After searchers type in a brand-name query on a search engine, only 85 percent end up at that brand's Web site, while the rest are diverted to competitor's sites, comparison shopping engines and affiliates. That's according to a new study released by Hitwise, which undertook the research after determining that 75 of the most popular 100 searches in February involved trademarked brand names.

Users' behavior when conducting searches that include brand names is especially interesting in light of ongoing legal battles over search engines' trademark-related advertising policies. Queries involving brand names are growing in popularity, too. Hitwise found that such queries were up 17 percent over the same period last year.

"Every time we pull a search term report…we notice almost all of the highest [search terms] are brand related," said LeeAnn Prescott, a senior research analyst at Hitwise. "This is something that companies need to be aware of and monitoring."

For the report, Hitwise looked at searches on 30 leading brand names across the travel, retail, and business & finance categories.

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