Use Google AutoComplete as an SEO tool


The author’s views are entirely his or hers (except for the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect Moza’s views.

Google AutoComplete (often called Google Suggest) was one of the first Google search engines to appear on the SEO radar.

Many years ago, Google Suggest was what propelled it Google Instant results, which has a strong impact on user search. SEOs use it as a free keyword research tool.

However, this search feature is much more, especially after all the updates introduced by Google that have turned Google AutoComplete into its own smart and predictive platform.

What is Google AutoComplete?

Google AutoComplete allows users to easily complete their query by suggesting possible extensions to what they are currently typing:

Google’s suggestions are dynamic – they change as soon as you enter a query. Google tries to predict what the user intends to enter. These predictions are likely to influence search behavior, as people can instinctively choose a proposal they never intended to enter. In other words, Google’s self-completion should be a priority for SEO.

However, there is another factor that makes this feature very important for any digital marketing strategy: by default, it provides suggestions in the address bars of at least the three most popular browsers: Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari.

Here’s a Chrome address bar that suggests (and automatically completes) search terms as you type.

Now imagine that your domain is and that this is your customer trying to enter your domain name.

This means that in many cases, users will be prompted to search, even if they did not intend to, and will search for terms suggested by Google.

How do Google’s autocomplete predictions work?

Google’s autocomplete predictions rely on popular actual user search patterns, which is what Google searchers typically enter next. In other words, Google’s suggestions reflect the most common search queries.

Additional factors that affect Google forecasts so:

  • Seeker location

  • User’s past searches

  • Currently popular search queries. For example, many of these suggestions seem to be the result of trend searches:

You can disable your past search history by not interfering with your Google predictions by disabling customization here. This will give you a better insight into the search habits of your target users.

Use Google AutoComplete to explore keywords

Keyword research is how exactly SEOs used Google Suggest very long – with much success.

Google AutoComplete is perfect for discovering more specific and relevant phrases that searchers use to solve problems or answer questions, as it expands your search query as you type. If your query is in high demand, Google will continue to expand it – just continue with the space at the end of each query:

All of these suggestions provide content ideas by narrowing your initial expression to more specific angles.

While you can do this with the search box itself, you can also use tools like Keyword search suggestion to make it easier and faster, as each of your chosen terms expands deeper to the third level:

There are a few of them too plug-ins which brings these templates straight to the WordPress post editor.

Use Google AutoComplete to explore questions

Research questions is useful on many levels, from content ideas to identifying challenges your customers may face with your product or service.

Google AutoComplete is one of the most powerful sources of niche issues that your target users routinely enter to resolve related issues. To find these questions, simply enter question words (why, how, where, etc.) before the search term in the Google search box:

To avoid doing this by hand, you can use Answer the publicusing this trick to create a thought plan based on your keyword:

There are several ways to implement these issues into your content optimization strategy:

Narato is a handy platform for content creation and collaboration that allows you to import these questions and integrate them into the content summary and the content itself:

Narrato helps you gather a lot of data around each content project and helps you create better optimized guides, lead magnets, or commercial landing pages.

Use Google AutoComplete to explore related concept entities

Keyword expansion has been a way we’ve been using Google AutoComplete for years, but the tool is evolving and nowadays gives you an even better insight into how people search and what Google thinks is important to your target topic (and shopping path).

Traditionally, Google would generate search predictions before performing a search. Google will help you today perfect search query by suggesting alternative terms po do a search.

To create these templates, simply move the cursor back to the Google search box when it loads the search results. These are called “search enhancements”:

A key advantage of this exercise is that you can discover related concepts and entities that you may want to incorporate into your optimization strategy.

For example, if you search [why is google maps slow] and place your cursor anywhere within your search query, Google AutoComplete will try to help you identify a suggestion issue [delay time] instead [slow] and make sure you really mean it [maps] and no [google earth slow].

There is no insight into how Google generates search enhancements, but they most likely rely on user searches (i.e., the same person who enters these queries in a single session).

SE Ranking Uses search enhancements to identify the related keywords you want to include in your SEO strategy:

Local search autocomplete enhancements

Search improvements have many consequences. For example, if you’re a local business, use autocomplete to discover related sites that people in your area may be using to find similar businesses. These are all your target keywords:

In that case, a plumber in Halfmoon, NY will know they need to have sites targeting Clifton Park, Ballston Spa and Glenville. They will also find a distinct local competitor to look out for.

Interestingly, Google knows how far entities related to your location should be. In the case of plumbers, Google would suggest locations 10-30 minutes away. However, if you are looking for something like “playgrounds” in the same city, the suggested places will be only a five-minute drive away:

Use Google AutoComplete for an organic reputation management strategy

Search by brand is when a search query contains the name of your brand or product.

Your potential customers use your brand-based search as they try to determine if your business is worth dealing with or if your product is what they need.

Obviously, finding a brand is an essential part of your sales flow and you can’t fully control it.

Google AutoComplete makes branding even more complex and less controlled:

  • Google may prompt your customers to search for your name when trying to actually enter your domain and access your site. In this case, Google AutoComplete can distract your actual customers and distract them from your site, so you need to make sure that branded search results bring them back to your site.

  • Google AutoComplete can give your customers “ideas” about what they need to do before they buy from you (and finally encourage them to change their minds).

For these two reasons, branded self-completion results should be a priority for your business:

  • Explore and expand these with tools like Keyword search suggestion, Public Responsein SE Ranking (all mentioned above).

  • Track your rankings for all of these search queries (of course, you want your pages to rank first to get those searchers back to your site right away).

  • Ensure that your brand is recognized in more than organic ads. Google’s SERPs are visual and interactive, which means many people may never click on these organic results. These searchers need to continue to see your brand following these SERPs to finally convince them to go to your site:

Trademark SERPs often include image and video carousels, People Ask fields, tweets from the brand’s official account, and more. A well-organized reputation management strategy should focus on all of these search sections and elements.

Set for your company’s branded keywords Visual ping, a change tracking platform that will alert you when your branded SERPs add or remove anything. You’ll also be notified of any changes to the data pane, new results, new images or videos that have been removed to branded carousels, changes to local package three, etc .:

Use Google AutoComplete to identify and explore subjects

Google AutoComplete is evolving along with Google Search. Because Google integrates entities (e.g., organizations, books, places, celebrities, movies, shows, etc.) into its algorithm, so does self-completion.

When Google considers something to be an entity, the AutoComplete drop-down menu will include its logo and the category with which Google associates that entity. Local entities will also include their location:

It is a good idea to check the autocomplete results for the selected name before registering a domain. Namify makes it easy because you can add domains to the list and check them all before you decide:

It is a good idea to avoid brands that are already defined as entities in the same or adjacent category.

For newly launched projects and products, you can use Google AutoComplete to determine if Google still considers you an entity:


Autocomplete is a great (and free) keyword research tool, but it’s also a powerful factor that can affect your target customers ’travels in their most popular browsers. That’s why it’s important to keep track of Google autocomplete suggestions for your important search queries, including your brand-based queries.


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