A number of search engine researchers look at queries that searchers type into a search box, and break them down into three kinds of queries based upon the intent of those searchers – navigational, informational, and transactional. Navigational queries have been seen as searches where someone searching intended to find a specific known site.
Imagine instead considering a navigational query to be one where a perfect site exists that is an ideal one for a search engine to show to a searcher in response to that query, regardless of whether they knew about the site or not. A search engine might put that perfect site at the top of search results, and not worry too much about other results shown.
When is a query a navigational query, and when might a site be considered a perfect site for that query?
A recent patent application from Yahoo transforms the meaning of what a navigation query is, and finds a way to automate the process of determining whether a query is navigational, and whether a perfect page does exist for that query.