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I'm having a problem where my clients' product is known by almost everybody by the trademark of their biggest competitor. For example, imagine that my client is a sticky-tape manufacturer, but everybody already calls that product "Scotch tape". Or, imagine that my client has a ridesharing service, but everybody already says "I'll call an Uber".

What to do about SEO in those cases? We are optimizing the page to target people searching for "ridesharing", but realistically, most people will just search for "Uber" when they need such a service. Can I add "Uber" or "Uber alternative" somehow to my page? It's a trademark that belongs to another company, after all. Will Google penalize me for putting another company's name in my page? Any other ideas for SEO in a case like this?

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  • I wouldn't use another companies trademark if I were you. While Google might not penalize you, the law most certainly will, should Uber for example file a case against you. – Millerrules Oct 20 '20 at 11:27
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Use of trademarks should be avoided in almost all circumstances as it is a breach of that trademark unless, for example, you're writing an article about a particular product or service. Its general use on your client's site might be considered deceptive if someone thinks they are using Uber, or even someone associated with Uber, when in fact they are not.

Mentioning that you are an Uber alternative might be considered okay and you certainly wouldn't be penalised by Google for doing this. If you're using it to such an extent that you are gaining a commercial advantage by leveraging the Uber name (which this sounds like) then you might very well come to the attention of Uber and receive a letter from their lawyers. Using it to such as extent that you are manipulating traffic would also be considered "not okay" by Google. You need to consider that Uber has invested millions into their branding and if you're attracting customers by using the Uber name and subsequently generating revenue from those customers, then that's a big problem for your client.

If you're wanting more specific information on trademarks, then you'll need to refer to the trademark office for your particular location. Trademark regulations differ from country to country and there will be subtle differences depending on where you are located.

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You can create page called uber - that explain about uber at half page, and the second half about yourself. Be clear about it.

I don't think google is penelaize you

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