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Unlike 08 numbers, 03 numbers cost the same to call as geographic landline numbers (starting 01 and 02), even from a mobile phone. They are also included as part of inclusive call minutes and discount schemes from all major mobile phone and landline operators.
It has long been known that searchers very often search for a brand for research purposes or even as a preference to typing the URL straight into their browser.
By way of example, Google estimate that there are an average of just over 300,000 searches for ‘coca cola’ every month.
To reinforce this message, Hitwise UK have announced in their recent newsletter that 88% of searches for the top 2000 most popular keywords performed during May 2008 were for brands. Not surprisingly, ‘facebook’ was top of the brand searches accounting for 1 in every 72 searches performed. (Facebook Becomes Third Most Visited Site in UK)
Clearly, it is impossible to know the intent of the individual user when they search for a specific brand but UK online advertisers will need to consider the implications of this, particularly after Google removed restrictions on bidding on trademarked terms within their AdWords Pay per Click platform back in April.