Every year, there is a long list of Google algorithm updates. They make these changes to make it easier for people to use the site.
The suggest feature is one we are all familiar with. Launched by Google in 2008, the autocomplete suggest feature gives us suggested searches.
We all know how it works, we start to type in a query and a drop-down list will appear with suggested search options. It’s been around for so long that we take it for granted.
But how does Google come up with all these suggestions? Why are some of them so funny or strange? Let’s dive right in and learn 9 cool facts about the Google suggest algorithm.
1. There are Hundreds of Changes
Every year, Google makes around 500 Google algorithm updates. Granted, a lot of these changes Google makes are small and often not noticeable.
But there often bigger Google updates which help influence the suggest algorithm in turn. These changes improve the suggested terms provided to us when we search. They help to provide a more accurate user experience.
2. They’re Based on Real Searches
When you think of an algorithm, it sounds like a robotic function done by a computer. But the Google Suggest algorithm isn’t as robotic as you might think.
In fact, the suggested search options are all based on real searches by real people! If a search term has been particularly popular, it will make it a more featured suggestion.
This leads to more realistic search terms which make sense to everyday users. It means that there are less robotic jargon and more relevant suggestions instead.
3. Searches Change Depending on Where You Are
Depending on where you are in the world or which region of the country you’re in, the searches will change. Localized search terms make sure you get relevant results every time.
Let’s give an example. If you were to search for a car repair shop, it wouldn’t be any good if you were to get results for somewhere far away. Instead, when you type in ‘car repair shops’, Google will suggest those in your area.
So depending on which location you’re in, you’ll be getting different results than if you were at home.
4. It Aims to Reduce Spam Results
Google is a company which relies a lot on their sponsors. But as a whole, their main goal is great user experience.
So when you search, the suggest feature aims to reduce spam suggestions from sponsors. If searches often result in paid suggestions by sponsored companies, Google loses credibility.
To keep their users happy and get them to continue using the site, they must reduce spam as much as possible.
5. They’re Personalized For You
Have you ever noticed that your search engine results pages reflect previous searches you’ve made? That’s because the Google personalizes the searches you make!
The web history feature of Google Suggest will show your previous searches. You’ll know it’s a previous search because it will appear purple instead of blue.
If you don’t like a previous search (maybe it was embarrassing, we aren’t judging), don’t worry. You can click remove to banish it forever!
6. Short-Term Events Matter Too
If the only thing Google relied on was the popularity of searches, we’d be getting a lot of outdated results.
When it comes to current events, Google takes these into account too. The short-term popular searches are what’s part of Google’s ‘freshness layer’. This means that when popular events are happening, you’ll get results relating to it.
But this doesn’t last forever, only until the search terms lose their spike in popularity. Otherwise, we’d still be getting results for a lot of old news!
7. Don’t Worry About Spelling
Google knows that you aren’t going to spell each search correctly every single time. It takes into account spelling errors and grammatical mistakes and corrects them.
Whether you’ve spelled everything as one word or missed punctuation, don’t worry. Google can figure out what you were searching for and show the right results.
Although, if you spell something completely wrong, sometimes even Google can’t fix it! If you’re using Google to promote your website, you’ll need to use correct spelling and grammar to boost your SEO.
8. It’s Clever for Image Searches Too
Google has been getting more and more advanced when it comes to photographs. Their recently released Pixel 3 smartphone is only more proof of that.
But when it comes to searches, it’s still smart with images. Image recognition software has made searches for images more accurate. Facial recognition and details in images are getting very impressive. Images can help boost search engine optimization so the better the images, the better SERP results.
Google’s algorithm has gotten clever enough to recognize objects and animals in images. In turn, it can produce accurate results relating to what it sees in the image. Now that’s smart!
9. They Have to Block Some Searches
The Internet isn’t always a great place. Sometimes people make silly, strange and disturbing searches. Google’s Suggest algorithm is careful not to suggest any hateful or explicit searches.
They do try to take a neutral stance as a search engine, but sometimes they need to interfere. They have a narrow set of policies for things that may be pornographic or feature hate speech.
They also remove search terms which may infringe on copyrights. Not all searches have good intent and Google tries their hardest not to help these kinds of results.
Now You Know Everything About the Google Suggest Algorithm
Understanding the Google Suggest algorithm can seem tricky, but it’s not so confusing. Google makes a lot of changes and the Suggest feature is always evolving. This is only one in a long list of Google updates but it’s one of the most important.
These 9 facts are a great way to wrap your head around the algorithm and start to understand it better.
Find this article helpful? Check out our blog for some more great SEO tips and tricks!