Popular internet marketer alleges Google employee stole his keywords.
Like many other internet marketers, ShoeMoney has invested lots of money into perfecting his online advertising strategy, including the keywords he bids on. But in a lawsuit reported on TechCrunch, ShoeMoney alleges a Google employee may have stolen his keyword strategy and bypassed systems to bid on the ShoeMoney trademark.
Whether or not the allegations turn out to be true, this will be a case worth watching. I’ve always wondered how this hasn’t been brought up in the past. Are Google employees allowed to bid on Adwords? Even the employees that are in the Adwords division? They could easily copy advertisers that are doing well and making money.
On one hand, you want employees to know the product. On the other, you don’t want to create a conflict. It’s kind of like an employee bidding on domain auctions at his own company. Or an affiliate marketing company copying its clients strategies to make money for the house.
I can also imagine employees that work on the search algorithms selling secrets to internet marketers. Or perhaps leaving Google to start a search engine optimization firm. Who wouldn’t hire an SEO who’s last job was at Google? Heck, a current Google employee could create his or her own web site and use inside knowledge to get better search rankings and Adsense revenue.
I’m not sure how this will turn out, but I doubt this is the last shoe to fall.