I'm trying to understand the most common queries entered on Google (or Bing or Yahoo!) for a given topic, in the context of a study. This is not exactly SEO, but it's closely related.
In my study, I want to investigate what search engines return regarding (for example) the causes of the war in Iraq, and see what content is being displayed. I don't manage any site on the topic: I am interested in the most popular queries entered on search engines for this topic.
The problem is: as a user, I can enter a variety of queries to investigate that topic, such as:
- iraq war causes
- war in Iraq causes
- causes of the war in iraq
- war iraq democracy
- war iraq oil
- war iraq terrorism
Each query obviously returns different results - although some pages are returned for most queries. Unsurprisingly, it seems that no big search engine like Google or Bing release precise data on popular queries around a topic. So basically I can't assess exactly the most common queries. To solve this issue, I could select a set of arbitrary but reasonable queries for a topic, and analyse the results, but the study would be heavily biased by my choices.
What method would you adopt to select a set of queries that represent well a given topic? I couldn't find any well-established methodology to do this.