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Google Autocomplete: How It Works and Its Use in SEO

Last updated: Dec 16, 2022

What is Google Autocomplete?

Google Autocomplete is a Google search feature that helps users complete search queries. This automated system can make it easier for users to search without having to write a complete query. The autocomplete feature can be found on the Google homepage, the smartphone app, and the address bar in Chrome.

Every time you do a search, the user will see a list of terms related to the query. Usually, a number of keywords will be visible when you type in the query that is entered in the search box.

In other words, the autocomplete feature can also be said to be a text prediction tool. The goal is to assist the user in conducting a thorough web search in order to find relevant content to the initial search intent

Sources of Google Autocomplete

The predictions displayed via the autocomplete feature reflect real searches via Google. To determine predictive text, Google's system searches for queries that are similar. Some of the things to note in this regard are:

  • Search query language
  • User search history
  • Topics that are currently popular in searches
  • The origin of the search

Besides searching for a list of predictive text that is relevant to the search query, Google also filters out some keywords. If you find an explicit query, you can report it to Google. Some of the characteristics of the terms that are considered not in accordance with Google's provisions are as follows:

  • Text that leads to sexually explicit content
  • Terms that discriminate against certain groups of people
  • Keywords that contain elements of violence
  • Predictions containing harmful activity

The Importance of Google Autocomplete in SEO

After learning what autocomplete is, you should understand how important this feature is in SEO activities. Autocomplete uses data from searches that have been carried out by various users around the world. So it can be concluded that the predicted text can be used as keywords for new content on your website.

In other words, you can do keyword research by paying attention to the list of predictive text displayed in the search box. To do this, you can type a specific, predefined query. After that, look for keywords that are relevant to the niche website via autocomplete.

Issues that May Happen with Google Autocomplete

The autocomplete feature doesn't always work perfectly. There are several predictive texts that are sometimes unexpected. Here, the prediction in question is not a fact or an opinion based on previous searches. This prediction is considered less relevant to the topic of the query.

For example, the user wants to enter the query "time zone" to find information about the time zone. However, the predictive text displayed refers to content about Timezone's children's rides.

Here are some things that Google has done to solve these issues:

Prevent Predictive Text That Doesn't Help Users

The system created by Google can identify predictive text related to violent, sexual, or discriminatory content and can harm the user. This includes content about unconfirmed rumors.

Removing Problematic Predictions

If the predictive text cannot be found by the system automatically, the Google team will delete it immediately. In this case, the specific problematic query and its variations will be the main target for Google's guidelines enforcement team.

Using Google Autocomplete for SEO

To optimize keyword research with autocomplete for SEO activities, you need to apply the following methods:

  • Exit the Google account or use incognito mode so that the predictive text is not affected by the search history in the browser.
  • To find target audiences who are in different locations, use a VPN. The predictive text can show the keywords most relevant to your website's niche.
  • Adjust the language settings in the browser. This can be done to maximize the accuracy of autocomplete based on the market you want to reach.
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