For years, the conventional wisdom has been that searchers are typing longer queries into the search boxes on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The evidence I’ve seen in the analytics for the four hyperlocal blogs that my wife and I write support that: On our Richland Real Estate blog, for example, seven of the top 10 referring keywords in 2009 were four words or longer.
But the folks at Experian Hitwise have shared some numbers with me today that suggest otherwise. According to their user tracking, one-word searches jumped by 17% in 2009, while longer searches were generally down.
To be clear – the chart above represents the query lengths that produce a click.
So, could this be due solely to the change Google made to show local results on broad, one-word queries like “attorneys” and “restaurants” and more?
Both Yahoo and Bing now do the same.
Other than that, I don’t know how to explain it. Comments are open if you have thoughts.