Why Manually Monitoring Your Branded Keywords in PPC Doesn’t Work

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When I speak with prospective customers about the benefits of our paid search monitoring solution, one thing I commonly hear is: “We don’t need automated software; we are already monitoring and remediating issues manually.” Another common refrain is: “Our agency handles all of that.”

But when prospects see the examples of competitors infringing on their trademark by using branded keywords in the ad copy, they usually want to hear how I found them. They ask why they couldn’t find those infringers despite their carefully orchestrated system of manual monitoring. Or they wonder if their digital agency was being upfront with them when professing that everything is under control.

Some companies and agencies are really good about regularly monitoring and submitting infringing ads to the search engines. But even the most diligent, can’t find and stop all the bad behavior.

For example, one of our customers in a restricted content category had established a comprehensive and robust manual monitoring program. They had invested a lot of time and resources into monitoring their brand online. As part of their process, they spent at least one hour per week monitoring and submitting infringements to Google for takedown. Their monitoring team consisted of colleagues in different offices around the US conducting searches to help catch infringers who were using geo-targeting techniques to avoid detection. They had also cultivated working relationships with Google’s trademark team.

For several years, they fought to protect their brand on Google, and were somewhat successful. However, when I showed them

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