Search query classification

Search query classification Contextual advertising

Wishing to get the necessary information on the Internet, the user enters a certain word or a whole phrase into the search engine line – a search query. The system processes this request and returns a long list of web pages that match it.

Contextual advertising is shown to potential customers in accordance with their search queries. That is why, before launching an advertising campaign, a careful selection of keywords is made. When collecting the semantic core, one should rely on the standard classification of search queries.

In this article, we will consider all the main types of search queries and highlight the phrases that you should pay special attention to when creating contextual advertising.

Types of search queries

Types of search queries

By classifying search queries, an advertiser can:

  1. Create a database of keywords for your campaign;
  2. Improve the relevance of ads according to the needs of the target audience;
  3. Manage the budget depending on the effectiveness of the keywords used;
  4. Work with potential customers at different stages of the sales funnel;
  5. Set relevant promotional offers based on user intent.

Separation of keywords into types is made considering the following criteria:

By frequency

Classification of queries in search engines by frequency

Frequency determines the number of times specific key phrases are entered in a given amount of time. This concept is very relative. It is considered only considering the niche of the business. For example, indicators in the field of sales of cases for mobile phones and in the field of supply of parts for special vehicles will be completely different (in one area, a key phrase with a frequency of 100 requests / month will be low-frequency, and in another, where there are, theoretically, few requests – high-frequency).

In accordance with this criterion, the following types of queries in search engines are distinguished:

  1. High frequency. These keywords usually consist of 1-2 words that have a generalized meaning (for example, laptop, travel, work, repair, etc.). Such requests are the most expensive due to high competition. In contextual advertising, RF phrases are used to a limited extent, as they do not give a clear idea of the current need of the user. A person can enter keywords, either just wanting to study the available information or view thematic photos, or when they are going to make a large purchase or order a service;

Help! High-frequency queries are important for advertising campaigns in Yandex and Google. Here they help to increase the reach of the target audience.

  1. Midrange. This category includes more specific keywords that allow you to determine the direction of the search for users (examples: refrigerator repair price, buy a Samsung TV, etc.). MF queries help to achieve traffic conversion. In contextual advertising, they are used much more often than in Yandex and Google advertising networks;
  2. Low frequencies. These keywords are characterized by maximum specificity, so users rarely use them in search engines, but they are already ready to order right now (examples: buy a round plastic window in Kyiv, a red figured hole punch for scrapbooking, round-the-clock sushi delivery in Zhytomyr, etc.).

Attention! Contextual advertising launched by low-frequency phrases will have a high conversion and click-through rate. In particular, this applies to advertising campaigns for online stores.

  1. Null. This category includes seasonal requests (for example, a carnival costume for the New Year, order tulips by March 8). You should not completely exclude them, so as not to lose potential buyers with the next round of demand.

By competition

Competition increases the complexity of setting up and maintaining contextual advertising for certain keywords. The higher it is, the more expensive the advertising campaign will be.

There are such types of search queries by the level of competition:

  1. Highly competitive. These keywords are considered to be the most effective, therefore they have a rather high cost. Therefore, they cannot be used with a limited advertising budget;
  2. Average competitive. These include the bulk of keywords. These requests are actively used both for website promotion and for contextual advertising;
  3. Low competitive. These keywords are low-priced. However, to achieve the desired effect from the advertisement, they must be used in large quantities.

By value, they can bring to the advertiser

This criterion is used in the classification of search queries, since it is used to evaluate the prospects of keywords for the project as a whole.

The types of search query by value are:

  • Non-commercial. This variety includes informational keywords and phrases aimed at finding instructions for crafts at home (for example, how to make, review, DIY, characteristics, etc.). These queries are used when creating useful content for users. They are not suitable for contextual advertising;
  • Commercial. These are key phrases focused on the purchase of products or ordering a service (for example, order, price, cost, buy, etc.). When used in contextual advertising, the site regularly receives targeted traffic.

By geodependency

Geo-dependence of a request is its binding to the location of users. Based on this factor, the following types of queries in search engines are distinguished:

  • Geo independent. These key phrases do not correlate with specific regions and cities in any way. For example, search results for the query “photos of dawn” will be the same for all Russian-speaking regions;
  • Geo-dependent. These keywords are tied to specific geolocations of the target audience – region, city, district (for example, in the Odessa region, in Kyiv, on Obolon, etc.).
Advice! It is useful to include the location of your business in an advertisement for such queries. For example, if a user is looking for a “beauty salon in Troyeschina”, and your salon is located in this particular area, write about it in the ad text and this will definitely increase the conversion.


Seasonal searches

There are separate types of search queries that are associated with a specific season or date, as well as queries that are relevant at any time:

  • Trending. These are phrases that are in demand among users at a certain time: year, month, etc. Then the request rate decreases. These words are associated with the holding of any events (concerts, exhibitions, etc.). A characteristic marker for these queries is the year included in the query text.
  • Seasonal requests. They are always associated with seasons or holidays. Their demand increases sharply with the onset of the season or a certain holiday date, then sharply decreases. For example, during Black Friday, the traffic of online stores rises sharply. And before the opening of the ski season, requests for skates, skis, etc. are growing. If you prepare in advance to launch an advertising campaign before these dates, you can get a large influx of targeted traffic.
  • Out-of-season. These are phrases that are in demand at any time. Most of the queries to search engines refer specifically to non-seasonal ones. And seasonality is usually easy to determine by the meaning of the query itself.

By the number of words in the query

The classification of search queries by the number of words is no less relevant. In accordance with it, requests are divided into:

  • Single word. Since this is a single word, these queries are characterized by high frequency and competition. But the conversion will be low due to the uncertainty of the wording. For example, a user typing in the query “pipe cleaning” may be looking for both self-cleaning instructions and a related service.
  • Verbose. Consist of several words. The more words in the query, the lower the frequency and competition will be. It is worth noting that more specific queries are more likely to help the advertiser get a conversion, because the client has already decided exactly what he wants to purchase.

By relevance to the user

Another way to organize search queries is to categorize them according to the level of user interest in a given topic. This type of queries in search engines helps to competently and effectively establish the budget management process. So, it is recommended to increase the rates per click for the queries with the highest conversion and reduce them for all the rest.

The following types of search queries are distinguished:

  1. Hot. Usually they include requests that reflect the firm desire of the client to buy the product. They often include words such as: “buy”, “price”, “near me”, “order”, the name of the locality, etc. Such ads allow you to get the highest conversion. For this reason, they should strive to take the top position in the ad block on the search results. This will significantly increase the likelihood of hitting and clicking on the ad.
  2. Warm. Usually, it is customary to refer requests with an average frequency to them. Users are interested in the offer, but are not yet ready to use it. For example, “white sofa”, “bunny toy prices”, “gift for a girl” and requests for the assortment of competitors.
  3. Cold. These are high frequency queries. They consist of product names. Permissible: “HP laptops”, “wristwatches”, “children’s dolls”. To create ads based on these queries, you need to choose the right “negative keywords” to avoid irrelevant impressions. Therefore, you should not overestimate the rate per click on them and fight for advanced positions in the search results. This will still not increase the conversion. Placement of ads on them is necessary in order to increase the reach of the audience and collect an audience for remarketing. At the same time, in the text of the ad, specify in detail the conditions for the purchase of goods and delivery to filter out non-target users.

Main types of queries in search engines

Main types of search queries

Depending on the user’s intentions, search queries are divided into:

  1. General. These are high-frequency keywords with an indefinite focus (for example, clothes, dishes, cars, toys, etc.). From them, it is almost impossible to determine what exactly the user wants at the moment. In the issuance of such queries, both informational and commercial web pages are displayed. These keywords have a low conversion, so they are not used for site optimization and contextual advertising;
  2. Multimedia. These queries are used to search the network for various media files – text documents, video and audio recordings, photos (for example, a Nirvana clip, desktop wallpapers, videos with puppies, etc.). When launching an advertising campaign, such keywords are added to the list of negative keywords. This allows you to avoid inappropriate traffic;
  3. Navigational. People resort to these keywords when searching for other sites (for example, Facebook, my VKontakte page, Eldorado store, etc.). Vital queries are a kind of navigation queries, containing only the brand name without explanatory words (for example, Huawei, Balmain, Jacuzzi, etc.);
  4. Informational. These queries are the most common on the Internet. Usually they are questions with the words “what to do”, “how”, “what for”, “why” (for example, why does a giraffe need a long neck, what to do if the laptop starts to turn itself off, etc.);
  5. Transactional. Users enter these keywords when they want to make a target transaction. These phrases include the words “download”, “buy”, “order” (for example, buy a smartphone, order an apartment cleaning, download the Anti-plagiarism program, etc.).
Сергей Шевченко
Rate author
Add a comment

Sergey Shevchenko Google Logist GoogleLogist
Google Ads 90 Days Package, will help make your advertising campaign not only profitable, but also increase sales from it