Search engine optimization is like sand at sea. Beside free possibilities one finds also many commercial tools, which are partly very expensive. A very powerful SEO tool that is often underestimated, there is quite in vain: the most useful SEO tool autocomplete function of the search engines, also called suggest. It provides valuable information about the interests of users. And only those who know this can effectively optimize their website.
History of Autocompletes
What began in 2005 as Google Autocomplete is now an integral part of the search: the search suggestions that appear when searching search queries. These suggestions are intended to help users formulate the appropriate search queries. They also save them typing.
The search suggestions are calculated using certain algorithms. How precisely the proposals are made is not disclosed, but it can be assumed that both the frequency and short-term trends influence. The following is the case: The more frequently a phrase is searched, the more likely it is in suggestion. Even a short-term increase in user interest – for example in the case of important events – can lead to appropriate proposals.
Meanwhile the Autocomplete is not an exclusive feature of Google anymore. Other search engines offer similar features, including WEB.DE or GMX. In-page search functions, such as those on blogs or company websites, offer matching autocomplete searches as part of their search. The representation in the search engines differs. Google currently shows only four Autocompletes, at Bing there are eight and at WEB.DE, GMX as well as Yahoo ten. WEB.DE and GMX also provide completions, which also include phrases before the entered characters (so-called floating suggests), while the other vendors only show completions behind the input. The following figure shows the comparison between Google (left) and WEB.DE (right).
Benefits of Autocomplete for SEOs
Earlier, the Google Keyword Tool was a useful tool for researching alternative keyword combinations, but its successor still offers the possibility of exact comparisons. For SEOs and website operators, the various auto-suggests offer a very useful source of knowledge as an alternative, which is available free of charge.
Trademarks and their use: Holders of trademarks can use the Autocomplete to identify the combinations of words used in the search. Are they more positive or critical search phrases? This has a great significance for the perception of the brand. If, for example, the name is often searched for in connection with negative expressions such as “cancel” or “problems”, the screening of these samples alone can have a negative impact on the customer. The trademark owner can counteract the problem and try to increase the prominence of positive concepts by making appropriate adjustments to his website – or even better, to solve the problems that have led to the negative connotations. Frequently searched term combinations can also be used as a basis for existing or newly created landing pages, which are optimized for these terms. The goal is to push possible third-party websites from the front places by their own offers and thus to gain the interpretative authority.
Anyone who manages to position their own brand or their own product at the front in the Auto-Suggests benefits in two ways. First, the additional hit on the search results pages and thus additional clicks, and second, the presence in the search suggestions creates trust in the user. What Google suggests cannot be really bad. This is exactly how advertising works, only the position in the Suggests is free (apart from the effort, which must be operated until one appears there).
Just the quick response of the auto-suggests to trends makes them interesting for SEO purposes. Anyone who recognizes a trend in time as a site operator or SEO and reacts with the creation of suitable content can pick up a part of the search traffic.
Besides the autocompletes of the search engines themselves, there are also tools that aggregate and make the information available. One of the best known tools is overseas. It shows suitable suggestions for each search phrase and for the selected language – sorted alphabetically. The individual proposals can then be further broken down to include the long tail. In addition, a distinction is made by search type – be it the classic web search, the image search or the search for videos or messages.
A similar way is the Long Tail keyword tool. This provides suitable proposals for the chosen language and the desired country, the length of which can be determined. So the Long Tail can be covered very well. Both tools are available free of charge.
Also on Autocomplete builds a new tool, which concentrates mainly on questions, which are asked by the users at search engines. The W-Question Tool displays questions sorted by your keywords and displays them in tabular form.
Conclusion: use existing information
The search engines provide all sorts of information, which can be useful when optimizing your own website or the branding of the brand images – free of charge. After the disappearance of the Google Keyword Tool, the SEOs are dependent on alternatives – Autocomplete certainly counts among the promising candidates.