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PPC Advertisers - Don't Be Yahoo

Posted on 6.18.2006
Sometimes the attraction is too great for pay per click advertisers. You have successfully identified the competitors in your industry and you have an aggressive strategy to bid on their brand names or products. The more visitor traffic the terms generate the greater the attraction and attention you will generate. While you can get away with it on some pay per click advertising networks (if not all depending on the popularity of the term), the companies behind the terms you are bidding upon may not be so pleased.

Yahoo, HDVE ( and Spark Networks ( have been accused by JP Enterprises of bidding on trademarked keywords such as "lovecity," "" and "www.lovecity."
The suit alleges that those companies' keyword-purchasing practices caused consumer confusion, hurt the "lovecity" brand and drove down sales. It accuses Yahoo and the other companies of "tarnishing the goodwill and reputation" of lovecity and "causing lost sales."

The lesson from all this? It comes down to a risk/reward scenario. First, if the risk of being sued for trademark infringement does not phase you, then the reward is exceptional if you can generate conversions from that (borrowed or earned depending on how you look at it) traffic. Most pay per click advertisers are content to target the long tail of searches - those keywords and phrases, that while receiving few queries, will result in a lower price and a higher conversion – and you should be too.


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