The results of a study conducted by the University of Maryland and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center – and funded by search giant Google – highlight slight but important differences between the search behaviors of adults and children, the New York Times reports.

The Times’ Stefanie Olsen writes that Google has long been aware that it can be difficult to come up with search queries that will yield the desired results, and has undertaken numerous efforts to make search more natural and intuitive. Olsen cites the company’s roll-out, earlier this year, of the Wonder Wheel, an associative graphical interface that offers additional search terms.

Google’s director of user experience, Irene Au, told Olsen that "the problems that kids have with search are probably the problems adults experience, just magnified. [The research has] helped highlight the areas we need to focus on."

Search engine optimization (SEO) professionals whose clients are interested in younger demographics could do well to incorporate the study’s information into their SEO efforts. Experts say that Google’s frequent additions and modifications to the search process make for a shifting search landscape.

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.