Users are Searching Longer Terms

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Hitwise reports that users are searching longer terms than before. Long queries (considered to be five or more words in length) rose a full 10 percent in January compared with January one year ago. At the same time, short queries (between one and four words) have decreased about 2 percent.

This could be the result of users becoming more sophisticated with search, learning that search engines are much better at indexing detailed phrases than before. It could also mean that users have learned that they need to be more detailed with their search terms to cut through the clutter out there.

In any event, for Web professionals it means that we still need to focus on long-tail terms and write descriptive links. Perhaps even more so than before.

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