In Florida, there is an interesting legal case unfolding. The defendant is accused of purveying obscene
material from a web site, but the definition of obscenity is based on community standards. As a way to poke holes in this, the defense wants to show that "the community" is actually a lot less moral than they say they are.
How are they going to show this? By using search traffic data from Google. Essentially, the defense is going to try to point out that people will claim to be more moral than they actually are, but in the privacy of our own homes (based on what types of searches people typically perform at their computers) morality is
more ambiguous. After all, based on this chart at Google Trends, it appears that Florida’s appetite for porn has increased steadily since 2004.
But search data is not that easy to parse because the search traffic does not get to the underlying intent of the searcher. Just because someone does a search on porn, does that mean that person was actually looking for pictures? We can guess, but we’ll never know for sure.
Slate.com has the full story on the case, and the role of the internet in the definition
And evidently, so does everyone else. According to this article on Clickz, citing research compiled by OneStat, most searchers use two keywords when conducting a search.
Internet users who type two words for on a search engine query account for 31.9 percent of searches worldwide. Three-word phrases are used for 27 percent of searches. A single word accounts for 15.2 percent of queries, and four words are used for 14.8 percent of searches.
Importantly, it also points out that the vast majority of searches aren’t single word searches. An important fact to consider if you are trying to optimize pages for a single word.
From a press release from comScore
RESTON, VA, October 10, 2007 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released the first comprehensive study of worldwide search activity, based on data from its qSearch 2.0 service. comScore qSearch 2.0 offers the first panoramic worldwide view of online search activity, providing granular, in-depth analysis of the search universe reported from the top 50 worldwide Internet properties where search activity is observed. The study found that more than 750 million people age 15 and older – or 95 percent of the worldwide Internet audience – conducted 61 billion searches worldwide in August, an average of more than 80 searches per searcher.
Another question: If 95% of the online population is averaging 80 searches per month, where should you move your marketing dollars?
comScore Networks has just released their search engine rankings for March 2007. They measured 7.3 billion searches in the US, a 14% increase from March 2006.
Break down by market share:
All engines increased their share by some degree, expect Yahoo which fell 0.6%.