cafe mama

entering the mind of the married mom

How Ironic: Google lets you use competitors' keywords unless your competitor is Google - June 4, 2004

I had a shock today when reviewing my latest submission to Google Adwords for our free trial of Big IMAP email accounts. I consider Big IMAP and Gmail as similar due to their huge storage space, so I used the keyword "gmail" and "gmail invite".

The keywords had a little red "Disapproved" next to them and had zero impressions. Google has a key that explains all my other status words: Strong, Moderate, At Risk, Slowed, and Disabled - but no "Disapproved."

This is ironic. Just a few weeks ago, I read an interesting article about how Google was getting sued for letting companies use their competitors' names as keywords for their Google ads. Google insisted that they were within their rights to allow companies to do this, that it is not a violation of a trademark to compare one product to another.

So, Google, why double standard? Coke can use the keyword "Pepsi" and I can use the keyword "pop3" even though my product is the polar opposite of the POP3 protocol. I can even use a keyword for one of Gmail's competitors, say, "aventure mail." But no "gmail."

Well, Google, you can't stop me from this: Big IMAP is better than a Gmail invite, because you get the awesome power of IMAP, and no ads are served in your webmail or incoming or outgoing emails, ever. OK, now I feel better ;)

An edited screenshot of my disapproval