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Online searches tend to be very short: Most consist of just one or two words, according to recent research from Semrush.

The report was based on data from an analysis of 160 million of the most popular search keywords and their rankings.

The researchers found that 51% of the online searches that included the keywords the analysis examined were one or two words long. Some 43% of the searches were 3-5 words long, 6% were 6-9 words long, and less than one percent were more than 10 words long.

Distribution of keyword lengths by total search volume

When the researchers looked at unique queries rather than total volume, they found that more than two-thirds (67%) of the searches were 3-5 words long.

Distribution of keywords by length

Most (60%) of the most popular keywords are informational in nature (e.g., "coffee calories"), reflecting that people tend to use online search to find things out.

Distribution of keywords by intent

Although navigational keywords (e.g., "Bank of America login") comprise only 10% of the most popular keywords, they drive 22% of search volume—indicating that people tend to search for these sorts of keywords on a regular basis.

Distribution of keywords' search volume by intent

About the research: The report was based on data from an analysis of 160 million of the most popular search keywords and their rankings.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji