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Diversity In Search? Puh-lease.

The top 5% of all search volume consists of 9 terms.

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Though more and more people are using search engines all the time, that doesn’t necessarily translate into more diversity in search terms. In fact, according to Hitwise, the top 5% of all search volume consists of just 9 terms.

That’s down from 49 terms in 2005, reports Hitwise UK Research Director Robin Goad, though he doesn’t elaborate on exactly which terms those are. 

"So why the change?" he asks. "The answer is simple: navigational search – i.e. people typing the name of a site into a search engine rather than directly entering or bookmarking the URL."

In other words, more people translates to either a less sophisticated searching populace or a populace that just finds it easier to type in MySpace into a search bar than in the address field. In my stepson’s case, unless it’s out of sheer spite for my objections, it’s the latter. He goes to Google (the start page) and types in "youtube" or "wikipedia."

Goad reports that, in the UK at least, there has been a 30% increase in navigational search over the last two years, and that 70% of all searches are navigational. And then he really hits a nail on the head:

"This trend towards navigational search highlights the importance of having a strong brand online."

Rather than concluding the searching world has become less sophisticated, Goad also notes that when navigational terms are taken out of the equation, the queries become more varied, rather than the inverse.    
 

Diversity In Search? Puh-lease.
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