Monday, August 28, 2006

AOL Search Data Insights for Local Search

Ken Mccarthy brought up an interesting point about the AOL data that was mistakenly published a few weeks ago. In his blog, attributing this point to Lee Gomes from the Wall Street Journal (published free here), these are the top 10 most searched words in the list:

1. free
2. new
3. lyrics
4. county
5. school
6. city
7. home
8. state
9. pictures
10. music

The fact that county, city and state are some of the top 10 most popular phrases seem to point to an increased number of local searches. This is huge to local search advertisers. Seems like my prediction of the death of the yellow pages (a fairly obvious prediction to me) is coming true (of course).

Another interesting point was the fact that so many searches start with the 5 W's: Who, What, When, Where, Why. It seems that searchers still like to put searches in the form of questions. You would think that AskJeeves would have done better than it did then, but there is still an opportunity here.

Perhaps we should be using more questions on our site linking to answers. FAQ's are an obvious place to do this. Also, working up personas and the questions each would have, and then posting the questions and answers on the appropriate pages would help bring search traffic.

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