Longer Search Queries are Flat

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Long Live the Long Tail!

Buried beneath the news that Google once again dominated the world of search with over 71% market share (as reported by Hitwise) was a very valuable bit of information related to the percentage of U.S. clicks by the number of keywords in the query.

"Longer search queries," according the announcement, "averaging searches of five to more than eight words in length, were flat between October and September 2009".Searches of eight or more words however increased 1 percent while shorter search queries (those averaging one to four words long) were flat from month to month. Searches of one word comprise the majority of searches (24.13% of all queries) but based solely on the chart below you can see how important it is to focus on search phrases of two to six words.

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GregC 12-10-2009 2:29 PM

Interesting, but I would think that the migration from short search terms to long ones is not a month to month analysis.  I would think it's more year to year.  It really takes a while for people to change their habits.

Having said that, this is a topic that really needs an eye kept on it.  Thanks for the info.

Hadley 12-11-2009 4:23 PM

I would imagine that the long term searches will increase in December as more shoppers are making purchases online and using product name and number related searches with longer search terms.

But the fact the long term search level is flat is interesting. Perhaps the number of new internet users who use fewer search terms to search offsets the increase in experienced users who use longer search terms.

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