Google Auto-Complete for Branding

If you are a brand, small or medium sized business (SMB) or high profile individual, you should care about your online reputation management (ORM) in all its varieties. Increasingly this is not just search (SEO), but how we search, with the use of algorithms. Just as in social networks like LinkedIn & Facebook, it’s algorithms that decide what content we see, and the increasingly for anyone that searches on Google or YouTube on a regular basis, it’s the auto-complete suggestions.

So let’s talk about the Google Auto-Complete algorithm (GACA). Auto-Complete is built into Google Search, it uses search predictions with a combination of factors related to the last 10,000 searches, in your geographical location, your own bookmarks, most visited sites from your web history and the behaviour/suggestions of your contacts to predict and reflect trends related to you personally provided that you are logged in or use a GPS enabled browser or mobile device.

So in this sense GACA is smart, real-time, location based with a high degree of Business Intelligence. Type in your brand on Google, and see what related auto-complete suggestions it makes. Professional players in internet reputation management services (IRMS), know how to leverage this to your advantage and manipulate it to boost the associations you want and lessen the ones that are disadvantages to your brand or no longer apply.

Because as you type, GACA predicts and displays search queries based on other users’  search activities, these algorithms are becoming embedded in everything we do online via the contents of web pages indexed by Google. GACA was born in 2004, went live in 2008, so is really just seven years old. Let’s say I type in “coupons”, Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 12.20.49 AM

The popularity of real searches made by people and the region will impact which five “suggestions” GACA gives us when we don’t know exactly what we are looking for. As can be seen from the above image, this search was done in Montreal, Canada. Different languages will also impact different suggestions, obviously. Previously searches from our searching history also can veto GACA’s suggestions.

GACA is fine tuned to pay attention to short-time recent spikes in searches related to the freshness layer. Trending searches tend to feature celebrities, sports figures, news or other popular current events. For brands, GACA’s drop down menu is worth exploring for keywords related to your company’s industry or your brand itself, those of your parents, etc. This kind of mapping can you aid you in you ever have to ask reverse SEO services or experts for help.

Being on top of branding in 2016, means more than just PR, search is the new PR of your real customers, clients, partners and employees. It’s critical to optimize your online reputation and this requires very regular audits, specialized tools and going to experts with reputation management and SEO qualifications. Brands that want to simulate  search results from other countries one needs to change the settings on the country-specific Google cover page. This can provide valuable insights on how you are doing in different markets and what keywords your brand is commonly related to.

Since YouTube was the second biggest search engine in 2014 and has a direction relationship with Google, auto-complete suggestions on YouTube should also be checked. Keywords related to your brand can be linked and boosted. Auto-complete is arguably, even more important on YouTube, as it suggests ten keywords related to a word, and users are more likely to follow specific associations the algorithm provides.

As video content is becoming more important in how brands do content marketing due to the quick increase in mobile search and mobile consumption of videos, boosting your Brand or your brand influencers and paring them to important keywords could be huge in 2016. Understanding the importance of mobile search as related to keywords related to your brand is crucial for inbound marketing to your website, your social media and the content that converts more potential customers.

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