Are Users Searching by Numbers or Letters?

Posted on

  • email
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • share this

share this

Top 10 lists are a good way to get attention and traffic to a blog post. And the same can be said about top 5, 25 or top 50 lists. But could you be doing more to get search traffic on these lists?

Using Google Trends, a search for "top 10" and "top ten" yields expected results. "Top 10" is searched more, and shows up more in news mentions. So it makes sense to title your posts with the number rather than spelling out "ten." But when you do the same trends search for "top 5" and "top five," the results are different. It appears that "top 5" is searched more by users, but "top five" gets more results for news mentions. This is a question of style. The standard AP style dictates that numbers zero through nine are to be spelled out, and 10 and above to be written numerically. Therefore, it's no surprise that "top five" is found more in news results than "top 5." But if more users are searching "top 5" you could be better off putting the digit in your permalinks and tags, if not the title of your post. Now, Google is pretty savvy when indexing these differences in styles, so it may not make a huge impact here. But for other search engines (and vertical search, even bookmarking and social sites) this could make a significant difference.

Along this same thread, other usage differences could also come into play. For example, "7 Deadly Sins" vs. "Seven Deadly Sins," "eighth grade" vs. "8th grade," or even hyphenated terms vs. non-hyphenated terms.

Filed under: , ,

Login To Comment

Become a Member

Not already a part of our community? Sign up to participate in the discussion. It's free and quick.

Sign Up


Michael 02-27-2009 1:13 AM

Very interesting and useful result.

I have never given this much thoughts before, but sure will in the future.

Thank you for a very informative article (as usual).

ConnorS 03-08-2009 11:34 PM

I do not think that it will provide a sufficient enough user traffic to waste your time with. I have been useing stumbleupon to advertise and so far that has been better then facebook, amazon, and magazines

~ Commented through my Website Magazine iPhone App!

Add to the discussion!

Popular Now at Website Magazine

There are currently no recent posts.

999 E Touhy Ave
Des Plaines, IL 60018

Toll Free: 1.800.817.1518
International: 1.773.628.2779
Fax: 1.773.272.0920