Great story from NewMediaAge.co.uk Search companies must consider the cost of brand abuse.
Search is the great success story of online advertising. It accounts for some 40% of online ad spend, which means that now more is spent on search than is spent on cinema advertising. Brands now realise not only that search is a powerful customer acquisition tool but that it's a vital part of a complete media strategy.
But this level of success is bringing its own problems. Or rather, it's bringing some of the existing problems into sharper relief. There have always been areas of questionable practice within search, from the early days of search engine optimisation to the misuse of brand names and keywords we report on our cover. The difference now is the level of importance placed on search and the amount of money spent on it.
I think you're going to find companies take a closer look at what they have spent for Internet advertising and the traffic/business that has been generated from it. In my opinion, they will realize it's not that effective and will be looking for a better way.
Brand protection online has always been problematic. The difficulties of tracking the use, or abuse, of a brand across millions of Web sites have given rise to all sorts of specialist services and companies. In the world of pay-per-click search, the problem is even more complex, as the relationships between a brand and its affiliates and dealers proliferate and as different companies take different approaches to the use of their brands online.
What if you take out the "per click" in pay per click.
This is the crux of the problem: who should police search as the stakes rise? There are three main candidates: the search companies, the brands and the agencies working for the brands. The PPC search companies' policy is generally to advise firms what is and isn't acceptable, but that's as far as they go, arguing that there are too many search entries for them to police, passing the responsibility back to the brands. If a company complains then about a misuse of its brand, the search engines will intervene. Or the courts will.
The question for the search engines now must be whether brands will continue to accept this approach, or start to put pressure on them to take responsibility for the use of brand names on their networks, with all the costs that implies.
The advertiser wants traffic to his site. The search engine wants to get paid for advertising on his site. The consumer wants relevant search results.
What if advertisers could direct traffic without a search engine?
Would they be interested?