We explain how Google Autocomplete works and how you can use it for content creation, SEO, and keyword search.
Have you seen the meme stating that Google is obviously a girl because it won’t let you finish your sentence without suggesting other ideas? But, of course, this banter doesn’t give justice to the AI algorithm behind Google Autocomplete.
And besides, if Google were a real person, it would be someone who knows everything about us, our favorite restaurants and shops, our guilty pleasure, and other things we might want to keep a secret. And perhaps it would also have a “matter-of-fact” voice somewhat similar to Siri’s.
Table of Contents
How Does Google Autocomplete Work
When you type into the search engine box, its AI algorithm “predicts” possible search queries and shows a dropdown list of related words and phrases.
In a 2018 blog post published by Danny Sullivan, public liaison for Google Search, he said that these predictions are largely based on the trends, popularity, and freshness related to the terms users are typing.
Also, the users’ search history and location have some influence on Google’s predictions.
Meanwhile, the search engine giant first launched Autocomplete in 2004, but it took another four years before making it a default mode on Google.com, mobile apps, maps, and browsers.
The company has made this permanent change after conducting their own studies showing that it can reduce typing by about 25% and save around 200 years of typing time per day.
When used on desktop, Google often shows up to 10 predictions, while on a mobile device, it only shows five because of the smaller screen size.
Before You Use Google Autocomplete for Content Creation
Before you can use predictions for content creation, keyword search, and search engine optimization (SEO), you need to do the following steps:
- Use incognito mode so your search history will not affect the predictions.
- If your location is different from your target audience’s, use a VPN to make sure that the predictions are relevant to them.
- Make sure that your language setting is the same as your target audience’s language. (Note: English, Spanish, and other widely-spoken languages come in different variations, so it is important to specify the location/country.)
How to Use Autocomplete for Content and Keyword Search
Type into the Google search box a keyword that is relevant to your business and target audience. This technique provides several benefits for content creators and digital marketers such as:
You may want to use SEO tools like Google Search Console, SEMRush, and Ahrefs to determine which keywords (or long-tail keywords) may provide you the highest quality traffic to your website.
Simple Hacks for Better Predictions
LOJO Marketing’s SEO experts recommend two simple hacks to help Google make better predictions, which you may use as keywords and content materials.
Use both the singular and plural form of the same keyword
Google’s John Mueller has explained that while they recognize that “singular and plural are often synonyms,” the algorithm recognizes that there might be “a different user intent.”
To demonstrate the difference between a plural and a singular form of the same search query, we typed “restaurants near sac” and “restaurant near sac” and received different predictions that are shown below.
Use the alphabet
Type in your keywords and go through the alphabet to see what predictions Google may come up with. For instance, a real estate company selling mobile homes may want to type “mobile home a,” “mobile home b,” mobile home c,” and so on.
Going through the alphabet is also a great way to come up with fresh content ideas.
Word of Advice About How to Use Google Autocomplete for Content Ideas and Keywords
Google Autocomplete can help you understand the “language” your target market speaks, or to be more exact, their search queries. This allows you to create content that resonates with them, answers their questions or pain points, and provides them real value.
The predictions can also help you create a detailed FAQs page for your website since people nowadays have become accustomed to asking the “all-knowing” being we call Google.