Paid Search Compliance

Some advertiser permit affiliates to do paid search activity for their brand. For those who do not permit this activity, below are explanations of breaches of paid search policies and hot to identify them:

Ad Hijacks - these are instances where an affiliate is using the advertiser's url as the display url on search engines.  They will directly link to the brand’s site via their affiliate redirect, which can have a negative effect on any paid search activity that the client or their agency may be doing for them.

Trademark Bidding - also known as “brand bidding”—is the act of bidding on a brand’s name or trademark in their own paid search advertisements. Typically, they will direct the traffic to their own site before then redirecting or incentivising that traffic to click out to the merchant’s site via their affiliate link. 

Broad match - PPC infringements from bidding on generic keywords that such as “coupon” and have this on broad or phrase match types. Generic keywords commonly appear alongside brand terms under those match types, and so ads may appear on our client's brand paid search terms with “coupon + brand term”. To illustrate, a publisher bids on the term “Dress” as a broad or phrase match term. This could result in paid search ads appearing on a search such as “Yourbrand Dress”. To resolve this, you can ask the affiliate to negative match your brand keywords across all campaigns so they will never appear against your trademark brand term. 

Below are common signs that an affiliate might be using paid search as their traffic source:

  • A significant increase in traffic and conversions, where the website doesn't get much traffic
  • Affiliate’s conversion rate mirrors that of a merchant’s branded paid search
  • You identify a search engine as the referring url in your reporting

Automated solutions such as the Search Monitor are excellent tools for monitoring for instances of ad hijacking.