Almost one in five (18%) US search queries conducted in August 2011 consisted of five words or more, according to data from Experian Hitwise. In addition, about 50% consisted of three words or more.
However, shorter search queries of one and two words had the two highest individual percentages of the monthly query total. One-word queries led with about 26% of the total, while two-word queries followed with 24%.
The least frequent search queries consisted of seven words (about 2%), followed by queries of eight words or more (about 3%).
Longer Queries Experience Highest Growth
Although their total shares of monthly search queries were low, longer search queries experienced the highest month-over-month growth in August. For example, six-, seven- and eight-word queries all grew their shares by 3%, while five-word queries grew their share by 2% and four-word queries grew their share by 1%.
Meanwhile, the shares of three-word and one-word queries stayed flat, and two-word query shares declined by 2%.
Yahoo Search Share Jumps 5%
While search.yahoo.com came in third place among the top US search providers by share in August with 15.89%, this represented a leading 5% growth rate. All Bing-powered searches (which includes Yahoo), came in second place with 28.99% share, and also had the second-highest growth rate of 3%.
Bing.com itself placed fourth with a 13.1% share, up 1% from July. Google retained its dominant first place ranking with 65.09% of total searches, although this was down 1% from the previous month. The remaining 64 search engines in the Hitwise Search Engine Analysis report accounted for 5.92% of US searches.
Longer Queries Rise in July
Longer search queries, those averaging six to eight words or more, also each increased 3% from June 2011 to July 2011, according to previously released data from Experian Hitwise. Meanwhile, five-word searches grew 2% month-over-month, four-word searches grew 1%, one- and three-word searches stayed flat and two-word searches declined 2%.
However, shorter search queries still accounted for a majority of the total. One-word queries were most popular, making up about 25% of the total, while two-word queries constituted another 23.5%. Three-word queries accounted for 19% of the total, meaning about 68% of all queries consisted of three words or less. Adding in the 13% of queries that had four words, and more than eight in 10 search queries conducted during July 2011 consisted of four words or less.
comScore: Yahoo Wins, AOL Loses in Aug. Core Search
Yahoo posted a 5% month-over-month growth rate in US core search queries during August 2011, rising from 3.44 billion to 3.61 billion core search queries, according to comScore qSearch data. Meanwhile, AOL saw its core search queries decline 9%, from 251 million to 229 million.
Americans conducted 19.5 billion total core search queries in August (up 1% from 19.2 billion the previous month). Google ranked first with 12.5 billion searches (up 1% from 12.4 billion), followed by Yahoo, Microsoft with 2.6 billion (up 1% from 2.57 billion), Ask Network with 510 million (up 3% from 494 million), and AOL.