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3 Different Types of Search Queries and 16 Types of Search Results Google Shows

Google is constantly evolving, and as an SEO content writer, it’s your job to provide information that will help people find the best results. Google has over 5 billion searches every day estimated, and there are many different types of search queries. This article will teach you the main categories that determine where your content appears in organic, paid, and navigational results.

This guide walks through the 3 main types of search queries and 16 types of search results that Google now shows and what they stand for in detail so you don’t make mistakes with pointless duplicate content articles.

What are the 3 different types of search queries?

There are three different types of search queries- navigational, informational, and transactional. Each type requires a different approach to optimization in order to ensure you appear at the top of Google search results.

Informational search queries

Informational search queries are questions that people type into Google when they are looking for information on a certain topic. People use an infinite number of word combinations in informational search queries, and searches for these types of queries can be handled very well by search engines.

Informational searches focus on seeking out information without any concrete intent to purchase or to seek out a certain landing page. The searcher might be looking for general information about a topic or trying to compare different products or services before making a purchase decision. Information-oriented searches can utilize an infinite variety of keyword combinations, as the searcher is typically looking for very specific information.

Examples of Informational search queries:

3 Different Types of Search Queries and 16 Types of Search Results Google Shows

How to optimize for informational search queries

In order to optimize for informational search queries, it is important to focus on content that is industry-related. This way, you can drive the right traffic to your page and provide valuable information to potential customers.

It is important to provide high-quality and relevant information about the topic. Integrating long-tail keywords (keywords with three or more words) can help your content appear in relevant but less competitive search queries. This will help your audience feel informed and trust you as an authority in that field.

Here is how to create high-quality information articles using Outranking AI SEO content creation and optimization tool:

Additionally, refrain from aggressively fronting your products or services in order to place yourself as a trustworthy source of information for your audience.

Navigational search queries

A navigational search query is a type of search query that uses a known search term rather than typing the website’s exact URL. People use navigational search queries even for popular and well-known brands, products, and services. The queries “Facebook” and “youtube” are the top two searches on Google.

Navigational queries usually occur when the user has no clear intent to purchase and simply wishes to visit a particular type of website. For example, if someone wants to go to Amazon but doesn’t know the web address, they will conduct a navigational search.

3 Different Types of Search Queries and 16 Types of Search Results Google Shows

The second type of search query is when the user does not know the exact web address or the correct spelling of the brand name or company he is looking for. For example, if someone wants to find Nike’s website but can’t remember how it’s spelled, they’ll do a search for “Nike.”

3 Different Types of Search Queries and 16 Types of Search Results Google Shows

How to optimize for navigational search queries

For navigational search queries, start by searching for your company on a search engine. If your business appears at the top, congratulations! You’re good to go!

In cases where you’re not at the top, make sure your website contains information like your brand name, services, products, and location. This will help improve your ranking for those specific queries.

Additionally, you should also run sponsored ads known as pay-per-click (PPC) ads for navigational search queries. This will help to increase traffic to your site and boost your ranking in SERPs.

Transactional search queries

Transactional search queries are searches that users conduct when they are looking to buy a product or service. These types of searches typically have specific patterns, and can include both verbs such as “buy” and specific product names like “Airpod”.

Transactional search engines will provide relevant websites and products that match the query’s pattern. In contrast to informational or navigational searches, transactional searchers are closer to conversion because they’re looking for a particular product or service. Usually, companies focused on transactional types of searches rank well for product listings.

Transactional search queries

How to optimize for transactional search queries

To rank better for transactional search queries, you’ll need to optimize your product listings. You can optimize your listings by ensuring you’re using relevant product/service keywords in your title tag, content, image alt tags, and more, adding helpful information that drives more leads to the listing, and putting appropriate CTAs on the page to boost conversions.

Ranking in transactional search queries is different than ranking for other types of searches. To improve ranking, invest in PPC ads for these queries. When companies try to rank in transactional searches, they often take a two-tier approach – investing in PPC ads when they want to step up their game but still relying on organic traffic when possible. This allows them to reach their target customers while spending less money.

3 Different Types of Search Queries and 16 Types of Search Results Google Shows

What are the 16 types of search results Google shows?

1. Paid Results – (Mapped Query)

Paid search results are the ads that you see at the top and on the right-hand side of a SERP. They are distinguished from organic search results with visual clues, such as being marked with a small yellow box and having “Ad” written next to them. Paid search results are paid for by businesses in order to rise above organic results as quickly as possible.

Types Of Paid Search Ads - Digital Marketing Basics - WSI-eMarketing Blog

Google has a number of processes in place to make sure that the ads that rank are still highly relevant for searchers. This includes factors such as quality score, copy rules, landing page quality, and more.

2. Organic Search results – (Mapped Query)

Organic search results are the listings that appear in SERPs when a user enters a query, without any paid advertising. They are determined by the search engine’s algorithms, and will typically include the most relevant and popular websites for the given query.

What is Organic Search? Easy Guide for Beginners

Paid ads may also appear in organic results, but they will be clearly marked as such. Organic results may also include additional information, such as product thumbnails, prices, and review ratings.

To rank for organic search terms, you need to be able to create SEO-optimized content which includes Onpage and Offpage optimization techniques.

3. Featured Snippet – (Mapped Query)

Featured snippets are a block of content that is pulled from a web page as it is most relevant to the query and is placed in the zero position in the SERP, leaving all other results below. Featured snippets are called “answer boxes” because they were originally used to provide quick answers to questions.

Featured Snippet - (Mapped Query)

Since their introduction in January 2014, featured snippets have primarily been associated with short questions to queries. They are a type of rich answers that appears at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) and provide an answer to the question posed by the user.

Here is how to use Outranking AI SEO content tool to create content and featured snippets that rank.

4. Knowledge Card – (Mapped Query)

A knowledge card is a type of search result that appears to the right of or above organic search results. It contains information that is compiled from internal and external sources, including Wikipedia.

Google's Knowledge Graph Explained: How It Influences SEO

A Google knowledge card is a small rectangular box that appears at the top of your search engine results page (SERP) and provides you with a brief explanation of your query. The answer is pulled from Google’s knowledge graph, which is a massive database of information that organizes data about real-world entities and their relationships.

5. Knowledge Panel – (Mapped Query)

If you search for a single known entity on Google, you may see a Knowledge Panel appear on the right side of your screen. This panel gives you a fairly holistic view of the subject matter, including links to different sources.

Knowledge Panel - (Mapped Query)

The types of sources included in the Knowledge Panel vary depending on the query. However, all of the information is presented in a visually organized way for easy consumption.

6. Local Pack – (Mapped Query)

When a user searches for something on Google that could be satisfied by a local business, Google may show a Local 3 Pack. This is a highly visual listing of three businesses that are considered to be the most convenient to the searcher’s location, most relevant to the query, and of the highest quality.

Local Pack - (Mapped Query)

The Local 3 Pack appears attached to a map, making it easy for users to see where each business is located in relation to its current location or other landmarks.

7. Image Pack – (Mapped Query)

When a user enters a query that Google assesses would be best answered with visual content, images from various websites show up in the image pack. Clicking on any of the images in the image pack takes the user to the website where that image is hosted.

Image Packs in Google Web Search – A reason you might be seeing high  impressions and rankings in GSC but insanely low click-through rate (CTR)

Google sometimes displays image packs for certain searches where it believes that visual content would be valuable to the user. Image packs are special results that appear above the organic search results, and they use ranking rules beyond the core organic algorithm. In other words, image packs can appear in any organic position on the page.

8. People also ask (PAA) – (Mapped Query)

Google shows different types of search results for different queries. People also ask (PAA) results are one type of result that may be shown. PAA results are based on related queries that other people have searched for. To find PAA results, look for the “People also ask” section on the Google search page.

People also ask (PAA) - (Mapped Query)

People also ask (PAA) questions are a valuable resource for securing a long-term position in the SERPs. Additionally, PAA questions help Google to dominate the market for voice assistant devices. As more people use voice assistants, it is important that your website content be optimized to answer these types of questions.

9. Sitelinks – (Mapped Query)

Google shows sitelinks for some searches. These are links to specific pages on a website that Google thinks will be helpful for the user’s query. The algorithm is always improving to find helpful sitelinks, and webmaster input may be implemented in the future to give even more accurate results.

Sitelinks - (Mapped Query)

Sitelinks are a type of search result that take people to specific pages on your site. For example, you might see sitelinks for a product page or your store hours. The great thing about sitelinks is that they’re easy to update- you can just change the link in your sitemap.

Plus, you get detailed data about how people are clicking through your links, and you can segment statistics by the campaign, ad group, or ad.

10. News Results/ Top Stories – (Mapped Query)

Google shows news results for certain queries in order to provide the most relevant and timely information to users. This is especially useful for breaking news stories or events that are happening in real-time.

3 Different Types of Search Queries and 16 Types of Search Results Google Shows

Typically, larger and more distinguished news outlets will have their results show up more prominently in these searches.

11. Shopping Results – (Mapped Query)

Shopping results are shown for mapped queries. The product page includes information such as the product photo, the price, and the seller’s information. After finding a shopping result, a searcher can click on it to go to the product’s page.

How to Get Google Shopping Reviews to Show Up on Your Ads

To enable shopping results, you need to create a Google Merchant Center account and format your listings appropriately. You’ll also need to link your Google Ads account so you can start running ads.

12. Twitter Cards – (Mapped Query)

Twitter Cards are a web technology that helps you create a more engaging, interactive, and meaningful web experience for your users. Twitter Cards let you display rich content on your websites, such as videos, images, and interactive elements. You can use Twitter Cards to create a more personal and interactive web experience for your users.

What are SERPs? A Simple (But Complete) Guide

Twitter Cards are a great way to add multimedia experiences to your tweets. There are four different types of Twitter Cards (Summary Card, Summary Card With Large Image, App Card, and Player Card), each catering to a different type of consumer experience. Additionally, Twitter Cards can increase URL clicks and engagement rates.

So if you’re looking for ways to improve your Twitter marketing strategy, using Twitter Cards is definitely a good place to start.

13. Reviews and Ratings – (Mapped Query)

Customers can share their thoughts about a business through reviews and ratings. This feedback can impact a business’s SEO because it can improve click-through rates and SERP position.

Google Rating Stars in Search Results (Fast & Easy)

In addition, reviews and ratings can help build trust and credibility with potential customers.

14. Journals/Articles (Google Scholar) – (Mapped Query)

When conducting a scholarly search using Google Scholar, the search engine will display results from academic journals and articles at the top of the SERP (search engine results page).

These excerpts may include publication details such as the name of the journal in which the article was published, as well as how often it has been cited by other journalists and scholars. This can be incredibly useful when trying to find reputable sources for your own research.

Journals/Articles (Google Scholar) - (Mapped Query)

15. Video Pack – (Mapped Query)

The video pack is one of the 16 types of results that Google may show when a user enters a query. This type of result is only shown when the video pack is relevant to the query. The video pack includes up to five videos that are related to the query.

Video Pack - (Mapped Query)

16. Jobs Pack

Google Jobs Search provides hundreds of results on the left pane and the full job listing on the right. You can narrow your search by location, skill set, or company size.

How to post jobs on Google for Jobs search engine - Full Guide | Workable

Why is it important to Identifying User Intent or keyword intent?

User intent is important to identify in order to create content that is relevant to what the user is looking for.

When a user searches for a certain keyword, they have a specific intent in mind. This could be anything from wanting to learn more about a topic, to looking for a specific product or service.

By understanding user intent, marketers can create content that meets the needs of searchers and improves their chances of ranking high on SERPs.

Do you want to create content that meets search engine users’ needs?

Try out Outranking AI SEO Content Writer and Optimization Tool today.

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Outranking is an AI content writing platform that helps to research, write, and optimize web content. Request a free trial here: https://apps.outranking.io/signup