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There is a heated controversy that has been raging for several years about the practice of bidding on competitor brand names for your search engine marketing campaigns. One camp says it is trademark infringement. Other professionals claim it is perfectly acceptable and likens it to setting up a similar business across the street at a busy intersection in the real world. Who is correct?

There is no easy answer and it is one that you will likely have to answer for your own business if you intend to engage in search engine marketing. You may have competitors bidding on your brand name, but should you bid on theirs?

We won’t tell you how to run your business, but we believe in ethical marketing, which is not deceptive and which is based on a strong commitment to “playing clean”. Competition is tough, and it should be, but it should also be fair. The honest truth is, there are enough keywords in any niche to bid on that bidding on the competition’s brand name isn’t really necessary. But that’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself. And I hope your sleep habits don’t change.

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