Search Engine Query

What Does Search Engine Query Mean?

A search engine query is a request for information that is made using a search engine. Every time a user puts a string of characters in a search engine and presses "Enter", a search engine query is made. The string of characters (often one or more words) act as keywords that the search engine uses to algorithmically match results with the query. These results are displayed on the search engine results page (SERP) in order of significance (according to the algorithm).


Every search engine query adds to the mass of analytical data on the Internet. The more data search engines collect, the more accurate the search results become – and that’s a good thing for Internet users.

Techopedia Explains Search Engine Query

Search engine queries used to be fairly simply, but users have had to become more savvy as the number of sites on the Web has ballooned. For example, to get a definition of the term enterprise software, you can’t just make a search engine query for it. Instead, it is better to go with “enterprise software definition” or, if you have a trusted source in mind, “enterprise software definition Techopedia.” There are many other tricks, such as using quotations within the search bar or specifying where the search engine look by using the “site:” function.

Although most people make search engine queries without a second thought, companies that sell products and services or produce content for the Web pay close attention to the data on popular search engine queries and the global number of specific search engine queries on certain keywords. This data helps them optimize their sites to match the range of queries to the product or service they offer.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.