A report from Chitika found that the average search query length varies across engines, with Ask.com seeing 4.81 terms per search and Google users generally search for terms that are 4.29 words long.

A report from Chitika found that Ask.com users enter the longest search queries of any of the five search engines studied. According to the research, the average length of a search on Ask.com is 4.81 words, compared to the 4.29 at Google.

The name of the website seems to be a primary cause of the higher average search length, Chitika surmised. Many of those using the website actually enter complete questions to conduct their searches, which naturally makes them longer than term-based searches.

Google’s average query length of 4.29 words positions the search engine as one that fields the shortest queries, second only to AOL, which generally sees 4.07 terms per search query. Moreover, Chitika found an average of 4.49 words per query for Yahoo, and 4.31 on Bing.

For marketers, the research results demonstrate the need for a diverse keyword strategy, including shorter terms and long[-]tail keywords. As SEO and content marketing continue to become more tightly intertwined, varying keyword length will allow content writers more freedom and options.

Brafton recently reported that long-tail keywords are especially useful for companies looking to draw convertible traffic (or serious shoppers) to their websites. According to research from Conductor, those who land on websites after long-tail searches are frequently further along in the sales funnel than those using basic one- to two-word queries.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.