedy download and may be virtually impossible to use on a smartphone driving away potential customers. Many will never come back to visit. This is a very serious impact for Google Ad activity.
For sites that do not have a mobile-friendly website, conversion numbers are dropping in Google Ads. Mobile activity is a very big part of the conversion path now for sales and leads.
WordStream has done a very nice visual on sales, conversions, and cost per conversion in mobile and it is clear that mobile is big business. Without a mobile website you are missing out on a huge sector of growing and converting traffic.
For some websites that are not mobile-friendly using Duda Mobile to do a scripted redirect to a Duda Mobile mini site worked – but no longer. Google Ads is aggressively disapproving ads for our clients that are using this approach and we are now having to remove the code from those websites effectively making them now not mobile-friendly for organic or for pay per click activity.
The Organic Picture
For organic traffic, know that Google now spiders the mobile version of a website and this is the content that now determines your site’s organic ranking on Google.com for all devices, not just mobile.
By not updating your website to be mobile-friendly Marketing and Growth Hacking says you can kiss your Google rankings good bye.
Additionally, Marketing and Growth Hacking states “Based on the blogs Google is putting out, we can confidently assume companies who don’t optimize for mobile will see their rankings disappear. At the same time, companies who adopt and take advantage of mobile-friendly sites early-on have and will continue to see higher rankings.”
I agree that if you mean to be in business, grow sales, and compete effectively, your website and store must be mobile-friendly.
For more information about our services please visit us at www.McCordWeb.com.