Has The Most Long-Winded Searchers, Report Says

ask logoThe longest search queries are happening on, where users average almost five words per search. That’s according to research from Chitika.

The ad network analyzed search referrals on “hundreds of millions” of impressions across sites in its network between January 9th and 12th. And the longest search referrals — at an average of 4.81 words — came from AOL users are at the other end of the spectrum; their user queries average barely above four words, by far the shortest of the five sites that Chitika studied.


It makes sense that this would be the case, since has been refocusing on questions and answers in recent years — and asking questions tends to involve more words than other types of queries.

It would be great to get real search query length data directly from the search engines, but they’ve never made a habit of sharing that kind of information. In May 2010, Google did release data showing that 54.5 percent of queries are more than three words — which falls in line with the Google (and Bing) data that Chitika shows above. But that’s the last time I’m aware of that either Google or Bing shared such information.

Related Topics: Ask: Web Search | Channel: Search Marketing | Search & Society: General | Search Marketing: Search Term Research | Stats: Search Behavior


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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