Are 80% of Searches Really Informational, As Penn Study Says?

Apr 14, 2008 - 9:55 am 1 by

A study performed out of Penn State College found with reasonable accuracy that "about 80 percent of queries are informational and about 10 percent each are for navigational and transactional purposes." At Search Engine Land, Barry breaks down the behaviors and says that the informational queries include searching for a fact or topic, navigational searches include looking for a specific website, and transactional queries address buying products or services.

According to Bill Slawski on Sphinn, this data was obtained from Dogpile. It appears, then, that the information may not be accurate if accounting for searcher behavior on Google. Indeed, as forum member evan420 points out, navigational searches make up for 5-7x what they cite in the study. He says that if the same study would come out on Google, you'd see different results.

Google has a nearly ubiquitous toolbar and is the "navigational gateway" for so many who bypass the browser address bar, so I have to think a new study using the major SE's search logs, while improbable, would yield far different results.

It makes a good deal of sense. Is anyone up for doing research on searcher behavior on Google? :)

Forum discussion continues at Sphinn.


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