Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
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Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing Google Follows Their Own Trademark Rules > Allows ‘Google’ to...

Google Follows Their Own Trademark Rules > Allows ‘Google’ to be used in ad copy

Google recently changed the rules for how trademarks can be used in search ads when the ad is displayed in the US on a search.

The new rules state that you can use the trademark in ad copy if:

  • You use the word in a descriptive or generic way (such as using Apple in an ad copy if you’re an orchard farmer)
  • If you refer to the trademark owner (this is one of the ‘fair uses’ of trademarks) in one of these manners:
    • Resale of trademark goods or services (Best Buy using Apple iPod in ad copy to sell iPods)
    • Sale of components or replacement parts of the trademarked term (Bose selling iPod sound decks)
    • Informational sites – sites that the primary purpose is to provide non-competitive and details about the product or services (this is open to interpretation)

Google has always had a clause that you cannot use the word ‘Google’ in your ad copy. So, I was wondering with these new rules, would they allow the use of Google if you meet one of the above criteria?

I conduct the Advanced Seminars for Success™ that are approved by Google. Therefore, I was wondering what would happen if I tried to use the word Google in ad copy. Well, after a couple emails and ad copy review, I can confidently say that Google is following their own rules:


When you have ad copy approved that contains trademark terms (and you’re not the trademark holder or an account that has not received express permission to the use trademark) then you will see the (limited) next to the ad copy which designates it will only be shown on US Google search. If you mouse over the question mark you will see this information:


If you’d like to learn more about trademarks, I’m conducting a trademark webinar next Wednesday with Search Engine Land.

No Comments

  1. Adrian Key
    August 10, 2009 at 3:01 pm · Reply

    Well done!

    You’ve taken a difficult topic and explained it clearly so everyone can understand.

    Adrian Key
    Editor of AdWords Adviser, making Adwords more profitable for you!

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