Will One-Word Queries Continue To Increase?


When we search online, we normally use a lot of words to capture the best keywords for the data that we’re looking for. It was the trend before, but there’s a shift towards one-word searches. And the latest data from Experian Hitwise tells the story.

The rise of one-word searches

There were already signs that one-word searches will take off this year.

According to an article in last year, there was already a trend in the increase of one-word searches. In 2009, it only represented 20.3% of the total searches then it peaked at 27.2% in October of 2011.

According to the latest data from Experian Hitwise, there is a 19% increase in one-word searches for a period of one year (May 2011 to 2012). It already represents 29.93% of Google’s searches, from 25.80% last year.

During the same period, there was a decrease for the searches that involved 2 or more words. Searches that use 5 words or more decreased by 10 -12%.

The top 10 one-word keywords

These include Facebook, Facebook login, Youtube, Craiglist, MySpace,, Ebay, Yahoo,, and Mapquest for 2010. Last year, the list includes Facebook, Youtube, Facebook login, Craiglist,, Yahoo, Ebay,, Mapquest, and

It is expected. Facebook is the the most searched word for the past three years according to Experian Hitwise. Furthermore, it is also the most visited website in 2010 and 2011.

Why is there an increase in one-word searches?

The rise of one-word searches may not be only attributed to people using one-word terminologies when searching online. Rather, it is the result of predictive technology that was incorporated by the search engines.

According to Simon Bradstock, general manager of Experian Hitwise, the drastic increase in searches that only use a word can be attributed to “automated search features” that are being used by the major search engines. So it is expected that the rise of one-word searches will continue.

It was also the main possible reason pointed out by an article in, wherein search engines become smarter, through predictive keyword research.

Voice search

But, how will predictive technology be incorporated with the now popular voice search?

Now, we can imagine that in the future, queries will not involve keyboards or keypads but will solely rely on our voices. one-word-queries is just starting to take off because of predictive technology but I infer that it will be overtaken by voice searches soon.

Or we can also say that predictive technology was designed to work well with voice searches. According to the latest review from, Google’s voice search in Jelly Bean is impressive. Like Apple’s Siri, it is also accurate and much more useful as compare to the previous version.

Closing thoughts

For ordinary web users like myself, typing just a word rather than five or more words will save me time and make my “searching” more efficient. The increase of these category of search can also tell us one more thing – that people already know how the search engine will react to the words that they input.

It is important to note what the common users thought about this. One-word searches, from my own point of view, saves us time. Furthermore, the predictive technology that most if not all search engines use already results in better search results. Indeed, the search engines became much smarter.

Ric is a blogger who loves to explore and write about different topics. Find more of his posts at Divorce Wellington and Divorce Boca Raton.

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