Brand Bidding

Brand bidding is a strategy of bidding on branded search terms by competitors and affiliate partners. That is a popular trick that affiliates use to get a lot of cheap traffic and make money from it. Moreover, they hide the violations, so that brand cannot find them and sanction the abusers.

The key evasive techniques are:

  • Dayparting. Affiliates set the ads to be displayed at night, so that brand cannot notice the violations during the working time.
  • GEO targeting. Affiliate partners show the ads to users from particular GEOs, excluding the brand’s managers’ one, so that it is impossible to find the violations with manual ad copy monitoring.
  • Redirecting. Violators set particular GEOs and devices to be redirected to the website without the affiliate link. In this case, the brand’s managers cannot find the violators and their IDs.

Such unauthorized brand bidding leads to a situation when CPCs go up, CTR becomes lower, brand overpays for traffic and risks its reputation. That’s when companies understand the need to check their branded search. Should they opt for manual ad copy monitoring or automated ad monitoring tools? Let’s see what both of these options can bring to the table.

Limitations of Manual Monitoring in Branded Search

Imagine: you need to find all the unapproved brand bidding or trademark infringement cases manually. What are your next steps?

Obviously, you will have to check a lot of different SERPs to tackle all the evasive techniques affiliates could use. Let’s do the math:

  • You have something about 30 branded search queries.

  • You need to check them at least once in two hours — 12 times a day.

  • To combat GEO targeting, you will do it from 3 different GEOs.

  • You need to check the SERPS from 2 search engines.

  • Plus, it is better to use 3 different browsers.

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This is not to say it is impossible, but you will have to hire a large team of professionals just to monitor your branded search and look for violations manually. In most cases, such ad monitoring is not cost effective and feels like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Besides, there are some other pitfalls:

You never know if you have seen it all. Even thorough manual monitoring cannot cover all the branded search results, so you will see only some obvious violations.

After finding the violations, managers have to gather all the evidence like screenshots or URLs to present them to the violator. Preparation of manual monitoring reports takes extra time as well as the monitoring itself.

You need to control if your warnings have worked. So, your managers will have to not only monitor brand violations, but track the activity of suspicious affiliates at the same time.

As you see, manual monitoring is a nice first step for those who have never checked their branded search. It can help to see if there is some obvious brand bidding without going farther into the subject.

If you want to fully engage in brand protection and monitor large amounts of branded traffic, it is better to consider automated ad monitoring tools.

Why Brands Choose Automated Monitoring

Now that we know about limitations of manual ad monitoring, let’s assess the automated ad copy monitoring option, using the example of BluePear:

Automated ad monitoring is not limited by physical capacity or working hours. BluePear monitors branded traffic 24/7 from desktop and mobile devices, different GEOs, browsers and search engines. Automated ad monitoring makes it possible to check thousands of SERPs every day, covering all the branded ads.

Ad copy monitoring tools exempt companies from the need to maintain a team for manual ad monitoring. So, BluePear saves you not only time but money that can be allocated to more necessary tasks. Automated ad monitoring helps to detect complex fraudulent methods and cloaked websites. This means, BluePear easily finds the violations that are totally impossible to detect manually.

Automated ad monitoring tools manage violation evidence. BluePear gathers all the screenshots, URLs, redirections and affiliate IDs and provides you with a customizable report. So, you can easily find the necessary information in a few clicks and present it to the violator.

Ad copy monitoring tools send real-time notifications. With BluePear, you will catch all the violations in time and make decisions without delay. That is really important as every minute counts when it comes to CPCs and overpayment for already attracted customers.

That is why a lot of companies choose automated ad monitoring tools instead of manual monitoring. manual-monitoring text_3.png

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