On a VA forum recently one of the members mentioned she’d discovered that another VA business was using the name of her business in their Google Adwords. She has requested they take them down immediately and several other members came back with messages of support.
While I do also support the concern of this VA I wanted to let her know how I had inadvertently done a similar thing only a couple of years ago. Here is my story:
That’s not good but it can happen accidentally too, believe it or not.
Google actually suggests words and phrases in a long list to add to your list of keywords. A couple of years ago after they started doing this, I just selected all and added them to the list. I glanced through them but didn’t take them all in properly.
A month later I got a ‘cease and desist’ letter from a solicitor. I’d been using the name of a virtual office company in my keywords. I didn’t know. I rang the company right away and was quite upset with them for sending me a letter from a solicitor without contacting me first to see if I’d made an error. They could have given me the benefit of the doubt. I removed the keywords that day and am now very careful about what I add to my list at Adwords.
If you are setting up Adwords or any similar service where keywords are suggested to you for use, please go through them very carefully and make sure you’re not treading on any trademark or branding issues. It is so easy to overlook these things until you find yourself in trouble.