I Suggest We Love Google Suggest

by Ruud Hein August 29th, 2008 

Some news events, such as Iraq’s invasion into Kuwait way back when, have me go “whoaaa!”, awaiting the big media or world response – but it takes a little while, making me doubt my initial reaction.

On the other hand, sometimes items drift through my river of news views that have me shrug my shoulder – and now the whole world is on it, again making me doubt my initial reaction.

Google Suggest is one of those non-events of the latter category, for me.

But for its historical value (“… and on that day Google…” yadah, yadah, yadah) it’s simply one of those things that make me go “hmmmm?”

Been There, Done That

First of all, we’ve been here already, haven’t we?

No, I’m not talking about the Labs edition of Google Suggest; I’m talking about Google Toolbar generating suggestions as you type since 4 beta. That’s since early 2006

Now maybe my whole incoming news system wasn’t setup that well back then (going back 2 ½ years is to the web what the dark ages are to history) but I don’t remember this whole “the world is changing!” reaction.

Or maybe the echo chamber was smaller; this is pre-Facebook open for anyone, pre-Twitter, pre-Sphinn (back in the days when we still walked to work, barefoot, through the snow, even in summer…)

Keyword Research Forced on Searchers

The funny thing is that what seems to hurt is that Google Suggest funnels searchers into 1 of 10 suggestion routes.


We’re all doing keyword research and many of us are or were paying good money to access data on what people actually search for because that is where we want to be too. But whoever provides the number through whatever means, they can’t guarantee people will use and re-use the keywords you went with.

That’s because language is such a big sea of words and phrases and expressions while people’s desire to limit it to actual search queries is non-existent. Instead of typing “toilet cleaning” or “toilet +cleaning” they type things like “how do I clean my toilet”

But now! Oh now we have Google Suggest nicely funneling these people to and through 10 different suggestions. If you’re optimizing for “real estate new york”, start typing and see what your clients will see .. and what many of them will use.

Predictive keyword use – who would have thought?!

There’re Only 10 Positions

Was it Ammon Johns who said that no matter how many results there are, you’re basically always just competing against 10 sites: the ones on the first SERP.

Anything that somehow interferes with that, adds to it, morphs it, is great, I think. It adds an invisible 11th position, so to say.

OneBox results? Great! More chance.

“Did you mean…?” – wonderful, keep it coming!

“Searches related to: …” – woohoo!

Google search suggestions? You know my idea by now, don’t you…

10 suggestions. 10 SERPs to rank in. 10 times the exposure. And they’re not even charging for it!

Sliced bread, I tell you; pure sliced bread.

Images courtesy of Esthr and stefan2904

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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13 Responses to “I Suggest We Love Google Suggest”

  1. Wow! You surprised me with this post. Let us see more such! What an insight, and funny too. Thank you.

  2. I think google suggest will devastate those that thrive on hitting the long tail keywords.

  3. Linda Bustos says:

    I find it curious that of all the blog posts I've read this week about Google Suggest, nobody mentions Yahoo's been doing this for a while.

    Does that mean really nobody uses Yahoo?

  4. Ruud Hein says:

    @Linda I guess that's because of the numbers game where Google holds the majority of searches. Even though comScore reports 20% share for Yahoo, most site owners depend on Google. Safe bet? No but reality none the less.

    I'm partial to Yahoo myself. I like the search engine and have used it as my main search engine since early 2007. Yahoo does things a young Google might have been doing.

    I like the feel of the brand too, more and more :)

  5. chineseguy says:

    Can you manipulated google search suggestion and promote your site?

  6. Very clever thinking, helps us to better understand how to find alternative words. Is this a tool more for the web marketing people or do regular surfers actually use it to surf.

  7. Google is like the father and Yahoo is the determined aspiring son, and MSN, well…

  8. Alex lima says:

    This and the best seo blog of the world.
    Congratulations on the initiative, great texts

  9. VMOptions says:

    I never much liked any form of suggestions, auto complete, etc. If I don't know what I am looking for, I probably should not be looking for it in the first place.

  10. Utah SEO says:

    Google Suggest is definitely going to change the way people search. Interesting to see what happens to the long-tail.

  11. Google Suggest isn't a very useful feature. Most of the time the top results are completely irrelevant. You'd have to be SEO obsessed to try and get into the top 10 of Google Suggest recommended results.

  12. Mr Article says:

    I think it's a great tool for google users. It's not good for competative webmasters though of course, but then again, keyword research tools allow you to do the same thing but alot more advanced… So, it's good regardless.

  13. skyline says:

    Google suggest is a good tool. Sometimes it was useful for me, sometimes not. This is the web 2.0 aspect of it. Anyway, dunno if you guys noticed that the suggest tool is only available on Firefox. On IE I can't see it. Or it is just me ?