Adwords: Buying A Competitor's Domain Name |
101 Domain

Adwords: Buying A Competitor’s Domain Name


In August, I blogged about American Airlines suing Google for allowing other companies to buy their trademarked terms such as “American Airlines.”  I argued that Google should win this case because it was my opinion that another company should be able to buy generic keywords, like “American airlines,” since it isn’t necessarily associated with American Airlines.  Had it been a company with a more distinctive trademark, I would have argued that it was unethical to buy those keywords.  I have no legal background, so I couldn’t weigh in with a legal opinion.

That brings me to a post I just read on a forum about a company I do business with that is buying not only a keyword with the name of a competitor in it, but the actual domain name of the competitor.  I was surprised to see that when you type into Google, obviously searching for Sedo, there is a paid advertisement.  I don’t think this should be permitted by Google.  It’s one thing to buy keywords such as “Domain Brokers” or “Domain Sales,” but I don’t think it’s right to buy the exact keyword domain name of a competitor.

I am sure companies across a wide variety of industries are utilizing this practice, but that doesn’t make it right.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | | Facebook | Email

Comments (1)

    Richard Martin

    Not very fair play since is certainly very clearly targeted. Now again, the other way round it would be OK???
    Sedo could target advertisment to “buy domains”.
    Very tricky!
    Where does law meet ethics???

    I agree with you. “Buy Domains” would be an acceptable keyword in my opinion, but is not. Once you add the .com, you are targeting the company and not the keyword in my opinion.

    September 28th, 2007 at 5:06 am

Leave a Reply

Name *

Mail *