The Few, the Proud, the Keyword

By Ben Charny  |  Posted 2006-06-07

Most of the searching going on at major Internet sites involves a surprisingly small number of search terms, according to new research from WebSideStory, an Internet traffic analysis firm.

The San Diego-based concern bases its findings (here in PDF form) on a study of 34 million search sessions conducted at 40 major Internet sites in April.

It found that half the search sessions were to locate just 4 percent of the key words the site's search engine encountered.

Among other things, the findings suggest a "search this site" feature on a Web site is the best way to steer people to the information they are looking for. This runs counter to the school of thought supporting a more proactive means.

"A site search feature is a tremendous gift to you from your customers," writes the Susan Aldrich, a senior vice president at The Patricia Seybold Group. She prepared the research for WebSideStory.

"They are telling you exactly what they want, in their own words."

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