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Report: Roughly One-Tenth Of Brand Searches “Hijacked”

But widespread problem can be combated

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Companies put all sorts of time and effort into getting people to search for certain terms.  This happens with the expectation that people will then visit corporate sites, but a fresh Hitwise report relays the somewhat threatening news that about 13 percent of searchers wind up somewhere else.

Heather Hopkins writes, "Our analysis considered the 30 leading e-commerce brands in the Airlines, Appliances and Electronics, and Insurance categories and revealed that in the four weeks ending September 27th, 2008 an average of 87% of searches for the top branded search terms (i.e. ‘southwest airlines’, ‘usaa’, ‘best buy’) sent visits to the brand owner’s website."

HitWise Travel Graph
 Airlines Getting Better With Brand Searches
(Source: Hitwise)

If searchers misspell terms or add extra words, the problem of what brand owners might consider hijacking grows worse.  Problems exist in areas outside of e-commerce, too, with the Drudge Report losing 3.79 percent of people who searched for it to Google News, and even the Red Cross forfeiting 1.93 percent of searchers to BestWebGifts.com.

Brands that are being affected by this issue have some options, however, with the airlines serving as examples of companies that defended their brands rather well.  Travel agencies, which surely fought back as best they could, have been seeing less and less "intercepted" traffic.

Hopkins notes, "Traffic from searches for a portfolio of the top American Airlines brand terms three years ago made up nearly 4% of visits to Travel Agencies.  That is down to less than 1% for the four weeks ending September 27th, 2008."

Report: Roughly One-Tenth Of Brand Searches “Hijacked”
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  • http://thegetteam.info/wordpress Jon Clayton

    Surprising and yet no too surprising. Good information. Thanks!

  • http://www.seosean.com SEO Service

    I can see why that’s the case, wouldn’t you want your site showing up in the search listing of your competitors?

  • http://car2be.com/ Used Fiat

    If searchers misspell terms or add extra words, the problem of what brand owners might consider hijacking grows worse. Problems exist in areas outside of e-commerce, too, with the Drudge Report losing 3.79 percent of people who searched for it to Google News, and even the Red Cross forfeiting 1.93 percent of searchers to BestWebGifts.com.