The mechanism behind the display of search suggestions on Google | What are the 5 influencing factors?



  • “I wonder how Google’s search suggestions are displayed…”

    Do you have such a question?

    Nowadays, searching on Google has become common to the point where the phrase “to Google” is widely used.

    When you have something you want to know, wouldn’t you use Google (or another search engine) to look it up?

    At that time, you’ve probably used the “search suggestions” that are displayed in conjunction with the words you entered.

    It’s very convenient because it saves you the trouble of typing.

    This time, we focused on explaining the mechanism of such “search suggestions.”

    Topics in this article

    • Mechanism of search suggestions on Google
    • Impact of search suggestions on business
    • Can search suggestions be manipulated?
    • Tools for bulk retrieval of search suggestion keywords
    • Methods to prevent personal data from being reflected in search suggestions
    • Effective use of search suggestion keywords for SEO

    “I want to know how search suggestions are determined!”

    “I’m concerned about/ want to do something about the suggested keywords that come up with our company name…”

    If you are one of those people, please read this article.

    Mechanism of Search Suggestions on Google

    When searching on Google, if you enter a word in the search box, suggested keywords will be displayed as shown in the image.

    This is officially called the “Autocomplete” feature (generally referred to as “Suggest”).

    Google provides this feature to allow users to reach the desired search results more quickly and easily.

    The displayed keywords are generated by Google’s automatic system.
    Reference: Google Search Help – How Autocomplete predictions work on Google

    At that time, Google mainly refers to the following five sources:

    5 elements influencing search suggestions

    • Keywords actually searched (search volume)
    • Trends
    • User’s language
    • User’s location information
    • User’s personal search history

    Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

    Element 1.Keywords actually searched (search volume)

    Google prioritizes displaying keywords that are frequently searched by users (popular) as search suggestions.

    In other words, the more people search for a certain keyword, the higher the likelihood that the keyword will appear in search suggestions.

    This is because Google aims to be a search engine that is convenient for users.

    By displaying keywords that many people are interested in as suggestions, the number of users who can search with just one click also increases.

    The following four items to be introduced later are also considered in determining search suggestions, but it is important to remember that the base is “keywords generally searched for.”

    Element 2.Trends

    Search suggestions also reflect current trends.

    It takes into account temporary increases in search volume for issues and events that are currently attracting user interest and becoming topics.

    Google also states the following:

    If the automated system detects an increase in interest in a topic, it may show trend predictions, even if it is not usually the most common among all the predictions we know related to it.

    Reference: How Google Autocomplete predictions work

    The optimal keywords are displayed at the time of the search.

    Element 3.User’s language

    It may be obvious, but the user’s language is also one of the factors determining search suggestions.

    The search suggestions differ depending on whether the language setting is “English” or “Japanese.”

    Not only does the language of the displayed keywords change, but so does their content.

    Element 4.User’s location information

    Depending on where the search is performed, the suggestions may change.

    This is because the information users need varies depending on the location of the search.

    Especially for keywords related to searching for physical stores, the user’s location information is taken into account.

    Element 5.User’s personal search history

    Google also considers the search keywords that users have used in the past.

    If there are keywords that users frequently search for, they are displayed in search suggestions for faster searching.

    Based on the trend of individual search history and visited pages, search suggestions are also “personalized.”

    Keywords that the user has recently searched for are prioritized for display.


    In this way, Google’s search suggestions are comprehensively predicted from five elements.

    In the next chapter, we have summarized the impact of search suggestions on business.

    Web administrators and business owners should definitely read it.

    Impact of Search Suggestions on Business

    Search suggestions have a significant impact on “brand image.”

    Depending on the content of the displayed suggestions, it can be either positive or negative for businesses.

    For instance, if the suggested keywords displayed along with the company name are consistently negative (undesirable for the company), how would that affect the business?

    • “◯◯ (company name) fraud”
    • “◯◯ (company name) ineffective”
    • “◯◯ (company name) problematic”

    This can create a negative impression not only for customers but also for general search users.

    Even if there are no facts related to those keywords, when more users search for them, they get reflected in the search suggestions, making it a tricky situation.

    Note that the phenomenon of negative words appearing in search suggestions is referred to as “Suggest pollution.”

    On the other hand, search suggestions can also contribute to branding.

    • “Advertising agency ◯◯ (company name)”
    • “Refrigerator ◯◯ (company name)”
    • “French restaurant ◯◯ (company name)”

    When keywords related to services or products along with the company name appear in suggestions, users recognize the company as an authoritative figure in that field.

    Moreover, clicking on search suggestions can increase the number of users who actually perform the search.

    In this way, search suggestions directly impact the corporate image.

    After reading this, many may wonder, “Can’t search suggestions be manipulated?” The next chapter will provide a detailed explanation.

    Can Search Suggestions Be Manipulated?

    Unfortunately, manipulating Google’s search suggestions is not possible.

    As mentioned earlier, the keywords displayed in search suggestions are based on “actual user searches,” generated by Google’s automatic system.

    However, when negative search suggestions related to your company are displayed, leaving them unattended can lead to significant damage.

    Here, we introduce two methods to address Suggest pollution (negative search suggestions).

    Methods to Address Suggest Pollution

    • Method 1: Report to and Request Removal from Google
    • Method 2: Consult with a Lawyer

    Method 1: Report to and Request Removal from Google

    The first method to address Suggest pollution is to report to Google or request the removal of specific suggestions.

    Google has established Autocomplete policies, and if there are violations such as:

    • Dangerous content
    • Subtle and defamatory language related to named individuals
    • Content containing explicit sexual expressions

    you can report it (there are several other items, so please refer to the Autocomplete policies for details).

    Click on “Report inappropriate predictions” at the bottom of the Autocomplete box to make a report.
    Reference: Manage Google’s Autocomplete predictions – Report inappropriate suggestions

    Additionally, in cases where the suggestions are factually incorrect and causing harm, it is possible to make a legal removal request to Google.

    You can proceed with the removal process through the following form.
    Reference: Legal Help – Remove content from Google

    However, it’s essential to note that reporting or requesting removal from Google doesn’t guarantee immediate action.

    Method 2: Consult with a Lawyer

    If Google doesn’t address the issue, consulting with a lawyer specializing in internet-related matters is one option.

    While it may incur costs, as a legal expert, they will consider the content’s source and approach to search engines.

    There are consulting firms that specialize in handling Suggest pollution, but using them is not highly recommended.

    Legally, negotiations for content or search suggestion removal are only recognized when conducted by a lawyer.

    If Suggest pollution is severe, it is advisable to consult with a lawyer.

    The next chapter will introduce a tool to bulk acquire search suggestions.

    Tool for Bulk Retrieval of Search Suggestions

    When you want to review all displayed search suggestions, there is a tool for bulk retrieval, so let’s make use of it.

    ※ Search suggestions, when displayed, are also called “suggested keywords,” so remember that.

    Keyword Tool

    Keyword Tool

    In Keyword Tool, you can retrieve suggested keywords.

    It extracts keywords from Google, as well as YouTube, Amazon, Instagram, and Twitter.

    The free version allows retrieval of up to 750 keywords, and the paid version provides access to search volume as well.

    In the next chapter, for those who do not want their personal data reflected in search suggestions, we will introduce the solution.

    Preventing Personal Data from Being Reflected in Search Suggestions

    If you do not want personal data such as search history to be reflected in search suggestions, disable personal search results.

    Access the link above and click the button on the top right to turn off personal search results.

    However, be cautious as turning off this feature will not only affect search suggestions but also other personalized information.

    Regarding search suggestions, various settings such as “disable trending searches” and “turn off related searches” are also available.

    For details, please refer to the following official Google page.
    Manage Google’s Autocomplete predictions

    Effective Use of Search Suggestion Keywords for SEO

    Finally, let’s introduce how to effectively use suggested keywords for SEO.

    ※ SEO = Search Engine Optimization. Measures to display your site at the top of search results.
    ※ Suggested keywords = Search suggestions.

    In SEO, to understand the user’s search intent, suggested keywords are utilized in situations such as:

    Scenarios to Use Suggested Keywords in SEO

    • Keyword selection
    • Creating content structure

    In SEO, the most crucial aspect is solving the user’s problems.

    Users won’t visit a page that doesn’t have the information they’re looking for.

    However, predicting the “information users are looking for” can be challenging.

    This is where suggested keywords come in handy.

    Suggested keywords are the actual keywords many users are interested in and searching for.

    In this way, in SEO, suggested keywords are used to understand the user’s search intent.

    【Conclusion】Google’s Search Suggestions Reflect User Searches

    How was it?

    This time, we explained the mechanism of Google’s search suggestions.

    Google predicts and displays search suggestions to improve user convenience.

    The displayed keywords are mainly determined by the following 5 elements:

    5 Elements Influencing Search Suggestions

    • Keywords actually searched
    • Trends
    • User’s language
    • User’s location information
    • User’s personal search history

    In general, search suggestions cannot be manipulated.

    However, if there are many negative keywords displayed for your company, consider reporting and requesting removal from Google.