Google, Trademarks, and AdWords

There’s been a bit of controversy over the years with Google’s practice of allowing advertisers to set their ads to appear when someone searches on another company’s trademarks.

I never quite saw the problem with that, until a couple of days ago when, just for the heck of it, I searched for the word iTunes.

Here’s the result:

google trademarks

To the naive searcher, the first two links might look quite clickable … they seem to be exactly what you might want when you search for iTunes.

However, not only are both links unrelated to any of Apple Computer’s business or software known as iTunes, the ad titles are completely misleading, if not outright false: a surfer will not be able to download iTunes from those links. And in fact the links go through to a probably illegal free-for-all mucic downloading site … just the opposite of what someone searching for iTunes might want.

This is highly questionable behavior on Google’s part, if you ask me, and if I was Apple, I’d be asking some hard questions right now.