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I still remember when every time Apple announced a new iPhone, Samsung took the chance to respond cleverly.

Yes! When you searched for “new iPhone” or “Apple iPhone” on Google, you always got, in the first position of the sponsored results, an ad from Samsung. They were telling us “Why would you want an iPhone when with half the money you can have a better Samsung branded smartphone?”.

This made me laugh every time.
And the thing that amazed me was the fact that Apple kept falling for it! It took Apple years to learn how to defend its brand on what was then called AdWords.

And if it took a brand like this years to understand, what about the rest of the world?

The reflection lies here: positioning yourself on your brand is certainly one of the least expensive activities in terms of SEO, but what happens if someone uses your brand in a PPC campaign and tries to steal the first spot by taking advantage of the first three magical SERP positions that Google reserves to advertisers?

Someone might object: “That’s not possible, brands are protected by copyright on Google Ads!“. But the correct answer is: “only in part”.

Google Ads prevents us from using certain brand names in the ad copy, but NOT among the keywords that generate the publication of the ad! Not only that: do you think that Google Ads controls will block your campaign if instead of using the term APPLE in an ad you insert the word “A P P L E” in your ad? What changes? Easy… the spaces between one letter and another. It may seem like a low blow but please take note of such things.

To protect your brand from these activities, you should “own” your keywords by always having an active campaign that aims for this purpose.

It might seem superfluous to allocate budget to “buy” a keyword that in some way we already own and which should already position our natural results at the top of the SERP, but remember: advertisers can easily bypass this hierarchy with just a few cents!