Most of us are familiar with Google Autocomplete, where you type a query into Google’s search bar, and suggested words and phrases appear to finish it off for you. Google guesses what you’re searching for and makes suggestions as you type, but do you know the purpose of this tool? How could you use it for your business website?
What is Autocomplete and Why Is It There?
The words and phrases that you see when you start to type in your search query are part of the autocomplete feature by Google. They can sometimes make searching for a certain query easier, but on the other hand, have often been the subject of a new article or funny meme because of some of the ridiculous suggestions that have come up in the past. However, whichever way you look at them, these phrases have been a tool that SEO professionals have used for quite a long time.
The Autocomplete feature is powered by RankBrain, the main component in Google’s machine learning search algorithm. It uses deep learning to ensure that users get the best results. Autocomplete uses historical data acquired by RankBrain to read search patterns and signals to sort search results and page rankings to provide user query predictions.
The goal of autocomplete is Google’s way of helping you find exactly what you’re looking for. The words and phrases are based on the frequency of searches for those keyword chains. Google will also consider the time at which the keywords are searched, your personal search history, and your geographic location, all of which will play a part in determining which phrases are suggested to you.
How to Use Autocomplete in Marketing:
Reputation is the single biggest issue that a company can experience with Google’s autocomplete feature. If there are lots of negative searches performed for a certain brand, these will then show up in the suggestions. So, how can you use Google Autocomplete to help your business?
Autocomplete is a feature that’s available for both mobile and desktop searches, allowing you to perform research using both. Researching both is more important than you might realize since users tend to search for different things when using their smartphones compared to when they are using a work laptop, for example. It’s important to conduct mobile research in particular since mobile searches have now long surpassed desktop searches in terms of volume.
Factors Influencing Autocomplete:
Autocomplete predictions are based on a range of factors. According to Google, they look at the real searches that are made on Google and show any common and trending suggestions that are relevant to the characters entered so far, while taking the user’s previous searches and location into account.
Any searches performed on Google will be influenced by your location and language settings, so it’s not uncommon to find different suggestions in two different cities. Your own search history will also have an impact; Google’s algorithms are continuously learning about your browsing habits so that it can provide personalized search suggestions based on your historical search data. Any results that you see in Google Autocomplete will take keyword suggestions from your past searches and be personalized for you. The first two suggestions will come from your own search data, followed by others that are ranked based on relevancy and popularity.
While relevant results are typically often prioritized over high-volume, popular keywords, trending topics do tend to play a big role in prediction rankings. Wherever a certain query shows a sudden increase in a short period of time, it will be shown in Autocomplete.
What Can You Use Autocomplete For in Terms of SEO?
While Autocomplete was primarily designed to help reduce time when conducting searches through predictions, it can be incredibly useful to marketers for a range of different tasks. Autocomplete can be used to source keyword suggestions and content ideas, help your company get a better idea of what users intend to achieve when searching for certain keywords, and support other data-driven tasks. Some of the best ways to get the most out of Google Autocomplete include:
1. Intent Exploration:
You can use autocomplete to get a better understanding of what searchers intend to do or find when they make a search for a certain keyword. Web pages tend to perform at their best when they either meet or exceed the intent of a user’s search query and autocomplete can help you get a better understanding of the intent of certain long-tail keywords. Also, it will also give you a clearer picture of the content that is being produced around each stage of intent. Look at some of the first websites that show up when conducting research, as this allows you to figure out the kind of content that’s already available, so you can produce better.
2. Keyword Research:
If you know anything about SEO, you’re might be already aware that Google Autocomplete can be an ideal tool for keyword research. Keyword research should be the foundation of any good SEO strategy and is still a crucial part of search marketing in any industry. While keyword targeting may no longer be what it used to be, it’s still impossible to do good SEO without it. Although autocomplete won’t do it all, it’s a great place to start with your research, particularly when developing content. This is because it gives you a chance to see for yourself what the most popular search queries are, made by real people.
3. Managing Your Reputation:
If a negative incident occurs involving your company, you might find that people talk about it online and search for more information on it. Autocomplete can make it easier for you to determine what people are searching for in regards to your company, track the content, and figure out what is being said about your company online so that you can take steps to start putting things right. As you may already know, proactive steps after a knock to your company’s reputation can help you recover the situation faster.
Autocomplete might be helpful for searching Google with minimal typing, but it can also be an extremely useful SEO tool for online marketers.