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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Think for a moment what the ethics would be in using one or more of yoru competitors names as search terms to advertise your web site.

For Example: Someone searches for XYZ roofing and my site pops up as one of the listings in the search engine.

I have been considering paying for search terms which will be my competitors names, however I'm not sure how ethical this idea is. What are your ideas?
 

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Custom Builder
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What the hell Grump, just follow the guys truck around and write down the addresses. Then have yourself a little follow up visit.............hm?

What did you say your plate # was Grump?

Bob
 

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BAD BAD BAD BAD ....................Did I say.............


BAD



:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
 

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Think about what the person searching will think of you when they expect XYZ and find someone else. Pretty bad idea. Keep thinking though.
 

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Somebody tell me, with more reason, why it's unethical. I'm having a hard time seeing any moral significance in this idea. Aren't we just talking about 'tricking' the search engine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can buy top placement of key words. I could pay to be number one when someone searches any keyword or phrase... We are talking about using competitor's names as keywords so when people type in a competitor's name your site, or my site, pops up #1.

The goal would be to hopefully steal customers away as they are possibly trying to research your competitors.
 

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I think it sounds under-handed. You're even asking if it's right so would I be out of line to ask if you already know a little bit? Why not go all out and buy domain names of misspellings of their names? IMO is like lying and if you came up on my search and you weren't what I was looking for I wouldn't even bother clicking. There's gotta be more legitimate ways to get ranked ain't there?

Don
 

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Grump, all and all things considered, (you have to be the first horse out of the gate, it's a dog eat dog dodo world, The early bird gets the chick, yada yada yada ya) I don't thease things truely define the business world.

I think it depends on how it makes you feel. If you feel like it might be underhanded, then maybe it is. Underhanded actions don't build good character or good business.

At the end of the day when you stand from the table being able to say I did it is sweet, but being able to say I did it with "True and Just" character is even sweeter. You know......that whole shinning armor crap. I have it, it's jusy been dulled. :Thumbs:

Bob
 

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You would hear from my Legal Department. Have had that happen in Real Estate. Very unethical and illegal to a point.

Pond
 

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I'm not going to say it's bad. On the surface it's a clever business move - however I would personally feel just a bit uncomfortable about it.

For me it comes down to this - don't be an Al Franken. He couldn't sell a book on his own name so he had to use Limbaugh's. Develop your own name.

BTW - what if xyz earns a bad reputation and a search for that company leads to you.... Is that something you want?

Tim
 

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Some strong opinions here. I see this is an old discussion so facts may not have been readily accessible at the time, however, this issue has been mostly settled. I was curious myself so I looked it up, what I found is below.

This is taken from Google (note: this policy was made in 2005 after changing the previous policy that barred the use of competitor keywords):

"When we receive a complaint from a trademark owner, we only investigate the use of the trademark in ad text. If the advertiser is using the trademark in ad text, we will require the advertiser to remove the trademark and prevent them from using it in ad text in the future. Please note that we will not disable keywords in response to a trademark complaint. In addition, please note that any such investigation will only affect ads served on or by Google." (http://www.google.com/tm_complaint_adwords.html)

Here is the result of a lawsuit between Google and Geico on this very issue:

"Google Inc. won a major legal victory Wednesday when a federal judge said the search engine could continue to sell ads triggered by searches using trademarked company names.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema rejected a claim by auto insurance giant Geico Corp., which argued that Google should not be allowed to sell ads to rival insurance companies that appear whenever Geico's name is typed into the Google search box." (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/12/13/tech/main660644.shtml)

In a further clarification, the judge ruled that Google could not allow the trademark to be used in the ad copy. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/15/google_loses_adwords_trademark_case/)

In summary, using a competitor's name as a keyword is OK, using a competitor's name in your ad copy is NOT OK.
 

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I might be mis-reading this so I will give an actual example on my part. There are two of my competitors that I have their names as keywords on google so if you type in their names my name also pops up on the google paid side. Also if you type my name in they pop up as well. so I assume they are doing the samething also service magic and reliable remodeler pop up as well. I have no problem with them doing it to me. I think it comes down to who gives the best presentation and price to the Homeowner. How is this a bad thing?? If it is and anyone makes a valid point or threatens me with legal action I will stop, but I fail to see how this would affect them or me?

I do not use their names or anything affliating with their company in my ads

Now here is a kicker companies like service magic,reliable remodeler and respond etc. list you in their websites. So if you type my company's name in the search engine my company's name and info will show up in the organic search within their websites, is that unethical.
 

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You can buy top placement of key words. I could pay to be number one when someone searches any keyword or phrase... We are talking about using competitor's names as keywords so when people type in a competitor's name your site, or my site, pops up #1.

The goal would be to hopefully steal customers away as they are possibly trying to research your competitors.
Grumpy,
It won't work. If someone searches a actual company name, the name they search for will come up at the top of the list anyway. Your name will come up on the paid listing side (the right side). They will probably click on the listing they were actually searching for.

I did a little experiment (it took about 5 tries). Do a google search for Orange County Choppers. A company called Painted Chrome is obviously using the full name Orange County Choppers as a paid keyword, and granted, they are selling OCC merchandise... but also look on the left side at the actual links to the OCC website... (the first 8)

A better keyword pay per click technique is to use a manufacturer name as keywords and far more ethical. If you are a plumbing contractor use keywords such a Price-Fister or Kohler and brands that you sell allot of or want to sell more of.

Hope that helps.
 

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I agree with ultimatetouch, open the yellow pages to roofing and you are there along with your competitors. How many people look under roofing in the yellow pages remember something about a company and try to refresh there memory looking at the adds, suddenly they see a more interesting add and call them. pretty close to the same thing here.
 

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It will and does work cause I do it. When people search for a specific company they get a quote and may not like it or remember companies that came up with them and research again also if my ad looks more promising than theirs they might click to see what I am about and call both of us out for quotes. Trust me it works
 
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