How D2C businesses can leverage google's free brand protection tools

Setting up a brand protection strategy is no mean feat. When the world’s largest search engine provides tools to set you up an effective brand protection solution, there’s no way anyone will turn that down. And no other business needs it more than D2C brands. With countless online marketplaces and a constant barrage of content, the risk of brand IP abuse and reputation damage is ever-present. With limited resources, here's where Google steps in, offering a powerful (and free!) suite of tools to empower D2C brands to safeguard their online presence by:

  • Monitoring online mentions: Stay alert to how your brand is being portrayed across the web.
  • Combatting trademark infringement: Protect your brand identity from unauthorized use.
  • Enhancing brand reputation: Proactively address negative sentiment and maintain customer trust.

6 Google Tools for Protecting Your Brand in the Market

6 google tools for brand protection

1. Illegal Content Removal from Google Products

If you encounter content that infringes on your brand's trademarks, copyrights or otherwise violates your legal rights, Google offers a mechanism for requesting its removal. While not strictly a "protection" tool, it empowers you to take down harmful content and safeguard your brand reputation.

What you need to know about requesting content removals from Google products:

  • Eligibility: You can submit a removal request if the content infringes on your registered trademark or copyright or includes private information you have the legal right to control.
  • Process: Google provides web forms for reporting content on various Google products like Search, YouTube and Google Shopping. You'll need to specify the legal reason for removal and provide clear evidence supporting your claim.

But before taking action, consider these important factors:

  1. Specificity is Key: Identify the specific content you want removed, including URLs, videos or specific text snippets. The more specific you are, the faster Google can process your request.
  2. Gather Evidence: Prepare documentation to support your claim. This may include copies of your trademark or copyright registrations or proof of ownership for private information.
  3. Legal Expertise Recommended: For complex legal issues or large-scale removal requests, consider consulting with an intellectual property lawyer who can guide you through the process.

Here are some resources to help you with content removal requests:

  1. Report Content for Legal Reasons: Support Google
  2. Lumen Database: Lumen (A third-party resource that stores information about content removal requests).

Remember, submitting a removal request doesn't guarantee immediate action. Google will review your claim and may reach out for clarification before taking any steps. However, understanding the process and providing clear evidence can increase your chances of a successful removal.

But how do you find content infringing your rights?

2. Google Alerts: Your Digital Ears on the Ground

Think about having a real-time notification system that alerts you every time your brand is mentioned online. Google Alerts makes this dream a reality. This free tool allows you to set up custom alerts for your brand name, trademarks, slogans and even competitor mentions.

Here's how D2C brands can benefit:

  • Identify potential brand infringement: Alerts for unauthorized brand mentions can lead you to websites or social media accounts impersonating your brand.
  • Track brand sentiment: Monitor online conversations to understand how customers perceive your brand. Positive mentions can be leveraged for social proof, while negative feedback can be addressed promptly.
  • Stay informed about industry trends: Alerts for relevant keywords can keep you updated on industry news and competitor activity.

Setting Up Google Alerts:

  • Visit
  • Enter your brand name or relevant keywords in the search bar.
  • Choose how often you want to receive alerts (daily, weekly, etc.)
  • Select the source of alerts (news, blogs, videos, etc.)
  • Click "Create Alert"

Set up separate alerts for variations of your brand name, including misspellings and typos, to ensure comprehensive coverage.

3. Google Search Console: The Search Landscape

As a D2C brand, understanding how your brand appears in search engine results pages (SERPs) is crucial. Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that offers valuable insights into your website's search performance and helps you identify potential brand reputation issues. Your brand can leverage it for:

  • Monitoring brand SERPs: Track how your brand name appears in search results, including organic listings, paid ads and rich snippets.
  • Identifying negative SEO attempts: Malicious actors might try to manipulate search results by creating negative content about your brand. GSC can help you detect such attempts.
  • Optimizing brand keywords: Understand which keywords people use to find your brand and optimize your website content accordingly for improved brand visibility.

Setting Up Google Search Console:

4. Google My Business: Your Local Presence

For D2C brands with a physical presence or those offering local delivery options, Google My Business (GMB) is an essential tool. It allows you to create and manage your business listing on Google Maps and Search, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information is displayed to potential customers.

  • Control brand narrative: Update business details, and photos, and respond to customer reviews, shaping how your brand is perceived locally.
  • Boost local search ranking: Optimize your listing with relevant keywords to improve visibility in local search results.
  • Drive local traffic and sales: Encourage customer interaction by enabling features like online booking or appointment scheduling (if applicable).

Setting Up Google My Business:

5. Google Ads: Securing Your Brand from Hijackers

While many D2C brands might not directly run paid advertising campaigns, Google Ads offers valuable tools for safeguarding your brand even if you're not an advertiser.

How can Google Ads help protect your brand:

  • Search for IP Infringements: Even if you are not using Google ads, you can directly search your brand name, tagline or slogan to find out whether someone else is using your IP to sell fake products.
  • Trademark Protection: If you have a registered trademark, you can submit a request to Google Ads to restrict competitors from using your brand terms in their ad copy. This helps prevent consumers from being misled by counterfeit products or deceptive advertising.
  • Brand Bidding: Though not strictly "free," consider strategically bidding on your brand name keywords. This ensures your website appears at the top of search results, minimising the chance of competitor ads overshadowing your brand.
  • Negative Keyword Targeting: Identify keywords unrelated to your brand and add them as negative keywords in your Google Ads account (even if it's empty). This prevents your ads (if you ever run any) from appearing on irrelevant searches, protecting your brand association.

Benefits of Trademark Protection:

  • Reduced risk of customer confusion and lost sales due to misleading advertisements.
  • Stronger brand control and protection of your brand value.

Staying ahead of trends is vital for any D2C brand. Google Trends, a free tool, allows you to see how often specific terms are searched for over time and across different locations.

Here's how D2C brands can benefit from Google Trends:

  • Identify brand mentions: Monitor search trends for your brand name to gauge brand awareness and identify potential spikes in interest.
  • Track industry trends: Analyze search trends for relevant keywords to understand what interests your target audience and adapt your branding or product offerings accordingly.
  • Spot potential brand crises: Sudden spikes in searches for negative keywords related to your brand might indicate a developing crisis. Early detection can help you mitigate the situation before it escalates.

Not Limited To Google

Google's free brand protection tools can help D2C brands gain invaluable insights into their online presence, prevent brand reputation threats and build stronger customer relationships. However, don’t limit your brand’s anti-counterfeiting strategy to it. Partnering with a Brand protection provider like Acviss widens the scope by automating all these services and implementing advanced technologies to help protect your brand both online and offline.

Remember, brand protection is a continuous process. Securing your brand's value drives sustainable success in the competitive D2C landscape.