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Old 12-10-2004   #1
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Google Suggest Beta

Google Suggest was released last night at Google Labs. It basically fills in suggestions based on the letters you type. An auto fill, like used in Gmail send to address field. Here is an image from my blog.

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Old 12-10-2004   #2
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I don't get what the point is. Is it in case you don't know what your searching for? It seems kind of annoying, kinda like MS's clippy. I guess if MS is gonna encroach on Google's territory, Google will do the same.
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Old 12-10-2004   #3
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the suggested kws seems to be the competitive or ran after kws.
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Old 12-10-2004   #4
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I think this is huge.

What this does is enable the end user to more accurately target a query, which could have a profound effect on search marketers. For instance on the natural side, if a keyword that you normally optimize for is displayed to the end user as a longer more targetted query, then the chances of optimizing and coming up for the term become easier, as long as your keyword research has been successful and you are targetting ancillary keywords and rank well for them, this puts a lot more importance on effective keyword research though. On the flip side, it could take the end user in a whole different direction than what you might have pulled them in for.

In paid search, an end user might type in a term that you are currently bidding say $4.00 for but with this suggestion tool, they may be enticed to click on a 'suggestion' that might be more targetted and more inexpensive say even $0.05 if the query turns out to be long enough, Google obviously controls this so this will remain to be seen, and gives more reason to building out larger keyword lists, but like I mentioned, this could have a huge effect in the search marketing space.

Last edited by Joseph Morin : 12-10-2004 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 12-10-2004   #5
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I agree, in fact, I think it might be worth testing on the main Google.com page. I would imagine many would like this option.

I personally would.

I can also see it being a bit annoying...
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Old 12-10-2004   #6
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I get the impression that Google is trying to heard cattle from the open range through very narrow gates that leads.... hmmmm hamburgers.

It seems very similar to what Teoma does AFTER the search with their Refine section on the right, but this is refining BEFORE a search is made. I think searchers will *feel* like they are being helped while ultimately they are being pushed through a more one-size-fits-all category.
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Old 12-10-2004   #7
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I expect also that it will affect SEO's and SEM's in their KW choices. And not to the better.

If I'm a consumer and am not sure what I'm looking for. I'll type in my best guess. If a choice pops up, and seems to fit, I'm very likely to choose it.

What does that mean?

The end of the niche KW, for one thing. Perhaps that's overstated, but you now effectively have G choosing KW's for you, which would have the effect of eliminating many of the niche phrases and increase the number of searches using the suggested choices.

This would, I imagine, have the following effects, positive and negative:

1. Increase the competition for the suggested keywords dramatically
2. Increase bidding (and prices) for those keywords
3. Decrease searches for whimscal KW's that are now resolving to smaller websites
4. Increase the traffic to well positioned sites who are showing up well for the suggested KW's
5. Decrease traffic on the "mom and pop" and specialty sites
6. Add significantly to G's bottom line due to fierce bidding
7. Help eliminate low level spam while increasing the probablility for high level, professional spam
8. Lower misspelling optimization
9. Screw websites that focus on areas and locales that use a different spelling than the suggested one. (color vs colour, center vs centre, optimize vs optimise)
10. increase user satisfaction for chronic misspellers

I'm sure there are more, but that's off the top of my head. I admit it's a fun toy, but I think some issues need to be addressed, such as localization of terms, and perhaps even context sensitive suggestions.

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Old 12-10-2004   #8
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I think it's a great idea. I'm sure their will be an on/off options for those that don't like it.
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Old 12-10-2004   #9
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I think that is the problem, people WILL feel like they are being hearded in the best possible direction and never realize that they are being moved away from the good food and into the deep pockets of Google. Certainly this will drive up Google's profits because it will steer more users into the big cost Adwords ads, but ultimately the "targeted" search may be lost.
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Old 12-11-2004   #10
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Google Suggest is very nice. This will be helpful in keyword mining. I would like to know more about where the suggest words come from.
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Old 12-12-2004   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmutch
This will be helpful in keyword mining.
That's what I thought at first, and generally it's good for quick and dirty suggestions on searches you're trying.

Most of the suggestions appear to come from the "More Specific Keywords" in the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, but not exactly. The matches appear to be skewed so that the first word or words match... with modifiiers, eg, added on at the end to make the search more specific, though in the Keyword Tool the modifiers might have been at the beginning.

The phrase order doesn't always match that of the Keyword Tool list, but they're similar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmutch
I would like to know more about where the suggest words come from.
Here and there, I'm seeing phrases that aren't on the list at all, but are there to suggest generic types of searches, leaving it to the searcher to add a word after a preposition... or to alter a word that's an example.

I'm sure that Google is using such suggestions as a research tool and will be comparing herded with unherded searches. It does suggest possibilities of categories of targeting.

I generally don't like auto-complete tools, though they can be handy. It drives me nuts in Quicken, eg, to see an entire line change with each letter I type, and sometimes I have to fight it, but it probably does save me time.

Joseph Morin's and mcanerin's comments are right on.
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Old 12-12-2004   #12
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It actually saves time since you see how many millions of search results you are about to click next through.

Hearding is the word already, pushing people through the keyword phrases they tag as being the most important and also don't forget, the most profitable for thier INVESTORS now.

I think google has sold out. I think google is no longer going in the direction of usefull search tools and moving in the direction of search tools for thier profitability.

All of these suggest type tools push people into very popular and probably high bid adwords advertisers. I'm sure the suggested popular query in many cases will not result in listings the person is actually thinking of.

Google might as well have QUICK SEARCH LINKS on their front page (didnt they use to have this?) to heard people into a catalog of results they can control with their "al gore" rythms.

Good has too many pages now, too much information to realistically manage, and now is resorting to hearding people into a more controlled environment while still bragging that they have BILLIONS of pages to search through.

Im curious out of all the PREFERED terms google is SUGGESTING, take the top 20 results of each category, those are the only USEFUL pages indexed in google. All the rest is a little number on their front page, and means nothing to me, and only to shareholders now.

Google sold out!
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Old 12-12-2004   #13
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I think google has sold out
All public companies on the stock market have "sold out", that is the reason for listing.

I doubt they would do anything the would harm there SERP relevancy. Their relevancy and profit go hand-in-hand.
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Old 12-12-2004   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hawley
All public companies on the stock market have "sold out", that is the reason for listing.

I doubt they would do anything the would harm there SERP relevancy. Their relevancy and profit go hand-in-hand.
Yep.. but look at like this.. Relevancy for there spidered results going down may get more advertising revenue on the ads. So harming their FREE results a bit may increase profit on the paid advertising. If the free results were relevant, users would never click on paid ads.
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Old 12-13-2004   #15
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I don't believe Google are that short-sighted. If relevancy for the organic results drop, their paid advertising will follow. If their relevancy for the organic results incease, their paid advertising will follow.
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Old 12-13-2004   #16
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I agree with Dave.

If G was only interested in maximizing short term gains they would not worry that much about the relevancy and CTR of Adwords.

I've had clients come to me frustrated because they have a lousy CTR but wanted the top position anyway, and were more than happy to pay for it regardless of the cost or logic.

If G wanted to scoop some money up, they would be best served by lowering the relevancy algos on Adwords ads (where the public at large would be slower to notice and the monetary gains greater) than knowingly lowering the relevancy of the natural listings, which would certainly qualify as "evil" and would require only one whistleblower in the ranks to cause a PR firestorm.

If lowering the relevancy and selling more ads worked, we'd all be searching on Looksmart and AltaVista right now - and they would have a TON of money....

My opinion,

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Old 12-13-2004   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcanerin

If G wanted to scoop some money up, they would be best served by lowering the relevancy algos on Adwords ads (where the public at large would be slower to notice and the monetary gains greater) than knowingly lowering the relevancy of the natural listings, which would certainly qualify as "evil" and would require only one whistleblower in the ranks to cause a PR firestorm.

Ian
True True.. in fact, they made a change to the way Adwords works with your keywords recently. Which in all my experiments, screwed up my adwords campaign to the point where I cant even get my ads displayed in any top positions no matter how much I bid, or daily allowance I set.

In fact, their relevancy formula includes the CTR for ranking which seems to make a bit of sense (although this is PAID advertising), until my ads no longer show because searches didnt turn into clicks on my ad. Which means JUST to get some impressions, so I have a CHANCE at a paid click, I practically have to click my own damn ads so google deems it worth to display it! I know I know, they say its to keep the ads relevant to the queries being targeted.. RIGHT!!! I was getting clicks before, now Im not even getting impressions. Somethings not right there.

So here google has gone in a complete cirlce.

1. So now we have 8 billion free indexed pages all of which are being searched for by two or three keyword phrases by the millions or billions of people using it daily... big monster.

2. PAID advertising which is being converted into ranking advertising (almost like their spidered results).. big monster.

3. and NOW we have a cool tool from google so dummy searchers can be pointed in a 'direction' so the massive index google has created (step 1) is made almost useless.

It's like text based BBS, then mice, then browsers, then video, then wireless, now we are all sending text messages using a numeric keypad to each other all day long. Big circle. Bunch of useless stuff in between.

If you have google stock, Id sell it now.
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Old 12-13-2004   #18
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Those are some nice keyword tools. But why even use specialty tools to find unique keyword phrases when google is pushing people in the direction they want using google suggest?

Take this for example, if I was looking for a loan officer in las vegas, off the top of my head I typed in:

las vegas loan officer

I'd think at least ONE listing on the top 10 would include some kind of las vegas loan officer.. but no. We got a top 10 list of big job sites. Google has somehow assumed I'm looking for a loan officer JOB even tho there is no reference to it in there.

JOB hunters are big targets, and big advertising money for google i'd bet.

The whole generalized search phrase idea seems mute. We already have directories. This google suggest tool should simply be a google directory addition to help find the right category, or something actually usefull.

Here is a google quote from thier suggest help:

Quote:
Our algorithms use a wide range of information to predict the queries users are most likely to want to see. For example, Google Suggest uses data about the overall popularity of various searches to help rank the refinements it offers.
In simple words this says it suggests what people are already typing in, just in a more refined way. Refined meaning more general, heard me in a direction, and make the whole idea of google (searching unique data out of billions of indexed documents) mute.
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Old 12-13-2004   #19
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Broker: "Those are some nice keyword tools. But why even use specialty tools to find unique keyword phrases when google is pushing people in the direction they want using google suggest?" Why use specialty tools to find unique keyword phrases? When you want to connect a client with the customers that are looking for their products you want to know what keywords prospective clients are searching for. The is where keyword mining tools come in. You work these tools to make sure you are not missing key phrases or words that are important.

After you get all your words together you check with Overture which ones are being searched the most. You adjust your list to show that and then according to the clients budget you select a ranage and out of the range target the keywords that that will provide you with the highest percent of conversions. And so the story goes.

"Google has somehow assumed I'm looking for a loan officer JOB even tho there is no reference to it in there." I don't think Google has assumed anything. Those sites that you got on the top ten have optimized there sites to come up when the term is searched. You just need to change your search and could start with some thing like "loan officer las vegas -job -jobs".
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Old 12-13-2004   #20
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Yes I know Bob, I was being sarcastic

My point was this. Google suggested I type 'las vegas loan officer' when I started spewing my text in the search form.

Perhaps google suggest should automatically put in all the -jobs when i don't select 'las vegas loan officer jobs' from the list right?

I mean, adding more text would drill DOWN farther and give me a more unique search, so if they have a SET number of phrases that come after the phrase I've already typed in, but didnt pick, why not filter those out from my results.

If they are gonna predict what I want, at least remove the predictions I didnt select from the search results.

My rant.

BTW: see my post on MSN Toolbar Beta suite today.
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