BrandVerity: Brands are Losing Thousands of Visitors from Trademark Bidding; Home Services Firms Most Affected
With so many companies competing with one another within highly-competitive niches, it’s difficult to maintain the appropriate amount of traffic for branded keywords in paid search. Not even the major players in each industry can escape from the threat of trademark hijackers.
That’s what anti-trademark abuse monitoring company, BrandVerity (@BrandVerity), concluded in their recent study called, The State of Branded Keywords in Paid Search: Q4 2014. Released in early March 2015, the report examined the core brand keywords of more than 250 popular, consumer-facing brands from ten various verticals during the final quarter of 2014.
The study highlights the prevalence of trademark keyword ads per search engine, with Google displaying its outstanding restrictions on trademark usage and bidding compared to the other search platforms. In contrast, AOL and Yahoo showed the highest prevalence of trademark keyword ads used by competing advertisers. [See Figure 1]
In an interview with World Trademark Review (@WTRmagazine), BrandVerity’s Marketing Manager, Sam Engel, explained why AOL and Yahoo are showing the highest frequency of trademark usage among the search engines. He said:
The motivation isn’t entirely clear, but you could speculate that AOL and Yahoo are trying to address their revenue gap by simply showing more ads – and thus getting more revenue per search. [It shows] that there’s monitoring to be done outside of just the top players (Google and Bing). Although Yahoo and AOL have lower share, their willingness to show so many ads means that there’s very significant exposure.
This “exposure” results in fairly significant traffic losses for brands. Depending on their vertical, brands may lose up to 60,000 visitors every month due to inappropriate trademark usage. In the consumer finance industry, a typical brand may lose a total of 13,208 clicks monthly, while a typical hotel brand is expected to lose up to 31,653 clicks monthly; with 1,000,000 branded searches per month. On the other hand, the expected traffic loss for a typical brand in the online retail industry is 22,973.
These numbers, however, differ a lot from the home services industry—up to 64,091 clicks can be lost from typical brands monthly due to trademark keyword ads usage. [See Figure 2]
BrandVerity examined these keywords to “provide brands with a benchmark of what advertisements appear on the search engines when potential customers search for their brand and how much traffic brands may be losing because of it.” The study’s findings clearly urge brand owners to be extra mindful about the use of their trademarks, and should motivate search platforms to hold tighter restrictions on trademark keyword and bidding.
You may download the full study here for more in-depth insights about the use of branded keywords online.
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