Bidding for competitors brand keywords it’s been one of the most common strategies since the old Google Adwords times. Consists basically in showing your own ads when people search for your competitor’s name, something that happens pretty often.

As a sample, if you search for “property finder”, we can see the Bayut ad:

And viceversa, searching for “bayut”, Property Finder ad is there as well:

(Btw Bayut guys, would be good to raise your bid a little so they rank below you ;)

This is something allowed by Google as long as you don’t use the competitor trademark in your ad’s copy. If you find a competitor doing so, don’t hesitate to fill the complaint form.

It’s a expensive strategy because the CPC can go up crazy high. But specially if you are the runner up in the market, it might make sense to do it. And if someone is doing it against your brand, you have to defend yourself bidding for your own brand keywords. So this usually leads to never ending fights where the main beneficiary is Google itself…

Let’s have a look to whom is bidding against whom in this brand fight in UAE:

So we can see how Bayut and MyVilla are quite aggressive, Property Finder is just in defensive mode, Just Property cautious, Yzer could defend themselves and Dubizzle doesn’t want to play.

Sometimes this bidding might happen involuntary, when the PPC specialist uses broad match keywords. Even having competitors trademark in the ads could be involuntary through Dynamic Keyword Insertion. But it’s something that should be well controlled.

PS: When I was working in Dubizzle years ago, I remember there was some kind of agreement with Property Finder not to bid for each other keywords. Sometimes even competitors can reach to an understanding following the common sense ;)