In case you missed it, I recently posted that Google's "Average Number of Words Per Query have Increased!" In response, JohnW raised a very good question about how Google calculated this number and whether or not it's a rounded number.
Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist for Google and author of the book "Web Analytics: An Hour A Day" responded to my request for clarification on this topic via email earlier today. I asked Avinash how Google calculated this figure and if Google rounded up, for example if 3.?? was rounded to 4 or if the actual value is equal to or greater than 4?
Here is what Avinash said:
"I believe that the right term is "average number of words in a query" are 4. I did not get enough clarity if it is 3.6 or 4.2. But none the less it was a movement from 3 to 4."
So in answer to JohnW's question it does seem likely that this number is round. Either way, the number is officially 4!
Thanks Avinash & JohnW!