Monday, January 26, 2009

Buying brand terms of Google as part of litigation

I received some traffic today from the someone that searched in Google "hotelscombined wego". This often happens to me that combinations of competitor names results in traffic to the BOOT as I am one of the few places that regularly talks about competitors in the same post. I followed the referring link to see how high a ranked. Below is a screenshot of the Google page I came to. Have a look at the top sponsored link

In case you can't see, it says
"Warning Hotelscombined: Read legal procedures running Currently against Hotelscombined"
I have never seen anything like this. I know that Google has loosened the restrictions on bidding for brand terms. But I have never heard of a company buying a brand term so they can put up a link accusing another company of "defamation, fraud and falsification" (their words not mine). Here is the full text of the Asiativ accusation against Hotelscombined. I don't know Asiativ (do you?) so can't give any background on them. I do know Hotelscombined. They are an Australian based meta-search company headed by some guys that made their start in online travel working for HotelClub.

I also know Google and I am very surprised to see that they are allowing this ad to stay on the site. Anyone out there ever seen anything like this?

UPDATE - here is a later post with more on this including how Hotelscombined is bidding for Asiativ's brand.

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