Marketing 2 min read

Google Explains How its Autocomplete Predictions Work

Google Explains How its Autocomplete Predictions Work

In a recent blog post, Google's Danny Sullivan has explained how the search engine giant generates its autocomplete predictions.

We’ve all come across Google‘s autocomplete predictions while using the search engine.

It’s those suggestions that appear as soon as you type your query into the search bar. Google added the autocomplete feature to its search engine to enable the timely delivery of information to users.

In a previous explainer post, the search giant focused on how autocomplete works. The latest post, however, explores how Google generates predictions.

Public Liason for Search at Google, Danny Sullivan wrote:

“In this post, we’ll explore how Autocomplete’s predictions are automatically generated based on real searches and how this feature helps you finish typing the query you already had in mind.”

Let’s begin with a simple question.

Where do Autocomplete Predictions Come From?

Google automatically generates the autocomplete predictions based on real queries that users typed in the search box. As a result, the search engine considers four essential factors when surfacing predictions.

These include:

  • Trending queries
  • Searcher’s language
  • Searcher’s location
  • Freshness

Although Google considers trending queries first, it won’t only suggest the most common predictions. The other three factors outlined above also play a role in the outcome.

We also consider things like the language of the searcher or where they are searching from because these make predictions far more relevant,” wrote Sullivan.

With that said, Google handles long-tail queries a little differently.

Since the searches in this category are less common, the search engine is unlikely to predict the whole query. Instead, it’ll focus on predicting parts of the query as the searcher types.

Sullivan also pointed out that Google only prioritizes freshness when there’s a rising interest in a specific topic. Otherwise, the autocomplete would prioritize the other three factors.

When Autocomplete Doesn’t Provide Predictions

Google has measures to prevent its search engine from providing some types of predictions.

For example, autocomplete won’t provide suggestions for specific terms and phrases. These include languages it considers violent, hateful, sexually explicit, disparaging, or dangerous.

Searchers are unlikely to see suggestions if Google suspects that such prediction can surface unreliable content. It also won’t work for queries where the predictions can be interpreted as confirmation of unconfirmed rumors.

Finally, Sullivan encouraged users to search for whatever they want on the search engine. Although Google may prevent the autocomplete prediction, it won’t prevent search results from appearing.

Read More: Google Adds Call History Feature to Google My Business

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