Types of search queries

DALL·E 2023-12-22 15.44.52 - A wide illustration in a hand-painted style, similar to the previous artwork, depicting different types of search queries. This vibrant artwork should

Today I want to tell you about the basics of SEO promotion, where you should start compiling the semantic core. To begin with, let’s understand what a “search query” is. And then we’ll talk about their types and why you need to divide requests into types at all. I will write in detail, and it may seem to some that my articles are full of water. But I was new to this business not so long ago, and I would have liked to have been able to “chew it up and put it in my mouth”.

And yes, the “Search Query” is what we all enter into the search bar of a search engine by which the search engine is looking for information. As a result, the search engine searches for the most suitable (relevant) pages and sites in its index based on our specified words and phrases and displays them to us in the search results. The more relevant (useful) the result found in the index, the higher it is in the search results. Of course, all this is in the opinion of the search engine.

The task of SEO in general is to “help” the search engine recognize our promoted website as very useful (relevant) and raise it in the search results.

What we enter into a search engine is what smart SEO optimizers divide into so-called “search query types”. The man, a predictable animal, turns out to be a man.

These are the types:

  • navigation;
  • informational;
  • transactional;
  • general (vague);
  • multimedia.

Now let’s take a closer look at them and figure out what is needed and why.


This type is mainly used to search for a specific location or organization’s website. For example, to search for a university website or a social network – “KPI”, “Facebook”, “Twitter”, “ONPU”.

Navigation queries are mostly one-word queries and are used only if the name of an organization, brand, etc. is known specifically. When developing the semantic core of a website, these queries are not used, as they are often very high-frequency and require a considerable budget to promote. The exception, of course, is your brand itself. For example, “Samsung”, “Microsoft”, “Apple”, etc… In all other cases, transactional queries are used, which we will discuss below.

And yes, conversion (turning a visitor into a buyer) by navigation queries can happen if they are looking for your site, brand, or organization. Everyone else who uses these names and brands is usually in the wrong place for navigation queries.


As the name implies, this type is used exclusively for searching for information. You can also use the name “Non-commercial request”.

People use this type of query to find answers to their questions. They don’t want to buy, order, or download anything. Therefore, you should not mix information queries with other queries in a semantic group.

An information request usually begins with the words “what”, “why”, “where”, “how”, “when”, etc… You can also include a request such as “instructions”, “reviews”, “advice”.

A person looking for information on a search engine will click on all the sites in the top 10 until they find the information they need. After that, as a rule, the user closes the site and rarely continues to wander through the pages of the site. Therefore, the main requirement for such informational articles and websites is to interest the reader with as much information as possible, you can insert a video on the page. In general, do everything you can to make the visitor stay on the site longer. And this is difficult.

As Google’s search engine has become very “smart” and selective, commercial sites have begun to use information queries to attract users for low-frequency queries and to gain a more favorable position in the search engine results. Google has been very fond of quality content lately.

Advice for non-commercial websites: use a large number of informational articles for low-frequency information queries. This will attract more traffic than high-frequency queries. And don’t go into the commercial niche, as there are quite large promotion budgets and you are unlikely to be able to compete with them.


This is the most important type for commercial sites. These are the queries that generate the bulk of revenue for online stores and other sites that can be classified as commercial. These queries are also often called “selling” queries. It is very easy to identify a commercial transactional query. They begin, for example, with the words “buy”, “order”, etc.

This type of request is called transactional because they usually involve an immediate action by the user. For example, to buy or order something. This shows that the user who has entered the site is already set to perform this action.

Queries of this type can be very high-frequency and highly competitive, but they are the ones that generate the bulk of revenue. Therefore, SEO specialists and website owners should take such requests very seriously. Very often, some specialists and some clients think that it’s enough to just buy a lot of links with commercial anchors and target customers will come to them. But this is a very big mistake. To promote queries of this type, you need to work very hard on internal website optimization, usability, and most importantly, the texts. Content is the main thing that brings users to a website. But few people realize this, as it turns out. Many online store owners believe that it is enough to write a text for a product category and buy some links to this category. It is true that it will attract a certain number of users, and you will even have some sales. But at the same time, all the online stores I’ve promoted have product cards that are completely empty. Just a photo, a headline, and a “buy” button. Just imagine, if you write a little text on all product cards, and there are usually a lot of products and sometimes a lot of them, this will allow you to attract a certain number of users directly to the product itself. There will be few of these users, as they will be reached by low-frequency queries, but they will be super targeted users. Because they will be looking for this particular product. And most likely they will buy this product. Imagine if you have 5000 or 10000 products and write texts for all of them, what kind of conversion you will get. And yes, 500 characters is enough, but you need a unique text describing this particular product. This task (writing text for products) should be performed by the site owner himself, since only he knows the advantages of this particular product. An optimizer and a copywriter will definitely not be able to do this, or it will cost a lot of money.

For transactional type requests, you must first select geo-dependent requests for the region where you provide services and then geo-independent ones. Geo-dependent queries can bring in more targeted buyers and may also be less competitive.

Let’s summarize the steps for successful promotion of a commercial website: Internal technical optimization + high-quality unique content on categories and products = sales!


This type includes queries that cannot be attributed to all the other types above. Such queries are not specific and it is quite difficult to determine the user’s intent. For example, it is not very possible to understand what a person wants (to buy or order something) by such queries as “refrigerators”, “laptops”, “tires”, “dresses”.

There are a lot of informational articles in the search engine results for these queries, and such queries are not often used for promotion. Especially if the promotion budget is limited. After all, general queries are very competitive and high-frequency. It is very difficult to promote such requests.


Queries of this type were recently classified as informational, but due to the very large amount of multimedia on the network and the emergence of search engine algorithms that can find such content, they were made into a separate type.

These queries are used to search for photos, videos, and all kinds of documents (.pdf, .doc). A user using this type of request wants to view a photo, video, or document immediately. This information should be present on the page if you used these words in the text or in the title.

Commercial websites can use this type of query to provide instructions, video tutorials, and photos of certain products. This will attract additional traffic.

It is also difficult to promote such queries, as the top places are always occupied by large multimedia sites, such as YouTube.


First of all, the site owner needs to decide what he wants to get from the promotion. TOP, according to him, or to increase sales. And SEO specialists should forget the promotion scheme that was used a year or two ago. To achieve the result, the first priority is internal website optimization – the absence of technical errors and the presence of good and useful content on all pages of the site. Only then will there be a result in the form of sales. Buying a large number of links to a website without proper internal optimization can end up being very bad for the site.

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