📌 Get the latest strategies to protect your revenue in your inbox

A comprehensive guide to Google Ad copyright infringement
How To's
5 mins

A comprehensive guide to Google Ad copyright infringement

Table of Contents:

    Around 80% of internet users see ads through Google’s Display network which serves 6 billion ad impressions every day. As a result, your business’s presence on Google is instrumental to your brand’s potential success. Equally, if your identity on Google is being undermined by bad actors this can have a significant negative impact on your brand’s reputation and your ability to connect with customers. 

    To ensure that you can protect your brand from infringers it is important to learn how infringers operate, how to spot copyright infringement in your Google Ads, and how to mitigate the impact of any intellectual property violations. 

    In this blog, we delve into a comprehensive guide to Google Ad copyright infringement by highlighting several key topics, including:

    • What constitutes copyright infringement in Google Ads?
    • How can you spot copyright infringement in your Google Ads?
    • What to do if you discover Google Ad copyright infringement? 
    • How can you proactively prevent copyright infringement on Google Ads? 

    What constitutes copyright infringement in Google Ads?

    According to Google’s Advertising Policies, they abide by local copyright laws and aim to protect the rights of copyright holders. This means that they do not allow ads that are unauthorized to use copyrighted content. Therefore copyright infringement in Google Ads will occur when bad actors use copyrighted content without authorization. 

    Common types of copyright infringement in Google Ads, include:

    • Unauthorized use of copyrighted content in ad copy or images

    Scammers will take your copyrighted images and written content to use in their own ads. They will do so in order to appear like a legitimate brand. This kind of fraudulence is a direct violation of Google’s Ad policies. It will be confusing for consumers and it will damage your brand’s online reputation. 

    Not all unauthorized use is malicious. Some businesses may inadvertently reuse content without knowing they are violating your copyrights. 

    • Trademark infringement in ad campaigns

    Some businesses will run Google ad campaigns that contain symbols, words, or phrases that have been trademarked by other brands. If they do so without authorization this will amount to trademark infringement

    Not only will this violate Google’s guidelines related to trademarks but it will also contravene U.S. trademark law. While they may profit in the short term from any attention generated through the use of these trademarks they will leave themselves open to being sued and removed from Google’s ad platform. 

    • Counterfeit products advertised on Google Ads

    Fraudsters will also use Google ads to draw attention to their counterfeit products. These counterfeits will often infringe the copyrights of legitimate brands but for innocent browsers on Google, it will be difficult to discern fake from real within a simple Google Ad. 

    New call-to-action

    How can you spot copyright infringement in Google Ads?

    • Recognize similar images and designs

    Keep detailed records of your original images and designs. This includes the date you created them, the file names, and the original source files. You should also keep track of when you first used these images and designs in your Google Ads.

    Analyze ads for similarities in imagery, logos, and design elements. If you see an ad that looks similar to yours, take a closer look. Compare the images, logos, and design elements to see if they’re identical or just similar.

    • Conduct keywords searches and look for plagiarism

    Do keyword searches for words or phrases that are attached to your brand. Bad actors will try to take advantage of the popularity of legitimate brands by using the same, or very similar, copy or trademark in their own ads. You may be able to uncover this kind of infringement simply by conducting targeted keyword searches. 

    Alternatively, if nothing is revealed through a search you can go a step further and start to analyze ad copy. With this method, you will quickly be able to discern whether an ad has plagiarized your content and whether they are infringing your copyright. 

    What to do if you discover Google Ad copyright infringement? 

    If you do discover Google Ad copyright you should act fast to ensure that you can protect your brand and your customers. The most effective first action you can take is to report the ad directly to Google. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to report infringing ad content via Google’s support system

    1. Head over to Google’s Legal Help page on how to ‘Report Content on Google’. You will be prompted to select the Google product where the content you wish to report appears. Here select ‘A Google Ad’. 

    2. Select the type of ad you want to report. 

    3. Select the reason you wish to report the content. Here select ‘Legal’,  ‘Intellectual Property’ and then ‘Copyright’ if it is for copyright infringement. 

    4. State whether you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on their behalf. 

    5. Select whether the infringing ad is an image/video or other. 

    6. Then click ‘Create Request’.

    7. You will be redirected to a Copyright Infringement Report Form. Here fill out your information. 

    8. Then identify and describe the copyrighted work and provide an authorized example. 

    9. Then provide information about the potentially infringing ad including the visible URL of the ad, any text used in the ad, the final URL, and any screenshots. 

    10. Sign a sworn statement to affirm that your report has been submitted in good faith and all the information you have provided is accurate. 

    How can you proactively prevent copyright infringement on Google Ads? 

    • Register copyrights for your original content

    You can begin to prevent copyright infringement on Google Ads by registering any of your brand’s content that may amount to intellectual property. While some content may automatically become copyrighted as soon as it is created, you will gain more reliable protection by registering such content at the U.S. Copyright Office

    By doing so you will give yourself a strong platform for any legal action you may want to pursue against infringers. Additionally, by registering your copyrights, and displaying copyright symbols, you will hopefully deter some scammers from infringing your intellectual property.   

    • Regularly monitor Google Ads for potential infringements 

    Another proactive step you can take is to regularly monitor Google Ads for potential infringements. This will involve keyword searches and setting up alerts. It will also involve browsing Google and looking at ads that bear a resemblance to your own. You will benefit from communicating with your customers who may also help you spot potential infringements.

    However, ultimately there is a limit to what you are able to achieve with manual monitoring. Today, as scammers become more deceptive and tech-savvy you have to use tactics that are efficient, precise, and cost-effective. A specialized, automated software program is the ideal solution. 

    Red Points’ Ad Protection Software 

    Red Points’ Ad Protection Software will help you remove unauthorized ads on search engines. Through a robust system of detection and removal, we help brands automatically find and take down fraudulent ads on Google that may target your brand in over 240 countries and territories. 

    We recognize the need for a flexible, modern solution to combat trademark abuse, partner violation, and fraudulent sales. Our software is designed to protect your brand on Google from scammers who are targeting your reputation, revenue, and customers. Through automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence we can help you deliver an improved ad campaign, a better customer experience, and safer revenue. 

    What’s next

    To ensure that your brand and customers are safeguarded from copyright infringers on Google you need to act now. If you allow scammers to thrive on Google you will suffer damage to your brand’s reputation and customers will lose trust in your business and products. 

    Google Ads are a vital area of opportunity for your business. It is important to familiarize yourself with the guidance Google provides when it comes to copyright infringement. By reviewing their extensive and accessible support system you will be able to begin the process of protecting your brand from copyright infringement in Google Ads. 

    To learn more about how Red Points can help identify and remove Google ad copyright infringement, request a demo here. 


    You may like...

    How to identify and remove Facebook ad copyright infringement
    How to effectively report ads on Instagram
    How to report false advertising on Facebook Marketplace