An ongoing debate about whether online marketers should allow affiliates to bid for search engine positions on the marketer`s trademarked names has resurfaced, with Google`s announcement in January of a new policy under which it shows only one paid ad per search query for affiliates and marketers displaying the same URL.
Under the new policy, if multiple ads compete for the top keyword position under the same URL, Google shows only the ad with the highest AdRank.
The AdRank is based on the ad`s cost per click rate and the click-through rate on the ad. Most of the controversy swirls around the use of trademarks–the difference between a search for “diapers” and a search for “Pampers diapers,” for example.
It`s the AdRank that determines which bidder gets the placement, upping by a notch some marketers` worries about being outbid by their own affiliates for a spot higher up in search results. Shut out entirely Only now, since there`s only one paid spot per keyword per URL available on Google, instead of just having to put up with a lower spot in multiple paid ad listings, they face the prospect of not showing up in results at all.
That means a marketer could be shut out entirely on some paid keywords, depending on how much the company is–or is not–willing to pay for the spot, and it`s more than just a possibility.
Search engine marketing company Did-it.com executive chairman Kevin Lee cites one example in which retailer Brooks Brothers had the number two spot on AdWords, behind an affiliate, under a particular keyword for an item on BrooksBrothers.com. After Google`s policy change, only the affiliate`s AdWord listing remained.
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