Google Analytics evangelist, Avinash Kaushik recently organized a ‘by invitation-only’ event at Google’s Atlanta office. Brian Ussery of Beu Blog reports that towards the end of the meeting Kaushik gave a presentation based on some facts and figures to the participants.
The data Kaushik had gathered on Google queries provides the following information:
- The average number of words per query to Google has gone up from 3 words to 4 in the last quarter of 2007
- Paid searches account for about 14% of Google clicks, while 86% of clicks are organic
- 25% of queries made in a month on Google are unique for that month.
The implications of these three points of data are very important for all search marketers.
An increase in the number of words per query indicates a maturity in the market, from the point of view of searchers as well as publishers. Searchers are more focused and aware of what they are searching for. 1-word queries tend to be typically navigational queries. Longer query strings typically indicate that the person searching has a specific objective in mind and is using more keywords in the query to filter out irrelevant sites and hone in on the correct types of sites.
Market maturity on the whole would be the primary driving force for such query refinement. If the amount of content were limited, searchers would not need to type in long queries to find exactly what they wanted. However, as more and more information becomes available online, more targeted searching becomes a necessity when looking for particular information, products and services.
Optimisation Is More Important
According to Kaushik‘s data, 6 times as many clicks are counted on organic search results as on sponsored links. While sponsored links provide accountability and fully controllable marketing, the bulk of traffic comes from natural search listings, which irrefutably implies a need for organizations to focus on SEO.
Long Tail Keywords Matter
The long tail theory of search marketing postulates that a large number of queries are made for terms that might not have high volumes, but put together, all of these queries often amount to much more searches than the total searches carried out on a handful of high-traffic keywords. If 25% of queries within a month have only 1 search associated with them, that means 25% of searches come from long tail keywords, which further extols the importance of these keywords.