The internet is great thing in that it connects us to one another. It allows us to collaborate, share, & discuss in ways that were previously not feasible. The internet has made it possible for us to spread our ideas, creativity, & knowledge at rates that far surpass the printing press.
The outcome of this ability is that there is a seemingly endless amount of information on the web. As you can image, it would be impossible for a single human to digest all of the information available.
With this thought in mind, think of how difficult it would be to find a credible piece of information if all the content on the web was unorganized. Finding what you need wouldn’t be as simple as typing a phrase (query) into your search bar. The internet would be total CHAOS!
This is where search engines play a crucial role in directing web users to relevant information. Specifically, search engines use search queries to determine which pieces of content to display in the search engine results pages, or SERPs, of web searches.
Google is the largest search engine in the world. Its corporate mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Search queries play a fundamental role in making information accessible and useful.
What Is A Search Query?
A search query is the phrase that a web user types into a search bar. You only have to look at Google’s search suggestions to see that most search queries are question-based. This notion offers evidence that web users look to the internet to directly answer a question or solve a problem. Your goal as a business owner is to answer that question or solve that problem.
How Does A Search Engine Use Search Queries To Deliver Relevant Information
When a new piece of content, be it a webpage, news article, or video, is published to the web & crawled, the piece of content is then indexed. Once indexed, that webpage ranks for keywords. Ranking for keywords depends on many factors, which are specific to each search engine algorithm.
Nevertheless, search queries contain keywords. Search engines use these words to then return relevant content (content that contains the keywords in the query in its title, metadata, or body text).
Types Of Search Queries
Branded: phrases that specify a person/brand/organization
Every business should rank for their branded searches. AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE. If you are unsure of this, type your businesses name in a search bar and see what results show up. If you can’t find your business, schedule a free consultation with us immediately. We will shed some light on why nobody can find your business on the web.
Unbranded: generic phrases that do not specify a location or person/brand/organization
While unbranded searches are harder to rank for, they serve more value to business owners because web users will conduct unbranded searches when they are looking for options. A lot of businesses use Google search advertisements to place themselves in a consumer’s consideration set without having to rank organically.
Local: phrases that specify a location
A local search strategy can be beneficial for every company. However, local businesses are the ones that often compete for these search queries.
Insider tip: For a local business, local search queries are everything. The key to owning them is listing your business in online directories.
A Word On Voice Assistants
As the use of voice assistants becomes more commonplace, it is important to note that the phrases we say to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa are search queries as well (minus the action verb look up, find, search, etc. before the ‘meat’ of the query).
Each spoken query still falls into one of the categories listed above. However, voice assistants only return the top result. Therefore, voice search polarizes competition in many ways because full SERPs are not as digestible as they are in traditional web searches.