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.

Examples:

  • 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
    site:youtube.com

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.

Region

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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