Your name as a Google AdWord

It used to be that advertisers were forbidden from using proper names as Google AdWords, but not anymore.

Forbes writer Kashmir Hill discovered that while searching her own name on Google, a couple of ads using it as an ad word popped up on the right of the search results. One of them was for a background check company.

That happened in May, and she contacted Google to ask if that was allowed. Google responded by pointing to its advertising guidelines, which stated that “Google AdWords prohibits the use of proper names when promoting people-finder sites, doctor and lawyer investigation sites, and detective sites.”

Three months later, the add was still there, still using her name. Only, as it turns out, Google no longer forbids it, and advises users interested in removing an advertiser’s use of proper names in ads and keywords to contact its Consumer Complaints team and lodge a complaint.

This seems to be the only solution for those who are troubled by the fact that among the top search results for their name an ad that they wouldn’t like associated with it can come up. And, as Hill points out, here is another good reason to frequently Google your name.

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