Understanding Google and user search intent

To make the right strategic choice and boost your New Content performances !

Welcome to Semji, the platform that allows you to build a 100% winning content strategy! With Semji, you create and optimize online contents in order to generate traffic and business growth. You use recommendations from our massive data analysis, powered by our AI, to build a lasting lead over your competitors and stay up to date with Google's evolutions.

Let's dive into the heart of the matter and talk about practical issues !

Step n°1 / Understand Google

Nowadays, Google's search engine crushes all competition with more than 90% of the market share in France and in the world. The so-called "organic search channel", i.e. Google's natural results, is still by far the one that generates the most traffic.

Google lives with its time advocating continuous improvement. The thing is, each major update from Google forces site editors to adapt. Google's algorithm is updated regularly, creating new indexing rules and causing sometimes the fall of well-ranked websites. To make things easier, Google doesn't share its quality criteria! This way, no one knows the magic formula that leads to the first place.

Hence the need to use appropriate tools, able to analyze search results, competition as well as the semantic environment at a given moment. This is precisely what Semji offers: up-to-date analysis and recommendations.

In recent years, Google has become a real "answer engine". It gets better and better with time at understanding users' intents, i.e. what motivates one's search and the type of result expected. What better way to answer an Internet user than to understand precisely what he is looking for ?

Step n°2 / Understand the concept of User intent

When a user performs a search, Google tries to understand his intention. Does he want to be informed? Entertained? To buy a product? Read reviews / comments ?...

Thanks to the formulation of the query, Google interprets this intention and shows an appropriate and customized result page.

Example: If the user enters the query "lasagna", Google will mostly show easy lasagna recipes. And all this from a single word!

But there are hundreds or even thousands of different lasagna recipes on the web. What makes the top 10 results (those most likely to be clicked on) better than the others for Google?

→ To make it to the first result page, your content must match the user intent as understood by Google.

How to identify user intent?

You want to rank one of your content for a specific keyword, let's say "hiking shoes".

understanding google - Hiking shoes-1

It seems that Google identifies a mostly transactional intent. It thinks there is a strong probability that this Internet user wants to buy hiking shoes. This explains why many specialized e-commerce sites or large e-commerce sites with hiking sections are suggested. Some shopping guides from specialized website also appear in the results showing that there is some space for more informational content.

1. Look at the elements offered by Google to refine the search

Further down the SERP (Search engine result page), Google allows users to refine their search by clicking on related questions. These suggestions are based on search volumes or trends observed among other Internet users.

understanding google - PAA

People Also Ask (PAA) questions reflect an informational intent: Google assumes that most of the users who have searched for "hiking boots" are not experienced hikers. They are looking for advice in choosing the right shoes and wonder whether hiking shoes are necessary. 

understanding google - related searches

In the Related Searches, Google suggests more precise results pages : by target (beginners, men, women), by brand (nike), by material (waterproof)...

2. Figure out which of your content will be the most relevant to the query

This quick analysis shows that for the keyword "hiking shoes", Google favors category pages of specialized website or hiking shoes section of large e-commerce sites. Some shopping guides managed to rank on that page. To reach the Top 10 on this keyword you should either work on your category page or produce a comprehensive and well optimized Shopping guide.


What type of content will Google suggest to answer this query ?

understanding google - quiz

  1. Categories of e-commerce sites of big brands: Nike, Adidas...
  2. Comparative articles on several brands and models of shoes
  3. Opinions and testimonials from top athletes on their favorite equipment
  4. Tutorial / best practices on how not to hurt yourself while running

See the answers at the bottom of the article

How to meet user's intention?

As we have seen, Google identifies a main intention (to buy shoes) and a secondary intention (specific material, comparison...). The best contents are those answering these different intentions as well as possible!

The semantic aspect is of paramount importance in Google indexing: if your content is not part of a purchasing process, and does not address these different themes, it has little chance to rank on "hiking shoes".

That's where Semji Platform comes in, to provide you at a glance with the best writing advice around a given keyword.

Semji analyzes the SERP and collects questions from users, scans competitors' content and the topics they cover. This massive data analysis allows us to provide you with the answers expected by Internet users.

Your turn to play !


Correct answers to the quiz: 2 and 3 are suitable for the intention expressed here.