Some searchers may refine their search query if they deemed the results as being irrelevant. Some search engines may aim to promote certain verticals or suggest other search queries if they deem other search queries or vertical databases as being relevant to the goals of the searcher.

Query refinement is both a manual and an automated process. If searchers do not find their search results as being relevant they may search again. Search engines may also automatically refine queries using the following techniques:

  • Google OneBox: promotes a vertical search database near the top of the search result. For example, if image search is relevant to your search query images may be placed near the top of the search results.
  • Spell Correction: offers a did you mean link with the correct spelling near the top of the results.
  • Inline Suggest: offers related search results in the search results. Some engines also suggest a variety of related search queries.

Some search toolbars also aim to help searchers auto complete their search queries by offering a list of most popular queries which match the starting letters that a searcher enters into the search box.

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