How does the Autocomplete function of Google actually work? The company has now explained some of the background to this. We will show you why you see some Google suggestions – and some you don’t.
When you enter a search term into Google, the search engine makes several suggestions for further reading. This way you should find what you are really looking for more quickly.
But on what basis does Google actually make these suggestions? Why does the company show us some – and some not? Google employee Danny Sullivan has now explained some of the background to this in a blog post.
Autocomplete: How your Google suggestions are created
In principle, Google’s suggestions are based on the user’s previous search behavior. The search engine remembers which terms we have generally searched for in the past.
For example, if many users have searched for “iPhone 12” in the past few days and you enter “iPhone” in the Google search bar, the company will suggest “iPhone 12” next.
So Google draws conclusions from the search behavior of its users for new, suitable suggestions.
The search engine also takes into account where you are. Accordingly, Google will show you suggestions in your language and region. Your search results should be as relevant as possible.
An example: If you are looking for a sports club or restaurant, Google will show you suggestions in your area.
Why you don’t see some Google suggestions
Of course, Google can’t play out all possible suggestions for you – and must therefore limit them. For example, the search engine immediately removes those that contain dangerous, sexual or violent expressions.
In addition, algorithms determine whether or not corresponding search suggestions lead you to reliable content. If there is a high probability that you will end up with unconfirmed rumors, for example, Google will not play them off.
The company also has a team that checks and removes potentially dangerous Google suggestions if they are not automatically detected.
Autocomplete function does not affect the functionality of the search
Sullivan also writes in his blog entry that Google’s suggestions do not affect how well the search works for you in the end.
If you search for a particular phrase and it is not displayed in the suggestions, you will still find it in the search results. But then you will have to enter it completely yourself.
So the rules for the autocomplete function really only apply to the suggestions – not to the search results.