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Study: Searchers Use Question Formats 27% Of The Time

Study: Searchers Use Question Formats 27% Of The Time

A new research study by Blue Nile Research explored the psychology of a searcher uncovering that searchers use question formats in their query 27% of the time and are split 50/50 in searching in short form (less than 4 words) versus long form (4 words or more).

The research found that 27% of searchers phrased their query in the form of a question. Question formats included ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘what’, and ‘which’ as opposed to a ‘statement query’.


Which question format was most popular? The format of ‘How’ had 38%, whereas ‘Why’ was 24%, ‘Where’ was 15%, ‘Which’ was 12% and ‘What’ was 11%:


The study also looked at how long the search phrases were, and broke it down by what they called ‘fragment queries’ which were 2 to 3 word queries versus ‘full queries’ which were classified as queries 4 words or longer. And it was split 50/50, half searched in the fragmented format and half searched in the full format:


Here is a chart showing the break down by number of words from 2 words to 8 words in a query:


You can read the full study over here.