Using competitor’s keywords & trademark in AdWords

Using competitor’s keywords & trademark in AdWords


According to statistics, 1.17 billion people use Google. That is a huge gap compared to the 292 million users of Yahoo and Bing’s 267 million users. It is imperative for websites to catch the attention of their audience. Getting on top of the search result page has been a challenge for advertisers.

With Google constantly changing algorithm, a lot of site owners are pushed towards using Google AdWords. The role of Google AdWords allows advertisers to be displayed on top of the organic links on the search engine.

How does Google Adwords function?

In Search Engine Marketing, Google AdWords function by providing advertisers a venue where they could target their market. This provides an edge over competition using only the organic search results. How exactly does it work? This means that you bid for the keywords in order to be seen on Google search result. Also, your site stands out as you have the term “sponsored” on your link.

As for the type of keyword to use, it is a common strategy among internet marketing experts to utilize similar if not identical keywords that relates to a competitor. This way, users will find your site alongside top competitors.

Recently, Supreme Court of British Columba has ruled allowing Google Adword advertisers to use similar keywords from competitors. In 2009, Vancouver Career College began an advertising campaign wherein the keyword “VCC” and “” were used.

The problem was Vancouver Community College took it out on court. Both institutions have used the acronym VCC. On the other hand, Vancouver Community College marketed itself publicly using VCC as an acronym.

A lot of students who turned to VCC as a keyword were led to Vancouver Career College instead of Vancouver Community College. A lot of people thought that it is one and the same institution. According to Vancouver Community College, there’s a misrepresentation on the part of Vancouver Career College showcasing their educational services. The court disagreed on this claim.

Why did the court say that it is all fair? According to the court, despite using the same keywords as Vancouver Community College, Vancouver Career College provides accurate information once you reached their website.

The court stated that despite the fact that you can be led to a landing page when you type a specific keyword; the search is controlled by the user and the result is provided by the search engine. This means that the advertiser has no control on what you place on your search. After all, writing the correct AdWords text in your ads helps in differentiating your competitors and you.

Also, Google has a process of providing an efficient bidding process on keywords. Because of this, the court did not see anything that Vancouver Career College did in order to create confusion on the part of those who use the search engine.