Treatment center owners, directors, admissions directors, outreach coordinators, we need your help.

When Google decided to ban all advertisers from bidding on rehab related keywords, it was a pretty big blow to call centers that participate in body brokering.

These call centers would spend massive amounts of money each month on Google AdWords ads, then sell the placement to the highest bidder (seems legit). Some of these companies were spending up to $250k a month!

If you own a treatment center and have ever dabbled with AdWords, you know that these clicks weren’t cheap, reaching up to $200 for a single click. Competing against a call center with a massive budget is frustrating because the more competition there are for keywords the higher the average cost-per-click is.

With the introduction of the vetting process that will roll out in July of this year for 20-30 treatment centers to get AdWords ads back (more will be approved in the following months), that leaves call centers out of the mix because they are not allowed.

Since the ban happened, call centers that were only investing in Google AdWords had to figure out how to keep the calls coming in and a “workaround” has been identified and exploited.

Google banned most keywords, but they did not include treatment center business names. This means that call centers can and are likely bidding on your business name to try and steal your branded traffic.

Here’s an example of 2 call centers bidding on our brand name “True North Recovery Services”:

With Google AdWords, advertisers are allowed to bid on brand names, even trademarked business names. There are certain rules for bidding on trademarked names, you can bid on the name but you are not allowed to include the trademark in any of the ad copy.

Unfortunately, True North Recovery Services isn’t trademarked (yet!) so the ad that is including the business name is within the guidelines of Google AdWords.

You would think that when Google decided to ban all ads for rehab related keywords, they would have included the business names of all treatment centers, but here we are.

Why should you help?

The more evidence we have the more likely we can get action taken and have your treatment center name added to the keyword ban list or might even get their accounts suspended. Win-win, right?

This is how you can help:

Do a few searches on google.com for your treatment center name. If you see call centers are showing up with ads attempting to steal your branded traffic, take a screenshot and email it to blake@ricketyroo.com.

If you don’t see ads show up, that’s great! Do us a favor and help us spread the word by emailing or sharing this on social media.


About the author:
Blake Denman is the President & Founder of RicketyRoo Inc, a digital marketing agency that helps treatment centers get better visibility online using ethical and sustainable SEO.