Google Search (I Do) Suggest

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I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the Google search suggestion feature. Not to be confused with related searches, Google search suggest displays a drop down of popular search queries as you begin typing into the search bar.

The feature has gained a lot of attention for sometimes pulling some very funny suggestions and a quick peek at the related results indicates that not all users are feeling it.

I suppose some users don’t like the Google search suggest feature because it’s kind of annoying and a bit distracting. I do tend to stray from my intended query when an interesting suggestion is displayed. But I’m willing to bet that the average user finds the feature valuable for a number of reasons, namely:

  • Time saver – much quicker than typing it out.
  • More relevant search results – more likely to jump directly to a longer tail search query when it’s displayed, thus getting better results.
  • Spelling – helps get it right the first time.

  • New information – you may find additional information about a product or person simply by the queries displayed (For example, you may have been searching for general info about Brittany Murphy and not have known that Brittany Murphy’s husband died).

As a search marketer however, the Google search suggest feature makes my job easier for keyword research purposes. I would argue that this is one of the best keyword research tools we can get our hands on today. Why?

  • Identify long tail keywords for optimization. Once these have been selected, as appropriate, optimize title tags with the exact match phrase for better rankings and CTR.
  • Learn about the product (or service). Ever have to perform keyword research for a b2b product that you have no idea what it is? This is a good place to get started.
  • Get content ideas. Oftentimes popular queries may be centered around frequently asked questions – consider integrating these into your FAQs or creating dedicated pages or writing new blog posts to address common issues or topics. For example, don’t have nutrition facts listed? You should. Also, may want to add some recipes around a Cheerios snack mix and promote it for link bait.

In addition to keyword research, Google search suggest is also great for online brand management. Find brand name variations, add modifiers (brand name + “is”) to see what people are saying about your brand and identify common issues for specific products and services.

So don’t forget to actively use this feature in your keyword research process. It’s a gold mine for optimization and new content creation that will ultimately result in a better search experience for the prospective visitor and more traffic for the site owner.

Rachel Freeman

Rachel Freeman

Rachel Freeman works for the Jive Software, the pioneer and leading provider of social business solutions. She has expertise in all aspects of search engine marketing and specializes in SEO and paid search for the B2B sector. Freeman has been responsible for the development and execution of countless search and social marketing campaigns over her years in the search marketing industry.
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  • mvandemar

    Rachel (or whoever the editor is), it looks like there are a couple of missing close /em tags in your post. Everything starts being italicized about halfway down, instead of just the bullet points.

  • secretlostguy

    Thanks Rachel, this was great!

  • Alex Wideman

    Thanks for the post Rachel. I have been using the suggestions for long tail optimization but never thought of using it to find what your customers are saying.


    I agree that this feature can be of big help. But sometimes, it just shows up weir suggestions. Sometimes, it's really funny.

  • Donna

    I enjoyed your post Rachel. It prompted me to think that this tool would work well for prompting blog ideas as well.

  • Aloe Fan

    I always thought that Google was pulling related searches from its search statistics?

  • Aloe Fan

    I always thought that Google was pulling related searches from its search statistics?