Search engine optimization marketers have complained for years now about "meta tag theft" whereby a competitor will deck out their site's title and meta tags using all the same keywords that you do, in hopes of stealing your ranking and your traffic. This afternoon, Sherpa reader Meyer Baron of 1SmartPuppy emailed in a warning that there is a new kinda problem to watch out for -- Google AdWords copy theft.
Turns out a direct competitor of Meyer's liked his paid Google listing creative so much, that he/she decided to lift it practically wholesale for their own AdWords paid placements that compete with 1SmartPuppy. Meyer says, "Why do I care?
1. I create and implement marketing strategies for a living, and don't tolerate people using my work without permission.
2. I'm paying for my AdWords campaign, and if someone else is going to benefit from it, they should at least pay me for it. They certainly should not reap any benefit from it without my knowledge and consent.
3. My company's name appearing in their listing implied an association that doesn't exist."
Years ago when a direct competitor reprinted a direct mail package that I'd done, word-for-word (except they inserted their product name in place of mine, and changed the toll free order number), it took one simple, polite, phone call to get them to cease and desist. I kind of considered it a compliment and left it at that. This AdWords campaign theft is a whole different ballgame.
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