How Autocomplete predictions work in Google – Week 41 in SEO

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The only important news during Oct 5-11, 2020 was that Google shared via Danny Sullivan, Public Liaison for Search a list of valuable insights on how Autocomplete predictions are generated in Google Search.

How predictions are listed in Autocomplete

First of all, Autocomplete predictions are filled with similar queries for what the online user is searching. If the user searched “best airline”, Google will suggest similar queries to this one, such as:

  • best airlines in the world
  • best airlines
  • best airline credit card
  • best airlines to fly
  • best airlines in the world 2020
  • best airline stock to buy
  • best airlines in India
  • best airline to fly during covid
  • best airlines during covid
  • best airline stocks to buy now

google autocomplete predictions

How are Autocomplete predictions created?

First of all, Google says that all Autocomplete predictions are based on real user searches, so they’re not manufactured by algorithms or AI. It’s in Google’s interest to be relevant to its users, so sharing what other people are searching for makes total sense rather than creating new queries.

Why Autocomplete predictions may vary

As some of you may have mentioned, using a browser in a different language or from a different location shows different Autocomplete predictions.

Let’s see an example for the same query in Safari browser, using a Romanian IP and an American IP, searching for  “bmw price”:

Romanian search Autocomplete suggestions:

google autocomplete predictions bmw price romania

American search Autocomplete suggestions:

google autocomplete predictions bmw price usa

As you may see above, the results are quite different, showing that Google tries to approximate what the user needs. The closes territory for Romanians searching in English “bmw price” is the UK, which makes geographical sense, as the UK is closer to Romania than the US.

Predicting portions of a search

Sometimes, Google has enough queries to perform on the go predictions, suggesting Autocomplete items for the last part of the search string.

The easiest to test it is to search something specific, like “the actor that plays for” and google will suggest:

  • for black panther
  • for pennywise
  • for harry potter
  • for joker
  • for thor
  • for mandalorian
  • for spiderman
  • for aquaman
  • for anakin skywalker
  • for thanos

autcomplete the actor that plays for

Rich Autocomplete predictions

More and more, as Google will gather featured images for each URL or topic, these results will catch our eyes and the respective queries will stand out. Pay attention to Rich Autocomplete predictions.

rich autocomplete predictions how to

Autocomplete policies. How to report inappropriate predictions

As you have seen in the images above, below the list of predictions it’s a link that says “Report inappropriate predictions”.

All these rules have been listed by Google in their “Autocomplete policies”, which includes:

  • Violent or gory predictions
  • Sexually explicit, vulgar, or profane predictions
  • Hateful predictions against groups
  • Sensitive and disparaging terms associated with named individuals
  • Dangerous predictions