09 Aug NameProtect study shows 92% of top brands losing out on search engines
Sample of paid placement on Google for search term “Disney”
MADISON —NameProtect Inc., a digital brand protection and Internet intelligence company, has released the results of an analysis of paid search engine listings that include textual advertisements within standard search engine results.
The results—which analyzed search listings at search engines Google and Yahoo! for the top global trademarks—revealed extensive third party advertising on these trademarked terms, with close to half of the paid listings promoting a good or service that was either competitive in nature or involved a potential unlicensed or counterfeit use of the trademark. The analysis was conducted using NameProtect’s newly launched AdTracker monitoring service, which monitors paid search listings across multiple search engines on a subscription basis.
“Because search engine results are a key way in which consumers find products and services online, the findings of this new NameProtect study should serve as a strong wake up call for major brand holding companies,” said Mark McLane, chief executive officer of NameProtect. “This activity, if left unchecked, could have a very large impact on the strength of the trademarks involved and the overall visibility these companies have with their customers in the online world.”
Paid search listing study—Top-100 brands
The NameProtect study involved an analysis of “The 100 Top Brands” ranked annually by brand consultancy Interbrand and BusinessWeek magazine. Using its AdTracker service, NameProtect analyzed search results at search leaders Google and Yahoo! on the trademarked term associated with each of the top-100 brands during the week of Aug. 2, 2004 and all paid search listings were collected for review.
Analysis of the 1,056 paid listings included the following:
— 92 percent of the top-100 brands have third parties buying their identical trademark for paid search advertisements
— There were an average of 10.56 paid listings included in the results for each of the top-100 brands
— 98 percent of the paid listings included the top 100-brand in the text (title or description) of the advertisement
This last finding—involving extensive use of the trademark in the text of the third party paid listings—is of particular note, as the use of the trademark in the actual advertisement is often a critical factor in determining whether the listing violates the trademark rights of the affected company.
What goods and services do these paid search listings promote?
The NameProtect study also included an in-depth review of the products or services being offered at each of the 1,056 paid search advertisements involved in the study. The results of this analysis included the following findings:
— 45 percent involved competitive or potentially unlicensed offerings
— 23 percent involved listings for related commercial services
— 7 percent involved placements by the brand owner
— 25 percent involved other paid listings
“These results should leave no doubt in the mind of brand holding companies that paid search listings are having a significant impact on their trademarks, revenues and overall enterprise value,” McLane said.
The paid listings involved in this study were produced using AdTracker, the new service launched by NameProtect designed to help organizations monitor paid search listings across a large number of search engine services on a daily basis. AdTracker allows trademark and brand professionals to monitor their rights on a proactive and continuous basis.
NameProtect’s solutions help clients in the protection of brand assets, recovery of diverted revenues and detection of online identity theft and fraud. The company is headquartered in Madison, Wis.