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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Is it e-Learning or eLearning?

I just saw Gabe's post E-Learning: Will We One Day Lose the E? that discuss my post eLearning or Learning? - More to It. One of the things that Gabe tells us is:
Based on Google queries, e-learning (about 200,000,000 results) takes the cake over elearning (about 14,400,000 results) in 2007. So the world seems to like the hyphen.
My results are a little different but there certainly are more pages out there that have the hypen.

However, I actually believe the trend is more to drop the hypen. To back me up I went to Google Trends to see what the trend is for people searching. Here's what I saw:

Worldwide -


"eLearning" has almost caught "e-Learning" in terms of what people use in their searches.

In the United States -


"eLearning" is used more often in searches than "e-Learning" ...

Bottom line, like Gabe mentioned e-mail got shortened to email, I would be surprised if eLearning doesn't become the term of choice.

7 comments:

James Kariuki said...

I prefer using eLearning to e-Learning. It is simple to type since no special character is used. I agree with you that the trend is to remove the hyphen in all eAnything (email, ecommerce, ebusiness, emoderation).

G√ľnter Wageneder said...

When searching Google for "e-learning" you get results containing "e-learning" and "eLearning". Google doesn't care about whether the hyphen is used or not. Therefore, when playing google fight with the two terms you always have to keep in mind that the results for "e-learning" also contain the results for "eLearning".

(Okay, I am not sure how this applies to the statistics above.)

Tony Karrer said...

To be clear on what I've shown above - it's how much people search. If you simply go to Google and type in different terms - that will show you the number of pages. A very different piece of information.

In terms of how Google treats the hyphen, I believe it treats it like a space. If you type in e-Learning - it is equivalent to e Learning. If you only want pages with the specific term e-Learning, you need to use quotes - "e-Learning". And believe it or not you get significantly less pages returned.

Chris Jackson said...

A quick check shows 100 tags on deli.icio.us for elearning in 16 hours and 100 for e-learning in 18 hours. Neck and neck. I came across it in my first blog post wondering how to tag it. The college view was e-learning, but I quickly settled on elearning. I teach spelling so find the process interesting - I'd go along with the email analogy.

Tony Karrer said...

Chris - excellent additional data point!

Doc said...

On a related note...

Consider these search statistics that supposedly were gathered in April 2005 (and my own recent research results):

Number of pages Google returned with website: 1.30 billion (2.99 billion – Nov. 07)

Number of pages Google returned with Web site: 942 million (3.81 billion – Nov. 07)

Number of pages Google returned with email: 1.37 billion (429 million – Nov. 07)

Number of pages Google returned with e-mail: 1.02 billion (10.15 billion – Nov. 07)

jimbo said...

"Email" used to be hyphenated as e-mail, but people came to their senses and dropped the hyphen. As the term "elearning" becomes more popular, only people who still hyphenate "e-mail" (i.e. dorks) will hyphenate "elearning."