A new study finds that search engine queries are getting longer, which could have a positive impact on search engine optimization (SEO).

Research from internet analyst Hitwise finds that as people are mastering the use of search engines, they are increasingly searching for longer terms.

According to the findings, search terms of four words or less decreased two percent from January 2008 to January 2009. But during the same period, search terms with four or more words increased 10 percent, with searches of eight or more words increasing 22 percent over the year.

For companies using search engine optimization (SEO), this is good news.

"The longer the queries, the longer the long tail becomes," writes Rebecca Lieb of Econsultancy. "As searchers becomes more sophisticated in honing their terms, SEO gets correspondingly more complex, but also more potentially rewarding."

Another way search engine optimization is expected to change in the near future is through the use of mobile search. In a recent piece for Search Engine Land, Bryson Meunier said that because mobile search and traditional search are different, marketers may need to change their search engine optimization to match customers’ needs.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.