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Some clues and insight into 2009 Google search queries

Alex Christie

13 January 2010

This blog post on the Google blog, while not earth shattering, revealed some depths of the normally cloudy Google search data. It highlights some interesting little factoids about search in 2009 and where we might be going in 2010. The most striking factoid:

Fraction of Google queries, duplicates excluded, never seen before: More than 1/3

Fraction of Google queries, duplicates included, never seen before: More than 1/5

This is remarkable, a lot can be surmised form this fairly innocuous stat. It means that one fifth of queries typed in Google in 2009 were never searched for before then. It means that 20% of all searches are timely and topical. A lot of those searches will be news and entertainment queries, but it is a significant number. 20% of searches are what we could call “fresh”. Looking at the breakdown between the two stats and juggling the numbers a little bit, it seems there is a lot more duplication in the less fresh queries which could point to a correlation between searchers typing in what they see in the media averaging out in time. This could also be attributed to the Google suggest box. Which would then completely eradicate any significance into search behaviour.

Proportion of Google result pages that show a map in search results: 1 in 13

I like this one – it is the first real clue of exactly how many local searches are conducted. Maps are most likely to be shown when searching for a business or region, which I could loosely associate to be “local search”. And given that almost 8% of all searches are local searches, it is perhaps an area that will be growing as personalisation and relevance grows within the serps.

In conclusion these little factoids, while banal in their initial presentation, if spiced up a bit paint an exciting picture for the future – where everything will be local and personal and fresh.

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