By Daniel Hunter

A third of new relationships begin online and on average, nine million Britons log on to dating sites in their quest to find a significant other, an industry which research firm Mintel estimates will be worth £150 million by 2014.

So when consumers hit the surf for romance, what are some of the most common words typed in that search box?

Leading independent digital marketing agency, Greenlight, analysed September search data to identify the most popular online dating-related keywords consumers used when they went to Google UK to begin their search, and in turn, to discern the most visible online dating sites to them.

The agency’s ‘Online Dating Report — Issue 2’ found there were over 871,000 dating-related searches made online in September.

The majority of consumer queries (15%) were for free internet dating sites, the terms ‘free dating sites’, ‘free dating’ and ‘free online dating’ cumulatively amounting to 132,600 searches.

Other popular searches included ‘first dates’, ‘mature dating’ and ‘polish dating’.

Greenlight further analysed and grouped the queries into categories split by age, cultural preferences and location.

‘Senior dating’, ‘senior dating agency’, ‘mature dating uk’ and ‘older women dating’ emerged as the four most popular searches for age-related queries.

Queries denoted by culture and preference made up 14% of overall dating-related searches. ‘Polish dating’ ‘asian dating’ and ‘christian dating’, dominated. ‘single parent dating’ and ‘widow dating’ also featured prominently.

Location-wise, London was prevalent in three of the ten most queried terms with ‘speed dating london’ making up the majority (13%) of the 64,000 searches in this group. In fact, speed dating showed no sign of having lost its sparkle, the term featuring in dating-related searches sought out in Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Greenlight ranked the most prominent websites to online dating-related searches overall and split by group. was the most prominent site in the organic listings overall. It was visible to over 403,000 dating-related queries which saw it garner a 46% share of visibility.

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