AdWords UK Trademark Changes Not Disastrous

    June 19, 2008

It seemed as if all manner of chaos and sniping would reign after Google began to allow companies to bid on each other’s trademarks in the UK.  New Hitwise stats indicate that traffic patterns changed have very little, though.

This may come as a relief to people in a lot of industries.  Perhaps some will feel they’ve missed an opportunity, but others will thank their lucky stars they’ve not been pushed out of business.

There are two problems, however.  First, even if only 0.5 percent of trademark-related search traffic altered its path, Hitwise’s data only covers the first month after Google’s permanent change.  Second (although a cause-and-effect link hasn’t been proven), companies only held their ground while spending a lot more money than usual.

"[T]hree of the four major industries that we analyzed have increased their rates of paid brand search," writes Robin Goad.  "Most drastically, the top travel brands in the UK have increased their paid brand search rate from 18.4% to 26.6%, the largest increase of any sector.  The retail industry also saw a significant increase in paid brand search activity from 11.3% to 16.2% . . ."

The situation’s not ideal, then, even if it’s better than expected.