Can You Learn From Google's Autocomplete

Sep 10, 2012 • 8:56 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

google autocompleteThe BBC released, what seems like an informal study, on Google's autocomplete suggestions across the world.

In short, they published a document that looked at the autocompletes for A-Z for the Google regional search engines in Britain, the US, India, Hong Kong and Nigeria. The results are suppose to shed some light on perception, popularity and so forth in those specific countries. But does it work?

I spoke with this reporter before he published this and I told him, there is a lot that goes into Google's autocomplete. There is also personalization, user preferences, user past search history, obviously geographic location and much more. So despite you seeing specific autocompletes, someone else in the same location may very well get a different autocomplete for the same letter.

That is indeed the case, after looking at WebmasterWorld thread and also comparing some of the responses myself. What I see as being autocompletes in the US are not all the same as the BBC reported.

Either way, what the BBC is doing isn't new. SEOs use it every day for keyword research. But clearly, the mainstream is learning.

Forum discussion at t WebmasterWorld.

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Bill Ross

09/10/2012 03:58 pm

Barry, this is a great technique, and now with sites like it's even easier to utilize the Google Autocomplete. We wrote a post about it last year to shed some light on how businesses can use it. Hope it's helpful.

Brandon Dilbeck

09/10/2012 04:18 pm

I heard a story about similar research last month on NPR's Marketplace. Renee DiResta looked at Google's autocompletions by state. It is quite fun to look through this sort of information.

Webstats Art

09/10/2012 06:58 pm

Autocomplete sucks. Do a search for "Matt Cutts is" and see what I mean. This is just one sad examples but many people have lost popularity due to others paid to search for certain things every day from multiple IP addresses. The whole thing is too easily manipulated and no-one is policing it properly.


09/10/2012 10:05 pm

auto complete ... moves their data closer to their adsense / adwords returns and away from pure organic - sometimes even though I type in what I want they return with what they want, I find it absolutely annoying and often down right in error of what I was intending to type in ... one more area they are moving all things to monetization and away from pure organic


09/11/2012 01:20 pm

Here's a hilarious pick on auto-suggestions

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