Uphill Battle When Google Lets Others Use Your Trademark

Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing

Back in 2007, we decided to trademark our name, Personal SEO. Not necessarily for any major reason, just for the sake of having a trademarked name. Unfortunately, personalseo.net is owned by someone else and he refuses to give it up and we just don't have the time to try and tackle legal action. (We do own PersonalSEO.com)


But recently we've noticed that our PPC campaign has not been showing our ads at all. After several phone calls, we sort of got to the bottom of it. It seems there are dozens of other companies using the key phrase "personal SEO" in their AdWords account. We wondered if they could do this so we called. Google said yes, they just can't use it in their ad, but they can use it as a key phrase to show up for. 


Even worse was when we asked why we are not showing up at all. Even at least once a day our site should be present but it isn't.  After digging deeper we were told that the others were paying much more for that phrase and we'd have to be spending at least $10 click to even show up. WOW. $10 a click?? For our own trademarked name?!  


They mentioned that you can choose any trademarked name as a key phrase even if it's a major name like Walmart. However, you can't use it in the ad itself. Seems ridiculous, I know, but this is what Google has said.


It's one of those things that I don't know if we really want to bother with it or just stick to what's working, which is blogging, organic and referrals. 


So, now our trademark is up for renewal. We are debating renewing it because we're not sure it's really doing us any good, but then again, if someone else decides to trademark it in the future, we could lose our business name. Ugh.. such a hassle and a pain. 


I know that some real estate agents have had similar things happen to them. A prominent agent in Illinois has been using his brokerage's name next to his name in his Google My Business Page for years and now his main broker wants control over his page even though all the reviews are for him directly and not the brokerage. I know there are a lot of underhanded people out there trying to cash in on other's success. It just sucks when you feel like you don't have a leg to stand on with your own LEGAL name.


Anyone else had issues like this? 

Posted by

Personal SEO Tim and Tammy Emineth

Personal SEO Facebook Page Personal SEO Instagram Page Tammy Emineth Pinterest Page Personal SEO Linkedin Page Linkedin Page


Tim and Tammy Emineth have owned Personal SEO since 2004. We focus on SEO first whether it's blogging, images, website design, IDX solutions and calls to action. We operate with a Storybrand philosophy to encourage more traffic to your site, more eyes on your content and more leads to your business. Call us or email us for a free website audit.

Tim: 425-443-8372  Tammy: 425-344-0677


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Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Things like this make me NUTS! But having "been there, done that," don't let your name go by the wayside. I did and I regretted it for years because not only were they using my name, they also figured out how to use most of my content. GRRRR I'm sorry this is happening to you. Like Lending - he who has the gold makes the rules.

Nov 14, 2019 01:49 PM #1
Dario Ferreira
Attleboro, MA
Internet Marketing

I believe Google has let you bid on trademark names since day one.

The problem is, your trademark name is a type of SEO. People are bidding on "personal seo", the SEO type, not "Personal SEO", the company/trademark name.

It sucks, but not much you can do about it.

Nov 14, 2019 02:58 PM #2
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Wow this is crazy, thank you for sharing with us. Have a blessed night. 

Feb 18, 2020 04:03 PM #3
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