Is your company name being used by a competitor?
If you know the company name and you want to look at their website most browsers these days will simply ‘google’ ‘the company name’ (that’s why it’s important to use a unique company name!)
You can imagine it was with horror that when I ‘google’d’ Oast House Media over the weekend another web design company was above us on the results page!
How did they manage that? Simply by using the search string ‘oast house media’ in their Google Adwords campaign
Is it legal? As far as Google are concerned, and as long as it’s not a trademark they’re not interested. As far as our solicitor is concerned, most definitely very illegal!
There are test cases out there that involve companies using other company names in their Adwords campaign, the best known one in the UK is the Interflora v Marks and Spencer case where M and S used ‘Interflora’ in their Adwords campaign to promote their own Flowers Direct Online Ltd company. Trademark infringement and ‘passing off’ are the obvious issues here.
In our case the other web designer was using our popularity to drive traffic to his website. Upon investigation, we were not the only web design company being targeted.
Resolved? Yes, fairly amicably as well. It was a tad embarrassing for the company owner to climb down and remove the offending Adwords keywords – caught red handed.
Conclusion: Check your company online and make sure your company name is not being used to attract traffic away from your website to your competitors.
www.oasthousemedia.co.uk website designers in Kent