Search queries

Users input their queries into the search string. There are these tendencies nowadays:

  • Search queries become more lengthy (ten words and more). Queries sound more and more like natural language.
  • As mobile traffic prevails, commercial queries often include “near me” and its derivatives (‘bakery near me”, “grocery store near me”).

Each search engine has advanced search syntax.

For Google it is: Refine web searches.


  • Search for a price:
    camera $400
  • Exclude words from your search
    jaguar speed -car
  • Search for an exact match
    "tallest building"
  • Search for a specific site

Users do spelling mistakes and typos. Search engines either suggest correcting such mistakes or just ignore them.

Since 2008 search engines try to understand the intention of a user rather than to follow the search query exactly.


The same search query for users from different regions will result in different search results. Definitely “buy pizza delivery” input by a new-yorker is not the same as for berliner.


Types of search queries

  • Brand queries (Juseppe’s Pizza, Tiffany jewelery shop). These users know the brand and may hardly be distracted. But as users are often not explicit, it may be an informational query.
  • Informational queries (history of medieval Europe, sport results, political news). These queries are mostly interesting for web masters with content projects.
  • Transactional queries (“trip to Egypt in november”, “buy computer online”).
  • Geo queries (“hairdresser new york”, “pizza berlin”). If it is a product or service + geo location, then it may be a potiential client for local business.
  • Vague queries. Queries by inexperienced users or users who are being lazy.



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