A recent paper by six Google braniacs describes the complex system Google has developed to detect and block “adversarial advertisements” for the benefit and safety of its users. Brands will be glad to hear that adversarial ads encompass those selling counterfeit goods, as well as those that proliferate phishing and malware attacks, among others. Put simply, Google’s system combines both machines and human experts to create what Google claims is a highly reliable system for detecting adversarial ads and then blocks them from being served. The human element is used to uncover constantly evolving tactics used by adversaries that cannot be... Read More
While the recent MarkMonitor Brandjacking Index® focused on the hospitality industry, the key issues raised are not unique to this sector. The issues apply to any industry where a business has an e-commerce presence alongside its distribution partners, whether they are retailers, resellers or dealers. The issues are also relevant for Internet-driven companies that rely on affiliates to drive web traffic and sales. The report examines a complex online ecosystem that relies on multiple third parties to extend a brand’s Web visibility and, ultimately, to drive traffic. Potential conflict occurs when third parties begin to compete with brands for the same... Read More
In a blog entry posted earlier this week, search giant Google unveiled three new improvements to help brands deal with counterfeits. First, Google vows to act on AdWords complaints for counterfeit goods within 24 hours. Google also said that it would improve the company's AdSense anti-counterfeit reviews and work more closely with brand owners to catch advertisers. Kent Walker, Senior Vice President and General Counsel reveals, “We will work more closely with brand owners to identify infringers and, when appropriate, expel them from the AdSense programme.” Finally, the company said that it has set up a new help center page to clarify... Read More
MarkMonitor recently investigated to what extent popular product searches led to websites offering counterfeit and pirated goods via paid search ads. The research examined 20 of the top 1,000 product-related searches in 2008 and focused on paid search ads across the three major search engines – Google, Yahoo! and Bing. In total, 583 unique websites (to which the ads pointed) were analyzed. So, what did we find? Roughly 17% of the paid search ads for popular consumer products – such as designer handbags and shoes, music, movies, and hi-tech gadgets – led to sites likely offering counterfeit or pirated goods. This... Read More
It may not be widely-known but the big 3 search engines – Google, Yahoo! and Bing – have established procedures for removing natural search results on the basis of the DMCA.  That’s good news for brand owners:  if consumers can’t find infringing websites via the search engines, they’re less likely to come across them at all. Under Section 512(d)(3) of the DMCA, “information location tools” such as search engines and directories are not liable for infringement of copyright-protected materials they may link to, as long as they follow the DMCA’s takedown procedures when they receive complaints from rights owners.  These are essentially... Read More


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Alison Simpson
With more than 13 years’ experience in the domain industry, Alison has managed all aspects of Corporate Domain Managem... More