New Study Shows Users Search in Question Format Only 27 Percent Of The Time

A recent study has been carried out by Blue Nile Research on how search queries vary from user to user. The study, Psychology of the Searcher, explores the ways in which users search for their desired answer.

Research has found that users only search in question format 27% of the time.


What impact does this have on keyphrase research? Keyword research tools such as Google’s own Keyword Planner often return short search terms which are similar to your original term instead of long tail keywords. The below data shows the percentage of searches and the average search term length.


As you can see from the research, a small amount of searchers search with long term queries compared to the 29% of searches that are conducted from search terms that contain two words.

The most interesting part of the research from a search perspective is when the study explored the percentage of people who search in fragment queries and people who search in full queries. The data below shows that there is an exact split between users search with 2-3 word search terms and users who are searching with search terms that contain 4+ words.


From this we can clearly see that there are two approaches that users take to find their desired answer. Users who search in fragment queries (queries that contain 2-3 words) are focusing on the speed of finding the answer whereas users who search in full queries (queries than contain 4+ words) are looking for a more in depth answer to their question. An example of this would be:

Users who search in fragments would search ‘best tvs’

Whereas users who search in full queries would search ‘what are the best tvs to buy’

For a more indepth analysis of the research carried out, you can find the study here.

All in all this means that you should cater for both types of users in your site and build out clear Q&As/FAQs pages to help with long tail questions. For more information on how to optimise your site for what your target audience are searching for, contact us now.