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Hitwise: Longer Search Queries Are Gaining Popularity

February 25, 2009

According to Hitwise, nowadays longer search queries are becoming more and more common on all major search engines. Although more than half of all search queries are still less than three words long, the number of queries comprising of four or more words has drastically grown over the last year.

As the chart shows, using one or two search queries became less common. At the same time a growing number of users started to rely more heavily on longer queries to find what they were looking for.

It seems that users are becoming more sophisticated searchers, trying to compose more precisely their query in order to achieve better and faster results. On the other hand, this trend reveals greater opportunities for marketers to optimize web sites's content and ads for these longer search queries.

Hitwise’s data also shows that Google’s market share has grown by 9 per cent year-over-year, thus reaching 72 per cent in January. Its competitors Yahoo and Ask.com saw an insignificant increase in their search shares in January, while MSN/Live Search even saw a slight drop.


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