2010 SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING (SEM) POLICY
Effective January 1st 2010 the following changes went into effect:
Travel agencies can no longer bid on Holland America
Line branded words
any misspellings intended to resemble Holland America branded words,
(identified as Holland America Line’s Property in the Travel Agency policy) on
any search engine or travel search sites. Holland America Line branded words
e included in the “Link Text” of any search ad (see screen shot below for
example of “Link Text.”)
When purchasing generic cruise
related keywords (such as “cruise” or “ship” or
“cruise deals”) or when purchasing destination or port keywords for any port
destination serviced by Holland America Line (such as “Caribbean” or “Alaska” or
“Europe”) on broad
match keyword terms programs, the travel
agency must ensure that its ads do not appear for consumer searches which
include Holland America Lin
e’s Property in combination with the generic
keywords. To do this, the travel agency must list the following as negative
keywords for all their search campaigns:
Holland America Line
Signature of Excellence
Any HAL ship names
For example, it would be a violation of the policy if a consumer search using a keyword
phrase such as “Holland America Alaska cruises” triggers the travel agency’s ad to
appear if “Alaska cruises” was originally bid by the travel agency without the negative
keyword of “Holland America.”
Travel agencies bidding on generic cruise
rds can include Holland America
Line in the “Ad Text” portion of the search results, provided the messaging is consistent
with our Travel Agency policy and the ad links to a Holland America Line
landing page on the agency’s site. See red box be
w for an example of “Ad Text”.
The decision to not allow travel agencies to bid on our branded keywords is based on
HollandAmerica.com provides the most relevant and up to date product content,
and serves as a great
resource for travel agents and consumers.
HollandAmerca.com conveys what the “Signature of Excellence” experience is
from the moment the guest begins to research their cruise vacation and
enhances the experience they will have onboard. When searching for
America Line, we want to ensure that consumers are finding the richest Holland
Additionally, we have a travel agency locator on hollandamerica.com for those
consumers searching for a travel agency.
Holland America Line wants more clarity in brand messaging. The previous practice
created brand confusion.
Even though the vast majority of Holland America guests book through a travel agency,
80% of them are first researching on HollandAmerica.com
Allowing a travel agency to bid on our branded keywords is misleading to the consumer,
as their intent when searching a Holland America term is to get to Holland America’s
site which provides the richest and most relevant Holland America content.
ange in policy is becoming a best practice for many large brands, including
Starbucks and Marriott, who do not allow other companies to use their brand name in
paid advertising online.
2010 SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING (SEM) FAQs
What is SEM?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of advertising on search engine sites,
such as Google & Yahoo, by purchasing keywords in a pay
click model. The
advertiser bids on keywords relevant to a consumer search, such as Caribbean cruises,
and the s
earch engine generates ad results based on the highest bid for those
keywords. Once the consumer clicks on the “sponsored link” or paid advertisement, the
advertiser is charged a per click cost based on their bid.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimizatio
n (SEO) is the process of optimizing website content to
improve the volume and/or quality of traffic to the website from search engines via
"organic" search results. The “organic” search results are the non
(i.e. not paid for by an advert
iser) that appear when someone searches their
keyword(s). Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML coding
to increase its relevance to specific keywords. A properly optimized website will remain
in the top search results, increa
sing web traffic to the site. SEO works because it helps
drive more consumers to a website due to its relevance to their search topic, while
ideally driving down costs for pay
Does the policy apply to anyone outside of Holland Amer
the SEM policy applies to all travel partners equally.
How does SEO differ from SEM?
SEO drives consumers to a website due to the relevance of a website’s content to the
consumer search. SEM drives consumers to a website by generating a
“sponsored links” that are relevant to the consumer’s search. See screenshot example
Sample of Organic vs. Paid Search Results
What has Holland America Line changed?
Holland America Line no longer allows travel partners to bid on Holland America Line
branded keywords as part of their search advertising campaigns. Travel partners can
still bid on generic cruise
related terms that are in compliance with this policy as no
above. In order to be compliant with the policy, the travel partner must also list Holland
America Line trademarks
and ship names
as a “negative” keyword match for their
generic keyword search campaigns.
What does “negative keyword” mean? And how doe
s it work?
Adding a negative keyword to an ad group or campaign means that ads will not show up
for search queries containing that term.
How do I set up negative keywords?
The process to add negative keywords to an ad group or campaign is just like a
any other keyword. The only difference is that you put a negative sign (
) before the
term. For instance, if you were bidding on the keyword “real estate” and you add the
negative keyword “commercial”, the ad will not appear when a user searches for
“commercial real estate.”
NOTE: The process of adding negative keywords to a campaign
based on the
publisher (Google is different than Bing/Yahoo) and the tools used to implement
negatives (Desktop Editors vs. Search Engine
can be found on
the tactical steps needed to add/edit negative keywords here: