Classification of User Intent: Action, Information, and Navigation: Do-Know-Go

Sometimes it is helpful to classify user intent for a query in one or more of these three categories:

Action intent - Users want to accomplish a goal or engage in an activity, such as download software, play a game online, send flowers, find entertaining videos, etc. These are Do queries: users want to do something.

Information intent - Users want to find information. These are Know queries: users want to know something.

Navigation intent - Users want to navigate to a website or webpage. These are Go queries: users want to go to a specific page.

An easy way to remember this is Do-Know-Go. Classifying queries this way can help you figure out how to rate a webpage. Important: Many queries fit into more than one type of user intent.

Action Queries: Do

The intent of an action query is to accomplish a goal or engage in an activity on the web. The goal or activity may be to download, to buy, to obtain, to be entertained by, or to interact with a resource that is available on the web. Users want to Do something.


Likely User Intent

[download adobe reader], English (US)

Download software.

[online personality test], English (US)

Take an online personality test.

[what is my bmi?], English (US)

Calculate the BMI (body mass index).

[buy Citizen Kane DVD], English (US)

Purchase this DVD.

[flowers], English (US)

Order flowers online or look at pictures of flowers.

[bubble spinner 2], English (US)

Play Bubble Spinner 2 online or download the game.

Information Queries: Know

An information query seeks information on a topic. Users want to Know something; the goal is to find information.


Likely User Intent

[Switzerland], English (US)

Find travel and tourism information for planning a vacation or holiday, or find information about the Swiss geography, languages, economy, etc.

[cryptology use in WWII], English (US)

Find information about how cryptology was used in World War II.

[how to remove candle wax from carpet], English (US)

Find information on how to remove candle wax from carpet.

[definition of paradox], English (US)

Find a definition of "paradox."

[allergies], English (US)

Find information about allergies.

[big dog breeds], English (US)

Find information about big dog breeds.

Navigation Queries: Go

The intent of a navigation query is to locate a specific webpage. Users have a single webpage or website in mind. This single webpage is called the target of the query. Users want to Go to the target page.
The most helpful page for a navigation query is the navigational target page.


Likely User Intent

[kayak], English (US)

Go to the Kayak homepage.

[youtube], English (US)

Go to the YouTube homepage.

[ebay], Italian (IT)

Go to the Italian eBay homepage.

[best buy store locator], English (US)

Go to the store locator page on the Best Buy website.

[sony customer support], English (US)

Go to the customer support page on the Sony website.

[ camcorders], English (US)

Go to the camcorders page on the Canon website.

Queries with Multiple User Intents (Do-Know-Go)
Many queries have more than one likely user intent. Please use your judgment when trying to decide if one intent is more likely than another intent.


Likely User Intent

[firefox], English (US)

Do and GoMany users may want to download the Firefox browser (Do) from the official Firefox website (Go).

[bmi], English (US)

Do and KnowSome users may want to calculate (Do) their BMI (body mass index). Some users may want to learn what BMI is or how to interpret their BMI number (Know).

[iphone], English (US)

Do, Know, and GoUsers may be looking to purchase an iPhone (Do), find information (Know), or go to the iPhone page on the Apple website (Go).

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