More than half of all search queries are at least three words long, and more than a third are four words or longer. That’s according to Hitwise data (PDF) released today:
As the chart shows, 1- and 2-word queries are becoming less common, while 4-, 5-, and all the way up to 8+ word queries are becoming more common. The numbers are very similar to what Hitwise shared at SMX West a couple weeks ago.
The takeaway point here is that the so-called long tail of search continues to get longer. As searchers get more sophisticated in how they use Google, Yahoo, Live Search, etc., it opens up more opportunities for webmasters and marketers to create content and/or ads that captures these longer search queries.
Also in the same Hitwise announcement: Google’s search share held steady at 72% in January. Yahoo also held steady at 17.8%. MSN/Live Search saw a slight drop from the month before, while Ask saw a slight increase.