Avva says that Evan says that half of all Google searches are conducted in languages other than English, and Evan works for Google, so he should know. Avva says he would have thought the non-English searches only amounted to 20%; I would have guessed it was higher than that, but I’m surprised and pleased to discover it’s half and half. Let the world search!


  1. Er, at least some of that is folks like me who read a language or two that isn’t English.

  2. Break it on down now. [take me to the bridge! all right!]

  3. Does that really mean that half of all searches are in languages other than English, or half of all searches are conducted using non-English interfaces? I sure as heck don’t switch interface languages every time I switch the search language. You can’t temporarily switch interfaces: Google will change your default.
    So I conduct all my searches–English, Russian, French or other–from one non-English interface(you can guess which). Close to half the Google searches that hit my page come from non-English interfaces. It’s fun to follow the referrer log links and end up in a backwards-seeming Hebrew interface or a squiggly Thai one.
    So the question is, do searches conducted in English from non-English interfaces equal or exceed searches conducted not in English from English search interfaces?

  4. QOV, you can see the most frequent searches conducted in each language on this page.

  5. I’d like to know more about that statistic. My guess is that it’s referring to the language of the interface, not the language of the search terms. Determining the language for a single word (or two or three) would be a difficult problem, since many sequences of characters make words in more than one language — not to mention that typos are pretty frequent. Besides, a great many searches would be for names or other words that can’t be classified as belonging to a particular language.

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