That 25% New Queries Figure? Ballpark Estimate, Says Google

Last week we had a lot of attention over Google saying 20 to 25% of queries are new. Well, it turns out that the figure is not an exact figure. Google now said it is a ballpark figure, as quoted on Google Blogoscoped:

First, I want to clarify that we do not keep searches from 1998. The 20-25% we’ve stated is only an estimate, which is why we gave it a wide range. We cannot compute the exact number, so we gave a ballpark number, based on some reasonable assumptions.

Postscript: Matt Cutts just added a comment at Google Blogoscoped saying:

Philipp, I think that’s a pretty accurate estimate if you look over a time period of a month or so. So if you had queries from the last month or so, 20-25% of queries the next day would be new/unique. It also depends a little bit about whether you’re defining it only as web queries, or all queries to Google (e.g. blog search, book search, patent search, etc.).

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Google: Web Search | Stats: Search Behavior


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Michael Martinez

    It seemed a very reasonable estimate to me. When I compare my search referral queries to old data I see a tremendous shift in topic over time. A lot of that traffic still goes to the same sections, but people are using different queries to find the older content.

    New content, of course, still focuses on what is current and interesting. But I think the 20-25% shift per month is about right and many large site Webmasters who analyze their referral data on a regular basis would probably agree there are shifts in query trends.

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