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More Deceptive Term Bidding in The Spyware Space

by Wayne Porter

What You Want Is Not What You Get


At SpywareGuide.com we have decided to execute a guerilla campaign to push the envelope on search quality. It has been a growing trend for sleazy anti-spyware vendors to openly and deceptively bid on the marks and sites of other companies. Sometimes they do it, sometimes their affiliates do it and the vendor looks the other way. Not only could this be a violation of trademark laws, but it is certainly deceptive as the terms they are bidding on having nothing to do with the products they are offering. This is gross abuse of Adwords guidelines and a diservice to consumers seeking an accurate destination.

 In our new ad campaigns we have decided to bid on our own marks and let consumers know this link will take them to our official site. This is easy enough to verify. Simply go to Google and search for the term ?SpywareGuide?. Sure enough you will find a number of the usual suspects bidding on the term to pitch their anti-spyware solution. None of these ads are sanctioned by SpywareGuide or have any affiliation with this site.

 On a whim we tried an alternate route by using a common typographical error where users type in domain name and a space followed by ?com?. Clearly the user is trying to get to SiteName.com only they have entered SiteName Com.

 We conducted some research on our own site and another popular information portal on privacy ran by the respected Mike Healan of SpywareInfo.com

Google Query For SpywareInfo Com


Google Query For SpywareGuide Com

pqnelhleyy 2cc8ab4a 62f84e24


Once again the usual rogues popped up, but we were very surprised to see Yahoo! bidding on these terms to pitch their own free anti-spyware toolbar powered by Pest Patrol. This has nothing to do with Spywareinfo.com or SpywareGuide.com. Perhaps it isn't Yahoo! and simply their agency doing this bidding, but someone made a conscious decision to do this.

Google should be exercising better control of their editorial guidelines. It is inexcusable to search for a product and find numerous listings for competitive products that have absolutely nothing to do with the product being searched for. This erodes the user?s trust in Google advertising results; it is a disservice to legitimate vendors, and it causes problems for vendors and consumers who suffer from this confusion. The only ones who benefit are the rogues who lack the basic respect to stick to generic terms or their own product terms.

Yahoo! or its agency should reconsider its bidding policy. As an Internet leader they must lead by example. We find it a poor example that they would take advantage of a user's poorly executed search to mislead them into downloading their own product. Even if it is through the poor editorial work conducted by Google's Adword editors.


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