| 5:46 pm on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)|
If you think about the way people learn to search over time (this can apply over a very long period, as they learn how to get what they want sooner, or in the space of a single query refinement), they tend to do simple searches to start off with and then add more 'qualifiers' to the right of the initial term to get more specific. e.g.
Widgets City Neighbourhood
There's also the fact that people will think of what they want first as that is their need, where they want it is secondary (i.e. the common 'what' or 'where' that changes for a single user over time is the 'what' - the 'where' is almost always their locality so that user will automatically think that the most significant part of their search is the 'what'). This logic can often be reversed when you think about people travelling outside of their locality, often people will then see the 'where' as more important - hence you will see 'where what' searches often for travel.
| 6:00 pm on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)|
I think I will target Niche + City first.
| 6:27 pm on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Also, a lot of people will use extra words that the SEs filter out. For example, "widgets in city" (which makes perfect sense in human speak) would be changed to "widgets city" for the actual search.
| 1:02 pm on Feb 27, 2009 (gmt 0)|
I once looked into this and found that you can't generalise this to "widgets city". It seems to be predominant for "occupation city" but not so common for "institution city".
Institutions could be banks, taxis, etc, so you tend to see more of "London taxis" than "taxis in London". You do see "taxis London" but there are not as many searches for this layout.
Back when the Overture tool was working (buggily), I used to see actual alphabetised searches in the logs such as "estate real sydney" -- not that precise term but ones like those. From time to time, Yahoo used to display the words in alphabetical order and I think some novice SEOs took them as gospel.
| 9:17 pm on Mar 4, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Jeez: I really think you need to research that topic by topic, city by city. I use both methods for a variety of businesses and cities and see somewhat different data. IMHO city + niche is slightly more popular.