BrandJacking – Part I
What is brandjacking and why does it happen?
Brandjacking is basically brand identity theft! Its purpose is to get access to your customers (and convert them). It sounds illegal. However, it is very common in the food and accommodation industry.
Initially, it started with keyword bidding for words directly related to a restaurant. So, when a customer typed the name of a restaurant into Google, the first ad was that of a commission-based online ordering (CBOO) company. A consumer would click the ad thinking it was the restaurant page and be directed to the CBOO system website.
Consumers have become smarter and now, they often scroll past the ads to view the organic search results. So, to confuse people, the CBOO Companies have started creating websites claiming to be the “official” website for the restaurant. Take for example “Tiger Asian Wok” in Kenmore. Their official website is http://www.tigersasianwok.com/. The menulog site is http://www.tigersasianwokkenmore.com.au/. The names are very similar and in the google search results you will find that the description for the menulog site is “Welcome to the official website of Tigers Asian Wok – Kenmore”. A bit misleading don’t you think?
Does it really affect my business?
Think that it doesn’t affect your bottom line? Think again! These customers are looking for YOU. Not a Chinese restaurant in Kenmore, specifically you. Why? Because they like your food, they have heard great things about you or because they have seen your advertising and want to give you a go. When the CBOO company gets that business, they get 10%-15% of the order in commission. It isn’t for a customer that they have brought to you, it is for a customer that already wanted to choose you.
How can I find out whether it is happening to me and my business?
Google yourself! If your business has multiple websites, then the CBOO companies that you are using are probably ‘brand jacking’ you.
Another way is to do a domain name search.
What can you do?
Read our next post and we will tell you 🙂