Duplicate Content | Distributing Product Descriptions Without Being Penalized by Google

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

The question:  How can we distribute product descriptions to other websites without being penalized by Google for having duplicate content?

At Welborn Social Media, we make sure to have a deep, thorough, and (most importantly) up to date understanding of how social media works and the latest policies of key internet companies such as Google or Facebook. Every once in a while, a client will come to us with a question that requires us to do a little research, and we see this as an opportunity to learn new information, grow our knowledge, and share our findings with our community.

Such was the case when one of our clients came to us wanting to share their products on the websites of their affiliates.

Duplicate Content Search Engine Optimization SEO

Duplicate Content

From working with many clients and getting their websites to rank higher on Google search results, we have learned that Google does not like duplicate content. What is duplicate content? In simple terms, it is when words, images, or entire web pages appear over and over again throughout the internet. Most of the time this is done accidentally or with good intentions, like products sold on different e-commerce sites or sites that have both a normal and a printer-friendly version of a page. Other times duplicate content can be an attempt to gain more links to a site, which could make them rank higher on search results. However Google is not a fan of the latter and will often times penalize sites that are trying to “trick” Google into ranking them higher.

Another problem that arises is that Google will omit web sites that are too similar to each other. If I want to search for an article online, they don’t want the search results to show me 10 different sites with the same article. They want to show me several different articles. Sometimes a site will publish a story and also have that story published on five other sites. Google is then forced to choose only one of those to display. If a webmaster does not know what they are doing, they can run into a problem where their site is not showing up because other sites are being displayed instead of theirs.

So what are people with legitimate reasons for having duplicate content to do?

The answer:

The solution lies in a line of HTML code known as the Canonical Tag.

The canonical tag is a way for websites to point towards the original (or canonical) source of content and give them all the credit, ensuring that Google displays them over any other copies of the content. It is a way for people to publish their content on several sites, without making it seem like they are simply trying to trick Google into thinking that the content is important and should be ranked higher. However, it does mean that all the non-canonical copies of the content won’t show up on search engines, only the version that they are all pointing to will show up. In most cases, this is not really a problem because people can still access those pages by clicking through any website where a duplicate may be found. Because the canonical tag is all about giving proper credit, instead of taking undeserved credit, it can be used to have duplicate content online without problems.

That said, there are still methods that Google considers “best practices” and would be preferable over the canonical tag. Fresh, original, unique content will always be preferred over copy and pasting. So the best way to go about duplicate content would be ensuring that content is not actually duplicate. If you want to share the same text, image, or link, it would be best to always frame it in a new and unique way for every web page that it is on. Google’s policies are always changing and what is acceptable today may not be acceptable in the future. To safeguard against having to redo your web page in the future, just make it unique to begin with.

Was Article Marketing Killed By The Panda Update? Your New Strategy Part 2

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Can article marketing still work with a strategy that respects Google’s mission?

Google basically doesn’t want imbalanced situations anymore. And some of our behavior has tipped it off to how the lack of algorithm changes have left the door open for certain predators to be overfed and quality content, quality user experience, to suffer.

Google Search Engine Optimization SEO Article Marketing

Panda Update

So with keeping the above mind, how would you imagine that article marketing can be performed with success? If you’re familiar with what article marketing is and the SEO strategies themselves, you’ll likely have ideas of changes that could be made to the traditional strategy to see results again. It’s likely not very different from what’s actually worked for me and for others.

The ability to recognize what is needed in nearly every case is still in your hands.

Here’s a simple strategy that you can use to determine exactly how article marketing will work for yourself and for your clients.

  1. Understand which concepts are accepted and effective (on page seo, anchor text linking, posting on do follow directories).
  2. Have quality content on the site you work for which reflects the keywords you attempt to rank for (very important for small scale seo efforts)
  3. Experiment by implementing a common sense strategy which includes numbers one and two.
  4. Track what was done and recognize your averages; how much of such and such strategy had to be done and how many spots did I move up in the engines as a result?
  5. When you have a ratio, you’ll have a general expectation of how much you need to produce to get where you want to be.

The truth is that when it comes to article marketing, you don’t need a bunch of hidden websites, a spinner producing hundreds of articles a day or other tricks, although some may be doing just find with those right now…Others, obviously, have suffered. What you’ll likely need in the long run, and what Google is getting better at determining you have, is a creative and smart writer to do your research, provide quality content and weave in SEO in the ways that work, before posting the information on some of the most prominent article directories which will actually produce link recognition. And, of course, a good foundation is the best insurance. The better the site actually reflects your goals, your target keywords, the more manageable the job becomes with only a set of forthright tools in your SEO tool bag.

The following is true about the search engines and will likely remain true for some time:

  • Unique content is still valuable.
  • Quality content is still valuable.
  • Content which provides information for the keywords it intends to rank for is still valuable.
  • Giving the searcher what they want to find, being honorable with your use of keywords, both are still valuable.
  • All well intentioned tools which are in line with Google’s goals, mentioned above, still work.
  • Strategies which implement these tools can still work…

They might just need a little tweaking.

For more on the Panda Update from Google representative and leader Matt Cutts, hear his interpretation here.

Good luck in your SEO efforts.

Was Article Marketing Killed By The Panda Update? Your New Strategy Part 1

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Is article marketing dead? Did the Panda Update finally bid the strategy a strong farewell? Well, is anchor text dead? “Nope,” is the direct answer. Google just got better at determining when our use of the text was out of line with their ultimate goal. And for article marketing, the situation is no different.

When it comes to SEO, it pays to be a bottom line thinker. And the bottom line hasn’t changed even when the algorithms have; the algorithms that so many SEO experts have feared, these formulas which are actually misinterpreted in forums where people go to get the good information in regards to SEO…

These have simply helped Google accomplish its’ ultimate goal; and for those willing to get to the essentials of the situation and profit from that perspective, there’s still room for this good fortune.

Bottom line number one is that Google keeps formulating steps to create a user experience where their user finds the content they are looking for without being manipulated into trekking through a maze of websites which have absolutely nothing to do with user desires or poorly fulfill them at best. Part of what we have to do, as experts, and more honestly, as students of SEO, is experiment with that bottom line when updates such as these occur.

We have to realize what has worked for us in the past, the foundational tools that Google has no problem with, and look at how our strategies, the ways we implement those tools can be tweaked or altered to fit in line with this destination.

Article Marketing Search Engine Optimization SEO Google Panda Update

Article Marketing

A successful expert in SEO, is an experimenter and a scholar; someone who is capable of gaining insight, observing limitations, and falling back on the essentials as a framework to understand where to go next in ever changing situations.

That person can still see gains via article marketing (and in other tools which are recognized as honest by Google), even though well known hubs may have some members whose results have tanked.

To become that kind of expert, we have to observe our success in work, track progress, think of why certain things have worked in terms of concepts we know through experience can breed success; such as accurate on page SEO and anchor text linking, personally testing limits on article proliferation, seeing if our results fair better with diverse website use rather than single website repetitive use, and basically giving the leader of the search engines another one of its’ bottom line objectives: plenty of quality original content, spread around well received websites, so that our balanced little search engine ecosystem is maintained.

Stay Tuned for Was Article Marketing Killed by the Panda Update?  Your New Strategy Part 2

Grow Your Business Through Social Media

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.
Zeb Welborn Grow Your Business Through Social Media HYPE San Dimas Chamber of Commerce

Zeb Welborn Grow Your Business Through Social Media

Tonight I will be presenting at the monthly HyPE meeting through the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce. My presentation is titled, Grow Your Business through Social Media. The event will be held at The Finish Line Sports Grill in Pomona.

HyPE, Helping Young Professionals Excel, is “exclusively geared for young professionals.”  It is a program intended to help young professionals develop the necessary skills to become future business leaders

The talk will be covering a variety of topics, including discussions about websites, Google Analytics, blog writing, social media, Facebook, Twitter, building connections, analyzing online efforts, email marketing, website design, understanding SEO, Google AdWords, Yelp, reputation management, LinkedIn, personal branding, being a human, building connections, developing a higher purpose and being thankful

Listen to Zeb Welborn speak as he shares his journey of going from a teacher, to living with his parents, starting his business and eventually becoming a successful entrepreneur.  Learn how developing a higher purpose and connecting with people will help you grow your business online and in the real world

If you’re interested in attending, here’s the information for the event

“Join us for the next HyPE ”Happy Hour With A Twist” Mixer – July 25th 6pm – 8pm featuring “Grow your business through Social Media” with Zeb Welborn. HyPE is a Chamber Program exclusively geared towards new and emerging professionals. Visit www.chamberhype.com for more information or call 909-592-3818Zeb Welborn speaks at Hype event on Grow Your Business through Social Media with the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce Grow Your Business Through Social Media[/caption]  

An Analysis of Zeb Welborn’s Leadership Practices | by Andrew Kramer

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

The following is a research paper written by Andrew Kramer for his Leadership in Organizations upper level course at the University of La Verne:  Zeb Welborn’s Leadership Practices

Chapter 1:  Introduction

Zeb Welborn grew up in Southern California in the beautiful city of Chino Hills.  He lived with his mother and father, brother, Rocky and his sister, Lacey.  He just recently moved out to Chino and is renting an apartment so he can have a place to get some work done.  He still maintains a good relationship with his siblings and actually has his sister running the photography for his business and building websites.  He participates frequently in marathons with his brother, Rocky and golfs regularly with his father, Larry.  Growing up, Zeb loved to play all kinds of sports.  He mainly focused on golf and soccer with soccer being his greater passion.  He played three years competitively on the golf team and still to this day plays soccer in an outdoor and indoor league.  I had the pleasure of getting to play on the same soccer team with Zeb for a full season.  I first started to notice Zeb’s leadership qualities when he became a substitute teacher at the high school I was attending at the time.  Not too long after that he became a full time history teacher at the school as well as being an assistant coach for the men’s soccer team.  It was clear that Zeb exemplified the leadership skills necessary to perform the jobs at hand.

Immediately after school Zeb attended Cal State University, Fullerton and got his degree in History, which he taught in high school.  Not too long ago he started his own business working for numerous companies managing their social media.  He named the company, Welborn Social Media, and that is how we came in contact with each other.  I work at Los Serranos Country Club where Zeb grew up playing golf and just recently made them a Facebook page in an attempt to gain exposure through advertising and keeping up with the market trends.  Zeb noticed I had created the page and together we turned in into a great project.  We got it passed by the board of directors and currently get paid to run the social media for the golf course.  This isn’t the only company that Zeb works for Scrapbook Expo, Wirespeed Systems, System 1 Interiors, Technology 4 Medicine, DLT Growers, Creative Scrapbook Source, Big Time Golf, Somerset Apartments, Krazy Kreations, Creative Minds & Visions, It’s Cheaper than Therapy and Mormino & Associates.  The number of clients continues to grow as he is experiencing success in a number of different sectors.  The duties that are expected of Zeb and his company are designing, managing, writing for and updating blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn pages, YouTube pages, and Google+ pages.  also responsible for designing website, logos and promotional materials.  Zeb’s company is also responsible for managing Google AdWords campaigns and implementing strategies to increase search engine optimization including on site optimization and link building.  Zeb also creates email marketing campaigns and manages the reputation of companies on ranking websites like Yelp and Angie’s List.  These are just a few of the things that Zeb is responsible day in and day out and only a true leader can handle these kind of situations.  The needs of every company is unique, but Welborn Social Media can work with any company on any budget to help build their own brand.

Zeb uses the experience from prior jobs to lead the group of people that now work for him.  He has about four or five of us working under him and makes sure that everyone is happy with what they are doing.  Zeb uses the three-skill approach, which depends on three basic skills:  technical, human, and conceptual.  Skills are what leaders can accomplish, whereas traits are who leaders are.  I believe that after Zeb’s work in many different areas and working with many different people, he acquired the leadership skills necessary to manage people under him.  Technical skill is knowledge about and proficiency in a specific type of work or activity.  Zeb has a profound knowledge with computers and has done his research and taken courses on managing social media websites.  Human skill is knowledge about and ability to work with people.  Human skill is actually quite different from technical skill because human skills are people skills.

Chapter 2:  Leadership Practices

Leadership vs. Management

Zeb has many traits that make him a great leader.  I would definitely have to say that he is more leadership oriented than management.  A few of these traits are obviously intelligence about the field that he works for, self-confidence in the work he does, and determination to continue to make his business grow and expand.  Out of all these traits I believe that self-confidence is the most important one because it gives him the confidence and the ability to be certain about his competencies and skills.  This also includes self-esteem and self-assurance and the belief that one can make a difference.  To be a leader you must involve influencing others, and there is nothing better than feeling assured that his attempts to influence others are appropriate and right.

Relationship Orientation vs. Task Orientation

When dealing with relationships and task orientation I believe that Zeb excels in both of these subjects.  He must maintain a good relationship with his customers and people he is working with, and a good way to do this is by staying task oriented.  He gets the details from his partners on what needs to be accomplished and sets out a schedule on how to get it done in a timely manner.  I would definitely have to say that these two matters go hand in hand and are equally important.

Goal Orientation and Performance Evaluation

Zeb stays very goal oriented in the way that he stays on top of things by staying organized.  We have a clear mission of what we need to be doing and the harder we work, the more we will be rewarded.  For instance, every business that I recruit to get started under, “Welborn Social Media” I get a raise and a certain percentage of what the company pays Zeb to do.  As someone who works for Zeb this motivates me to find as many businesses that I can so I will get paid more.  This is a key factor for many businesses and leaders.  The more you reward your employees for good hard work, the more they will attempt to do the best work that they possibly can.  The more Zeb stays goal oriented, the more his business will prosper.

Control vs. Delegation

I communicate with Zeb a few times a week and we meet at least once in that week to review and see how work is coming along.  When we do get together we brainstorm and think of ways to stay innovative and on top of the current trends.  We discuss also ways to improve our marketing and advertisement, basically in a sense how to get more exposure.  We communicate via email, text messaging, and even sometimes through Facebook.

Rewards, Incentives and Punishment

Like I stated earlier, the way you will be rewarded is on how much work you are willing to get done.  There are no punishments just lessons learned.  Basically, the more work you get done and the more businesses I get to sign under the business the more i will get paid.  It is a simple process that works well because it keeps us motivated with all the incentives at hand.

Communication

Since we run a social media company most of our communication is done over the computer.  I would say that Zeb’s style of communication is passive, his social perceptiveness is the insight and awareness into how others in the organization function.  For example what is important to others, what keeps them motivated, and how they react to change.  Social perceptiveness means understanding the unique needs, goals, and demands of differences within the organization.

Chapter 3:  Analysis of Leadership Practices

The situational approach is based on the idea that the employees move forward and backward along the developmental continuum, which represents the relative competence and commitment of subordinates.  For leaders to be effective using the situational approach, it is essential that they determine where subordinates are on the developmental continuum and adapt their leadership styles so they directly match their style to that developmental level.  “Once the leader has identified the correct developmental level, the second task is to adapt his style to the prescribed leadership.  This is the one-to-one relationship between the developmental level of subordinates.” (Northouse 93) Some strengths of using the situational approach is that it is recognized as a standard for training leaders.  It is also a very practical approach, which means that it is easily understood and easily applied.  The situational approach sets forth a clear set of prescriptions for how leaders should act if they want to enhance their leadership effectiveness.  This approach also recognizes and stresses that there is not one best style of leadership, instead leaders need to be flexible and adapt their style to the requirements of the situations.  When in regards to the five major leadership theories, the one that stand out to me are of course the situational approach, the transformational approach, and team leadership.  Transformational approach of course has a strong emphasis on followers’ needs, values, and morals.  This kind of leadership involves attempts by leaders to move followers to higher standards of moral responsibility.  This type of leadership sets it apart from the other four styles because it has a moral dimension.  A leader very similar to the transformational approach is called servant leadership.  This leadership emphasizes that leaders should be attentive ot the concerns of their followers and would emphasize with them, they would take care of them and nurture them.” (Northouse 385)

Leadership Style of the Leader

I would say the best kind of approach to describe the leadership style of Zeb would have to be team leadership.  Zeb excels through the people that are working for him.  Therefore, he must use team leadership to coach his team members in interpersonal skills.  Collaborate with others by including and involving his team members in discussions.  Using team leadership one must manage conflict and power issues while avoiding confrontation and questioning ideas.  Build commitment by being optimistic, innovative, envisioning, socializing, rewarding, and recognizing other peoples achievements.  Lastly, to excel at team leadership you must satisfy the individual needs of the members you are working with by trusting, supporting, and advocating them.  You model your ethics by your principled practices by being fair, consistent and lastly, normative.

Compatibility/Incompatibility

The organizations goals go hand in hand with the compatibility of Zeb’s leadership style and practices.  The goal of the organization is to get as many clients to start using, “Welborn Social Media” and once we have them to perform everything we possibly can to satisfy their needs.  At this time I have no recommendations for Zeb because his business is growing at such a rapid pace that I do not know what else he can be doing.  If I did have one thing to say I would think that we should maybe get together more than just once a week to have a weekly report on how things are going.  Sometimes I feel a little bit lost on what is going on or what we should be doing so maybe meet twice a week.

Chapter 4:  Analysis of Leadership Practices:  Delegation and Developmental Levels

Necessary Conditions for Effective Delegation

According to leadership styles I believe the most effective way for developmental levels is that there must be high commitment and high supportive behavior.  In order for the sufficient amount of work to be completed an employee must stay committed and dedicated to the amount of work level he is inputting.  Zeb encourages to stay committed to the mission within the organization.  In this sense, Zeb uses the supporting approach that requires him to take a high supportive – low directive style.  “The leader should not focus exclusively on goals but uses support behaviors that bring out the employee’s skills around the task to be accomplished.”  (Northouse 93) This includes listening, praising, asking for input, and giving feedback.

Developmental Levels of the Followers

At this point in time the amount of employees are at a minimum so I would have to say that the levels are still in the developmental stage.  D2 would probably be the most accurate description because it is still moderately low.

Delegation Practice of the Leader

The way Zeb delegates his tasks and responsibilities is by creating the sky is the limit approach.  By saying this, I mean that he does not delegate many responsibilities to his followers because it is up to them to do as much work as they want.  There is always room for growth in the type of business we are in so you get as much work done as you want to in a sense.  But the more work you do accomplish, the more you will be rewarded.

Compatibility/Incompatibility

The delegation practice that Zeb uses is very compatible to the developmental levels of the followers.  Everything is still in the developmental process, but the business continues to grow at a steady pace so he must be doing something right.  It has been a great learning experience to work with a true leader like Zeb and be part of a wonderful company with a passion to excel.

Recommendations

At this point in time I have no real recommendations besides the one I stated earlier.  Scheduling meetings has been quite difficult with how busy things are so maybe just set a time that we can meet on a weekly basis.  In other words, the level of communication must begin to increase as the company continues to expand.

Chapter 5:  Conclusion

After writing this paper I realize that I am working with a genuine leader that I can take many thing away from . . . not only in the business world, but in every day life.  The way Zeb works with people is truly the proper approach and getting to see it first hand is a blessing.  Working with Zeb was a life changing experience because I can now apply the lessons I learned from his leadership qualities and apply them in every aspect of my life.  I plan to practice the same approach that Zeb uses because I have seen first hand on how it functions and the results have been good.

 

Would you like to learn more about Zeb Welborn’s leadership practices?  Visit some other sites created by Zeb Welborn – 19th Hole Media created to help golf courses get more customers and the Defining Success Podcast created to change the way we think about success.

Gotcha Covered | Take Your Windows from Ordinary to Extraordinary!

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Gotcha Covered of Chino Hills

Gotcha Covered of Chino Hills offers free in-home consultations to discuss the needs you have for your windows.  Gotcha Covered is partnered with Lafayette, Hunter Douglas, Graber, Wesco fabrics and many more.  They can treat any window specific to your needs.  They also offer their services for residential and commercial customers. Let Gotcha Covered take your windows from ordinary to extraordinary!

Theresa Mastroianni has been educated in the fine art of beautifying interior spaces.  Window coverings designed properly can accentuate the warmth and elegance of a home.  Theresa designs window coverings that enhance the character of each clients home.  She uses the juxtaposition of different materials, such as, wood, iron, and fabric to create a harmonious design balance.  She guides her client through the creative and technical process of window treatment design.  Each client gets to enjoy participating in the design process with her guidance and expertise.

Cindy Domino has been in the home textile design business for 15 years. She had the pleasure of working with Kathy Ireland, Alexander Julian and Donald Trumps design teams for their fashion bedding programs. She also worked with major department stores creating bedding and window treatment programs.

We are helping Gotcha Covered reach out to new customers by helping them rank higher in the Google search results using search engine optimization.  We highly recommend their services as they are extremely passionate in what they do.  They’ve been able to help many happy customers as evidenced by the high recommendations they’ve received from others.

Gotcha Covered provides draperies, window coverings, wood blinds, shutters, window and interior design services in Chino, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, Claremont, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Anaheim Hills, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, and the Inland Empire

If you have any windows that need a little something extra, contact Cindy Domino at Gotcha Covered – 909-855-0779 or Theresa Mastroianni at TheresaMastroianni@GotchaCovered.com.

How Social Media Can Benefit Any Business

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Zeb Welborn will be presenting on How Social Media Can Benefit Any Business at the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce Office at 13150 Seventh St. in Chino, CA on Wednesday, July 25 from 7:30 – 8:30 AM.

Welborn Social Media began in May, 2011 by building excitement for businesses using Internet marketing techniques including social media, website design, search engine optimization, email marketing and pay-per-click advertising campaigns.  Since last year, Welborn Social Media has worked with over twenty companies by developing and enhancing their online presence.

On Wednesday, Zeb Welborn will be presenting about the impact social media can have on any business and will aim to help business owners understand why it’s important to be using social media in today’s economy.  The business world has gone social and for new businesses to thrive it is imperative for businesses to become social businesses.  Becoming a social business means connecting with customers and having an open dialogue between your customers and your business.  The more you are there to solve your customers problems and make them happier the more likely they are to help you build your business.

The breakfast for our presentation this Wednesday will be sponsored by ABC Services.  ABC Services offers turnkey computer and network solutions for businesses, home-based enterprises and individuals.  They can solve your current problems and protect you from future ones.

If you would like to learn how social media can benefit your business we encourage you to visit the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, July 25 at 7:30 AM for our presentation.  We hope to see you there!

Zeb Welborn Presents How Social Media Can Benefit Any Business

 

Can I Use My Competitors Name in Google Adwords?

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Google AdWords Logo

The first thing you need to do when determining if you can use a c0mpetitor’s name to market your product is to find out whether or not the name is trademarked.  If the name you’re using for your Google Ad campaign is not trademarked then it is acceptable to use your competitor’s name throughout your Google advertising efforts.

You can check to see if the keyword you’d like to bid on is a trademarked term by visiting the Trademark Electronic Search System website – http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp and clicking on Trademark Search on the left.

Competitors using term AdWords

Competitors using the word ‘AdWords’

Through a common consensus among Google Adwords advertisers it currently appears acceptable to buy trademarked names in Adwords if you don’t mention the product or service on your site, so long as you don’t mention a trademarked name in your ad, you don’t try to harm the competitors reputation and you don’t make comparisons with trademark infringements.

If you plan on bidding on a competitor’s keyword in Google Adwords take precautions.  If Google receives any complaints from your competitors they have the ability to cease your advertisements from operating on the search engine.

Lastly, local trademark laws can be applied to Google Adwords advertising . . . In a recent California federal district court they determined purchasing a trademarked keyword constituted “use in commerce” under the Lanham Act penalizing the company who purchased the keyword term to run their advertising.  However, the company in question was purposefully trying to deceive customers into believing they were accessing the trademark term’s website.

To summarize, it is best to check with your lawyer first to make sure you are not infringing upon trademark rights, but as a rule of thumb as long as you are not purposefully being deceptive and you avoid using the keyword on your website or in your ad copy then it is acceptable to bid on trademarked keywords.

If you would like to receive more tips on how to manage Google Adwords, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media or Online Marketing Campaigns please sign up for our newsletter by clicking the link below and providing some information.


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