Monitoring Your Marks-Welcome Microsoft!

It took enough time for Microsoft (and when I say Microsoft I mean Bing and Yahoo) to catch up to Google and start allowing you to bid on your competitors marks. Now on the surface this seems like a nice money maker for Microsoft (which it is). Marks generally obtain a nice high CTR and typically are very low CPC’s (at least they were). Well the CTR’s should continue to stay up there, but the CPC’s will soon climb. Thus, if you manage your PPC campaigns in a portfolio based approach, you’re going to have to work a bit harder to achieve your ROI.

What does this mean to the search marketer simply stated the process of monitoring your marks becomes more of a “must” and less of a “nice to do”. If you’re new to Bing and simply export and bulk sheet from AdWords to start your Bing/Yahoo search campaign there are few items you should keep in mind. When you import your trademark ad group into adCenter, your ads will be pushed live UNTIL your competitor notifies Microsoft that you’re in violation. This means you’ll obtain money for nothing, but not for very long.

Just be careful when you’re contemplating doing so. Recently, In the case of Harry J. Binder, et al. v. Disability Group Inc., et al. Case No. CV 07-2760-GHK (SSx ) the Disability Group was found liable, to the tune of $292K, plus legal fees. The judge’s ruling was based in large part on the fact that Disability Group was buying their competitor’s trademarked keywords in AdWords.

What’s the net, net? Microsoft has updated its trademark policy and you’ll see more of your competitors (and affiliates) bidding on your marks. URL highjacking will become more prevalent and you must take proactive steps to monitor your marks now with Microsoft. There’s the potential of your ROI going a bit higher if you’re a search marketer that manages campaigns in a portfolio approach.

Steve Jacoby

Managing Director, Search


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