SEO MythBusters: There Are 2 Types Of Query Intent, Not 3

Author: Gab Goldenberg

I want to put down the long-standing myth that there are three types of queries, namely navigational, informational, and commercial queries. 


Anyone who’s done a class on research methods or quantitative methods knows that in drafting a multiple choice survey, the answers need to be mutually exclusive for valid data.

The above three intents answer the question, “What types of query intent are there?”

But they are anything but mutually exclusive!

Consider these questions on query intent.

  •  Can I type in “The Gap” and be looking for investment information?
  •  Do people pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for stock-pick newsletters and other investment information?
  • Do brand searches generate business?

In an intelligent pivot, Mahalo.com has switched from scraping content and plastering that with adsense, to generating high quality content formatted as apps for the Apple AppStore.

There are two types of query intent: commercial and non-commercial.

Commercial intent includes willingness to become a lead, of course. Non-commercial means you’re obstinately against paying for what you want.

So long as you’re not trying to rank for phrases including the word “free,” you should expect that you can charge for your product, be it tangible like Gap sweaters or intangible info-products like a Stock Research Report on Gap Inc. Another example: My friend Shamir Ozery of Sivenso bought a site ranking for fitness queries and monetized it by selling ab-exercise info.

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