Google Auto Complete Explained

Google Auto Complete Explained

Mar 1, 2019, 4:06:07 PM Business


When it comes to your online reputation you are going to want to rank on a search engine results page (SERP). By far the most popular search engine is Google. They have been cataloging the internet for the better part of a quarter century. This allows people the ability to type in whatever they want into the search bar, and Google will spit out a list of results it thinks we want to use. However, have you ever noticed when you start typing, a box appears with suggested searches? This is known as Google Autocomplete.  We will be discussing just how it works and the benefit to your company.

How It Works

Autocomplete is accessible almost anywhere you find a Google search box, including the Google homepage, in the Google app for iOS and Android, in the quick search box from within Android, and in the “Omnibox” address bar inside Chrome. Just start typing, and you will see predictions appear. For example, if you type “san f” you will likely see the autocomplete suggest things like “San Francisco weather” or “San Fernando mission” as these are two very common searched results. Autocomplete is particularly useful for those using mobile devices, making it much easier to complete a search on a small screen where typing can be more difficult. For both mobile and desktop users, it’s an enormous time saver all around. How much? Well, on average, it reduces typing time by approximately 25 percent

Cumulatively, it is estimated autocomplete saves over 200 years of typing time per day. Yes, per day!

Predictive, Not Suggestive

It is important to remember that autocomplete is a prediction of what you are searching for. The Google Gods are not trying to recommend what you should be searching for. Autocomplete is considered to help people complete a search they were anticipating doing, not to advocate new types of searches to be completed. These are the best predictions of the query you were expected to continue entering. How do they regulate these estimates? They look at the real searches that happen on Google and show mutual and trending ones pertinent to the characters that are entered and also connected to your location and former searches. The predictions vary in response to fresh characters being entered into the search box. For example, going from “san f” to “san fe” changes the San Francisco-related predictions shown above to vanish, with those involving to San Fernando then appearing at the top of the new list. That sure does make sense. It turns out to be clear from the other letters that someone is not doing a search that would relate to San Francisco, so the predictions get altered to something a little more relevant.


Google is a great tool to gauge your online presence. If you are appearing in autocomplete as well as on the first page of a search engine results page, chances are you are doing all the right things. If you need more help with autocomplete and rankings make sure to contact the experts that have been doing this work for years.

Published by Erika Rhea

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