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From: Jared Hamilton
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Running an Ethical PPC Campaign for Your Dealership

Running an Ethical PPC Campaign for Your Dealership

Recently, we were searching one of our dealership clients (Bill Rapp Superstore) in Google and found that a competitor, Nemith Nissan, is bidding on their dealership's name in search. So when we typed in "Bill Rapp Nissan," a pay-per-click ad showed up saying "Bill Rapp Nissan-we beat their price." Further investigation showed that Nemith is bidding on several other nearby dealers' names.

 

Now, it's all fair to bid on keywords for the cars you sell, like "Nissan" or "Nissan Altima" or even "Nissan Altima Albany" to try to rank your ads as high as possible. But a dealer crosses an ethical line when he bids on the actual names of competitors.

Every car dealer wants to drive leads and sell more cars, but with a well-planned search engine marketing campaign you can do this without using competitors' names. Besides, a car shopper that sees a dealership using this kind of tactic will not trust them to be honest in selling a car. Ultimately, a campaign run like this will hurt a dealer's reputation, causing lasting damage that extends beyond the few extra leads that might come from the ads.

Arnold Tijerina
It's legal to bid on keywords that include your competitor's name. It's against Google's terms of service to actually USE the trademarked name in your ad, though. FYI. http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6118
Jim Bell
Wow...I feel that is crossing the line a little when you name the other dealer in the ad. I do bid with other dealers and will show up in a ppc ad when typing their name, but I don't say 'I will beat their price.' That is crossing the ethical lines a little in my eyes.
Tom Feary
This is an unfortunate byproduct of paid search. Arnold is correct and we request Google police their terms each time we discover a violation. Keep in mind that Google doesn't do the monitoring for you. If your brand is important to you, someone in your store needs to be accountable for monitoring the digital landscape.
Mike Hastings
It seems that they have stopped that campaign on Bill Rapp Nissan as there's no PPC ad there now. Way to go Driving Sales!
Matt Clark
We also find that consumers are the best police for this kind of unethical behavior. When they expect to see dealer A and get dealer B - they usually hit the back button and try again - costing dealer A $$ and no return - also the more consumers land on a page and hit back - the less relevance Google gives campaign - less relevance - less income for Google - but it is good to report this when you see it - Thanks Driving Sales...

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