Reputation Management

Why it’s important to challenge brand fraud and abuse

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I am always having to contact YouTube because someone is using my trademarked name or using an image or trying to pass themselves off as an employee, but just because it might be a little effort to get it removed, it doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Remember, this is your brand we’re talking about.

It is also important to understand that brand fraud and abuse is on the increase as other parties realise how easy it is to use your brand name and start to appear for those searches. OK, there is more involved in how you do this, but it is happening more and more.

I received a link from Google today to a video they have published on this, which is interesting to watch and it explains how they make the decisions that they do when receiving trade/brand complaints.

Don’t take brand fraud lying down

Every day millions of people around the world post content to Google platforms things like videos on YouTube, blog posts on blogger and social media posts on Google Plus. Occasionally people are concerned about the content they see on our platforms.

Some people tell us they’ve seen content that they think violates the law. Others think they found something that is against our content policies. You know the rules for our communities. We want people to tell us when they see content they may violate our policies.

This can include bullying hate speech graphic violence or sexually explicit content. On many Google products, there’s a way to let us know about these kinds of violations. Google takes these reports seriously.

When deciding whether something is against our policies we review complaints on a case by case basis. If it’s determined that the flagged content violates our guidelines we take it down.

Repeat offenders often face penalties. For instance on YouTube users may have some of their account privileges revoked for a while.

Too many strikes and the account is disabled. In addition to responding to community concerns, we want to make sure the content on our platforms is legal.

In many cases, the best way to address a legal issue is to reach out to the person who uploaded the content. Often they’ll remove or modified on your request but sometimes that won’t work. In that case, we’ve got a web page that will route your complaint to the right team at Google.

When considering a legal notice. We carefully assess the information provided. For all legal matters, it’s important to properly name the content. Specify the law allegedly being violated and why you have the right to get this content removed.

Without this information, we may be unable to understand or process your legal claim. We work hard to respond fairly and accurately to legal and community concerns. That’s how we maintain vibrant communities while staying true to our commitment to free expression.

So there you have it – how Google decides if they are going to remove something or not.

If you have something you need to report, all complaints start here:


My name is Andy Drinkwater and I am a seasoned SEO professional now into my 19th year. I specialise in technical SEO, reversing Google penalties and have a particular love for internal linking and website architecture.

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