What do you mean – the search intent in a nutshell

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Few of us know that the enormity of daily Google searches can be divided into several categories. Let us say a few quick words and tell you about the factory by which they can be distinguished.

What is search intent?

Search intent (in other words user intent or audience intent) is the term used to describe the purpose of an online search.

Google’s flagship product, which is an Internet search engine, is an extremely powerful tool. It must carry native understanding and processing of natural language to serve and brink relevant benefits. There is also something extra, which is the understanding of what we are asking. This is the search intention, that is the reason why we search for a given key phrase and the type of information that will be a satisfactory answer to us.

After all, we are searching for something we want to find out about. If it impossible for the algorithms to understand recipients’ intentions, then it proves that we usually provide many clues which contain keywords only.

Types of search intent

To put it briefly, we are motivated by four desires we list below, adding a briefly comment to each:

  • Willingness to stay informed – probably the most popular intention. All the searches that are used to expand out knowledge are part of this category. Searching for the recipe, weather forecast, the instructions of how to solve a Rubik’s cube or what the flags of South Asia look like are examples. The possibilities are unlimited!
  • Readiness to visit a specific website – it occurs whenever we want to move to a specific URL (for example: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube). Although we can type the website URL directly in the bar, this method remains slower and less practical. Let’s be honest – it is impossible to remember all the addresses.
  • Desire to buy a product – in other words, an intention to purchase an item.
  • Whenever recipient require information about a product – although this category sound like a combination of the two given above, it is distinctive. It is nothing else than a „commercial investigation”. It occurs whenever we consider buying something and look for additional data (or an advice, opinions from other consumers). So, if we had ever searched for the best ice axes or the most popular skateboards, and hundreds of other examples that sounds alike, we would have conducted a commercial investigation.

As we have already mentioned, an intention is often signalled in a key phrase. There are number of words that we usually add to a search term to „help” Google. Thus, for particular types of reasons, these tips are:

  • Informative – who, where, how, the guides, examples or instructions;
  • Navigational – brand name, specific product or service;
  • Transactional – to buy, order, shop, check the price, the city name;
  • Seeking – review, the synonym of „the best”, comparison or rankings.

The intentions listed above, of course, are not enough – there are much more. Let’s hope, however, that those are a clear outline of potential terms which might have been used by potential clients.

How to use search intent?

While the process requires several steps to complete, the results are worth it. Let’s take a closer look at how to do this right.

First and foremost, you have to understand which search intentions are best reflected by the content published on our page.

The medium through which we present the content is equally important. It can be text, video or audio. Different kinds influence the intentions of the searchers better or worse. On the other hand, some types of content can are successfully presented through one than one medium, for example recipes.

We are also obligated to consider the type in which we present the content.


The writing is a medium. However, a blog entry, page where the product is published or a category description are all different types of content, albeit using just one medium. Once again you should choose keywords carefully – what intention do those present? Should we position our online store website for them, or maybe it is a better idea to focus on a specific category?

Search intent – benefits

If we run an online store, then the appropriate optimization of the content for the search intention purpose might work miracles! It is worth taking care of it regardless of the type of a website. After all, everyone want their website to be visited. For this, however, it is necessary to understand what do consumer need we could meet. Bearing the intention of the average person who uses search engine in mind will help us here.


  • Search intent is the intention that is kept in mind when the user starts searching for information on the website.
  • There are 4 basic types of intentions that could be described in a certain words.
  • Understanding the content published on our website will help us match Google search requirements.

Jan Susmaga

By education - philologist / linguist, by current profession - proofreader and copywriter, by interest - a bit of everything. He enjoys writing, reading both prose and non-fiction (mainly scientific), watching horror movies, training martial arts, trying new things.

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