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 Key Word Spamming

Key Word Spamming

You may not be aware of this but "key word spamming" is not allowed on Half.com. Often times sellers are not aware that the way in which they have created their listing, or described their item results in key word spamming. Learn more about our policy by reading below.

What is key word spamming?

Key word spamming is the practice of including brand names or other "key words" for the purpose of gaining attention or diverting members to their item. Key word spamming is unfair to members who may be searching for a specific item and receive search engine results of listings which are not selling the item. It is also a manipulation of our search engine. Members often are confused and frustrated by such tactics. Certain uses of brand names may also constitute trademark infringement and could expose sellers to legal liability.

Half.com Policy on Key Word Spamming

Excessive use of key words, including (but not limited to) brand names, which are referenced for the purpose of attracting or diverting buyers to a listing is considered key word spamming and is not permitted.

Examples of key word spamming

  • Lists of Words. The inclusion of words that are simply listed to attract viewers via our search engines and are not part of a context based item description. For example, it would not be permissible to state the following in your item description: "oil reproductions, art recreations, gallery, art gallery, impressionist, impressionism, oil paintings, reproduction, painting, recreation, copy, quality, reproductions, recreations, realistic, copies, paintings, old masters, replica, posters, prints, video..."

Related to the key word spamming issue is the use of brand names in your title or description. Please bear in mind that the following will also not be permitted:

  • Extra Brand Names in Title. Any use of a trademarked (brand) name in the title of a listing where products of that brand name are not being offered.

  • Not This, Not That. A title or description for a listing that reads, for example: "Sony laptop (not HP, Acer, Toshiba)".

Further guidelines to consider when using brand names

  • Improper Trademark Usage. Generally speaking, reference to more than one brand name in a description is considered key word spamming. Under some circumstances it may be permissible to refer to other brands for comparison purposes or if you are selling a group of items in a single listing. However, some uses of other brand names may be considered by the owners of the relevant trademarks to be infringements of their rights. For example, use of phrases such as "Ping-like," "Nike-style," "Topps?," "Titleist" (in quotes) or "This "X" brand bag has leather just like a MacRae bag" will likely lead to increased scrutiny of your listing by rights owners and the implication that the goods you are offering are not authentic. In such cases, the trademark owner may submit a sworn statement to us concerning the alleged infringement through our Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program and request that your listing be removed by Half.com. For more information about our VeRO Program click here. We realize that many of you prefer to use a brand name for comparative purposes to best illustrate your item's particular style. However, we encourage you to first contact the trademark owner in question for their guidance as to what they consider to be permissible, before making any questionable use of a brand name.

For more information about trademarks

U.S. Trademark Office
Findlaw - general law
International Trademark Association - FAQs on Trademarks
Avoiding Trademark, Patent and Copyright Problems (Franklin Pierce Law Center)