Verb Focused User Intent In Search

Intent Pointing on a wall

For too long now, the SEO community has settled with broad, business-focused umbrella terms to describe ‘user intent’. InLinks is about to revolutionize this metric. Our Google Suggest data is now organized into verbs.

Verbs are the very essence of intent. They demonstrate linguistically what we want in every scenario imaginable. We cannot communicate online without them, so why on earth have they been omitted from Keyword Research for so long? By clustering user intent this way, we now have the ability to put the real meaning of the query first and optimize content to be exactly what the user wants to read.


Currently, the state-of-the-art technology for SEOs trying to optimize for user intent covers 5 main clusters. Wikipedia defines and examples them as such:

  • Informational Intent: Donald Trump, Who is Maradona?, How to lose weight?
  • Navigational Intent: Facebook login, Wikipedia contribution page
  • Transactional Intent: Latest iPhone, amazon coupons, cheap dell laptop, fence installers
  • Commercial Intent: top headphones, best marketing agency, x protein powder review,
  • Local Search Intent: restaurants near me, nearest gas station

These terms have been used to help SEOs optimize for users’ general online behavioral patterns, giving broad direction on how to write content. Sure, knowing that The Users typing ‘Donald Trump’ are hoping to find ‘informational’ content is undeniably useful when doing keyword research, as it means one can structure articles to be more clickable. But is that really where the research stops?

User Intent Is So Much More

I believe that user intent is so much more than these umbrella terms. We need to categorize the complexities of human desires in a far more granular way if SEOs are to have any chance of capturing the information people are really looking for.

In a digital era where Google knows more about what you’re looking for than you do, we need a way to keep up with intent that is more ingrained into the keyword research stage of SEO.

InLinks is now paving the way for this new mindset of user intent. It has demoted the umbrella terms and is using its multi-award-winning NLP to extract and cluster the verbs attached to each query found in google suggests.

How Does Verb-Oriented User Intent Really Work?

Well, let’s take a sneak peek at InLinks’ new keyword research tool.

Let’s do a little bit of research into ‘search intent’, seems only fitting! I will input this brief into InLinks, wait a few minutes, and eventually be faced with two different tabs.

Firstly, I will see all of the keywords, clustered by topic and ranked by relevance.

In the top right, we see that if we have to define intent the old way, “Informational” content is really only 40% of the story. So we need something much better.

Now, if we switch to the ‘User Intent’ tab we can really drill into how people are searching for these keywords, organized by verbs and labeled with the corresponding topic cluster:

Not only will I find all of the keywords/questions clustered into verbs, I will also be able to see the number of keywords dedicated to each verb.

We see that InLinks finds people are mainly looking at queries related to “finding”, “determining”, “creating”, and “learning” when looking for info on “search intent”. Now THAT’S what I call understanding user intent! It also underpins a new methodology for keyword research.

I have not just successfully found the key phrases that google itself is suggesting people take a look at. InLinks is also giving me exactly what people are hoping to get out of their search. This is the powerful natural language processor taking over. Its insight gives you more relevant and all-encompassing data than you could possibly do by hand.

Language really is our strength as we step into the mysterious semantic web.

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