Some practitioners state that users in an enterprise search deployment enter a much smaller number of words in a search query (1.5 average) than on the Internet (3.0 average) and infer it as one of the causes for poor outcomes. This short article presents an argument that this enterprise search user behaviour rather than being a cause, is actually a symptom of factors related to the enterprise environment, including corpus sizes and search query parsing algorithms. User search behaviour (agency) may develop as a result of corpus size/query parsing algorithms (structure) explaining some of the search query length differences between Internet search engines, site-search and enterprise search deployments. These may act as a constraining effect in many enterprises, where user behaviour adapts to these structures. This shift in thinking may enable more effective interventions and solution design.
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