Meaning, what it is, and what it is used for

The search queries are applied daily not only in major search engines such as Google and Bing but also in alternative search engines that cater to specific user needs. Querying a search engine, whether it is one of the major ones like Google or Yahoo, or alternative options, has become an automatic gesture for anyone seeking information

Every day, we ask questions, for example, on Google, because we need practical and quick answers.

You have probably found yourself searching for a restaurant near home, a ranking of the best phones, or how to make bread at home; these are all queries that, once fed to Google, will provide you with results relevant to your search intent.

In SEO (Search Engine Optimization), analyzing queries is crucial to learning how to optimize your website for search engines. Therefore, I recommend taking an SEO Specialist Course.

Query meaning

The meaning of query is question, inquiry, and request. Essentially, a search query is a set of keywords with which a user expresses their Search Intent. To explain it better, let me give you a practical example.

Suppose you have a Japanese cuisine restaurant; a user might type into the Google search engine “Japanese restaurant”, specify the city, or include a feature like “Japanese restaurant with parking”.

Google will then scour the web to return results that match what the user is looking for.  So, always consider the user’s search intent and satisfy it through your page content.

In essence, when you type into the Google search bar, you are writing a query database, i.e., a query made to a content database. This rule applies not only to Google’s database but also to SQL databases.

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Search queries and keywords, what are the differences?

Usually, search queries and keywords are thought of as the same thing, but it’s not exactly true.

A search query expresses a search intent as clearly as possible using multiple keywords and formal language, such as “What are proteins”, “How to make sourdough”, and “How is America divided geographically”.

Given these examples, words that express a relevant value for the search, the keywords would be “proteins”, “sourdough”, and “America”.

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Example search queries

Search queries in SEO are divided into various groups, each with certain characteristics that can help you understand what users really want when they perform a search.

Let’s explore some examples of search queries based on the category they fall into.

search queries examples

Navigational search

When a navigational query is used, it means the user is looking for a specific website they already know or presume exists on the web.

These queries may include domain names, names of people, companies, or organizations and are summarized with the verb “TO GO”.

An example of a navigational query could be “Samsung”; this query likely aims to land on the website of the Korean manufacturer.

navigational search samsung

Informational search

When an informational query is used, the user is undoubtedly seeking various types of information, which may be present on one or more web pages.

The ultimate goal of these queries is to satisfy the user’s need for information entirely autonomously, perhaps through reading one or more documents or watching a video.

These queries are summarized with the verb “TO KNOW” and may contain references to various topics (e.g., “sweet recipes”, “iPhone features”) and can be formulated in natural language.

Sometimes it can be in the form of a question (“How to make pizza at home”, “How to request a health card”, “What is a metaphor”, “draw a face”).

information research

Commercial search

When a commercial query, also known as commercial investigation, is used, the user is seeking to acquire information for a transaction.

For this reason, these queries are identified as the link between informational and transactional queries. An example of a commercial query could be “best pizzeria”, “best anti-wrinkle cream”, or “best external hard drive”.

commercial query

Transactional search

A transactional query is used when the user’s goal is to interact with websites where they will complete an online transaction, whether with or without a monetary expense.

These queries are summarized with the verb “TO DO” and contain references to events, software, books, music, cell phones, video games, etc. They can also contain verbs like “purchase”, “buy”, and “download”.

For example, a transactional query could be “Buy Apple phone”, or “Purchase phone cases”.

transactional query example

Voice queries

Voice search is becoming a habit as much as written search, an everyday activity carried out through mobile phones (see, for example, Apple’s Siri or Google’s Assistant) and devices like Alexa, Google Home, and Amazon Echo.

These devices can even connect with lamps, TVs, cars, and so on.

Thanks to these voice recognition devices, the user can obtain information using their voice and conduct more humanized searches rather than typing the query into a search engine.

As a practical example of how voice queries can be used, Google has released a video showing how to use its Google Assistant via a mobile device.

Query Google Search Console

The Google Search Console platform comes to our aid if we have a website that needs performance monitoring. Search Console reports also include data on the queries that generated impressions from your website’s URLs.

Impressions represent the number of times a web page has been viewed by users on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

The Google Search Console query report allows you to understand if you need to optimize content within your site’s pages by correlating how users search with the relevance of your pages to specific queries.

Impressions and the average position of these, regarding a page, help you understand how the search engine correlates your content with user queries.

Through clicks and their percentage, you can comprehend the correlation between search results and user intentions. In addition to this tool, once connected, you can also search for keywords in Google Analytics.

google search console queries

SQL query

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a structured language for querying relational databases created in 1974 by Donald Chamberlin.

This language allows you to perform queries, insert tables, create, modify, and manage data, all through various types of queries.

Among the SQL queries that can be applied to a table, where each operation corresponds to a SQL language statement.

There are some summarized by the acronym CRUD, namely C (Create) for data creation or insertion corresponding to INSERT, and R (Read or Retrieve) for reading corresponding to SELECT.

Then U (Update) for updating with the UPDATE statement, and D (Delete or Destroy) which equates to deletion through the DELETE statement.

This language can be implemented within the Microsoft Access program, a software for managing relational data.

Access queries can be used to find data in the database, perform an action on this data, or both.

You can also use this type of computerized query within Microsoft Excel, one of the most widely used tools for creating tables and managing data effectively and orderly.

To perform Excel queries, there are two alternatives: the first is the more complicated one, which is to manually enter SQL queries, while the second (and simpler) is to use Microsoft Query within Excel.

In conclusion, I can assure you that paying attention to how users search for information on search engines is crucial, especially to increase the number of visitors to a site and reach as many people as possible, thereby enhancing results.

Don’t forget that in addition to SEO, there are relational databases where you can use queries for a different but still useful purpose, especially when you have an e-commerce site with a lot of data to keep in order, review, and update regularly.


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