If you came here looking for a definite answer: you can't prevent brand bidding.
Technically, you could register a trademark, but that's a lengthy and costly process.
We have already covered what actions you could take when your competitor starts to bid on your brand terms.
So right now, all you need is an effective and efficient way to detect the problem. Here's the flow that could be ridiculously ROI positive for your business.
It's frustrating that you have to pay Google for showing you in the #1 spot for your own brand. Yes, you have every right to feel angry, but it's also something out of your control. So there's no point in keeping out of the game if you're losing potential customers. Rather than doing that, think about it in other ways:
So, in the end, there's light down the tunnel. But you'll need to work on it.
Those marketers who accidentally saw their brand terms used by competitors know that one of the first questions in their head was - "for how long?". Competitors might have been stealing your customers for a week, month, or even years. All those lost leads add up quickly.
You could try googling your brand terms manually from time to time, or you could use a service like SerpWall. It searches automatically multiple times a day. On top of that, it can:
All of this could be done manually, of course. But how much is your time worth? Especially if you want a 24/7 solution?
Timing is critical, so if you see a competitor is bidding on your brand terms, you should have a prepared Google Ads campaign. There is no reason to think the problem won't repeat itself in the future, so instead of deleting old branded campaigns, you can always pause them. Then, you could unpause and leave your brand as protected upon a real need.
Moreover, SerpWall could automate this action for you. It would notify you will all the proof and automatically turn on your chosen Ads campaign.
Of course, you could leave that Google Ads campaign running forever. However, your competitors might give up or change their PPC strategy completely. Then, you’re spending your own hard-earned budget for nothing. To make sure it won't happen, you need to monitor how your competitor responds when he stops bidding on your brand keywords. Then, pause the Ads campaign.
Or again, you could use SerpWall to pause the campaign for you. Consider this typical scenario:
All in all, it can be ridiculously ROI positive for you. Every lead counts; your competitors know this, which is why they want to steal them from you.
See it for yourself in this ROI calculator.
PPC brand bidding involves bidding for brand terms of a third-party, usually a competitor so that people who type in those brand terms will be directed to your site instead of the competitor.
The main question remains meaningful in 2022 - what should you do if a competitor bids on your brand term?