SEO News You Can Use: Google’s Updated Autocomplete Feature Shows More Predictions |

SEO News You Can Use: Google’s Updated Autocomplete Feature Shows More Predictions

SEO News You Can Use

The autocomplete feature is one of the many ways Google makes life easier for everyone. With prediction capabilities unheard of anywhere else, the feature cuts down typing time by 25 percent.

But Google Search, as we know it, is on a relentless path of improvement. Last week, the search engine giant confirmed to Search Engine Land (SEL) that it has launched the new and improved autocomplete search that includes a second column of predictions. 

The additional predictions show People Also Ask (PAA), People Also Search For and other content related to the user query. PAA used to show up as a search result (after the user has pressed Enter) but is now integrated into the drop-down section (before the user has pressed Enter). 

Visually, the enhanced autocomplete interface will be wider and longer as it gives users more suggestions to work with.

In an observation by SEL’s Barry Schwartz, this is how we can trigger this feature

  • Conduct a search on Google desktop
  • Click back to the search box
  • Watch more predictions appear next to the original suggestions

SEO consultant Brodie Clark was one of the first to try out the feature and share his findings on Twitter. Since November, Google has been testing out the update and seems to have made it available for all desktop users as of early to mid-December.

All of that said, we know that Google autocomplete is a time-saving but imperfect feature. Some predictions can direct users to less-than-reliable content (e.g., unconfirmed rumors following a news event). Users must remember that predictions “aren’t assertions of facts or opinions” and shouldn’t be treated as such. 

Like the old design, the enhanced autocomplete feature has a “Report inappropriate predictions” at the bottom to combat prediction issues and serve accurate, relevant suggestions to searchers.

At a glance, this update may appear small compared to the major storms SEO specialists and marketers have had to weather over the last few weeks (Google Broad Core Update, anyone?). But Schwartz believes the new inclusions in the autocomplete menu could influence click-through rates from the search results page to your website. He says it may directly affect how people use Search and guide them where and how to look for information.

Which, from an SEO perspective, is pretty significant

Given that our lives revolve around Google Search, interface updates, big or small, will impact our results in one major way or another. And it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing the latest autocomplete update take effect.

More SEO News You Can Use

Two Serious Vulnerabilities Found in All In One SEO Plugin: Tech security company Jetpack found two severe vulnerabilities in the WordPress All In One SEO plugin. During an internal audit, the team’s researchers discovered a bug called Private Escalation Attack and a second vulnerability called Structured Query Language (SQL) Injection. If exploited, the first vulnerability allows users with low-level website access to raise their privilege to that of a website administrator, revealing confidential database information including usernames and hashed passwords. According to SEL, the exploitation of these vulnerabilities affects more than three million sites. Jetpack has since addressed the plugin bugs and advises all site owners to install the latest plugin version and have a security plan to safeguard against malicious file scanning and other nefarious site entries. 

Google Search Console properties and Google Analytics 4 Can Now Be Linked: Starting Dec. 15, it’s possible for you to link Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to Google Search Console (GSC) properties. The SEO community has long asked for a GA4 and GSC integration that enables them to directly compare search data and site analytics – and once again, Google answers. This announcement couldn’t have come at a better time, too, when people are waiting to transition from Universal Analytics to GA4. Launching the GSC association now means SEOs will have more time to assess GA4’s capabilities before Universal Analytics goes out of commission.

Expert Shares Tips on Google’s Page Experience: The Core Web Vitals update has brought about concrete changes in the way Google ranks pages. After the search engine tech supposedly completed the rollout in September, the Page Experience update continued to undergo modifications in the following months, leaving many SEOs mystified. According to technical SEO adviser Patrick Stox, these changes include the removal of Safe Browing and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) from the Top Stories. Considering the update’s evolving nature, how does one remain rankable? Stox shares five user-centric concepts in this SEL article to help SEOs optimize for the Core Web Vitals – and hopefully, prepare for what Page Experience has left in store.

Does Keyword Density (Still) Affect Your Ranking?: Once again, the topic of keyword density and its influence on your rankings is brought up. Unlike title or page length, keyword density being a ranking factor is based on fact. Back in the early days of search (we’re talking pre-2011 SEO), sprinkling keywords across the page used to work. We have seen Google algorithms advance from this primitive system over the last decade, but for some reason, the question remains – could it still work? The short answer is no. Mentioning a keyword a few times does help with rankings, but overdoing it, aka keyword stuffing, does more harm than good. So what should content writers do? What they’ve always been advised to do: Instead of forcing seven or eight keywords into a copy, make your content long enough to work those keywords in organically. Read it aloud when you’re done and change anything that doesn’t sound natural.

YouTube To Launch a New Feature Called “Places Mentioned”: Like Google, YouTube is on a continuous journey of rolling out user-centric updates. The new feature, called “Places Mentioned,” is a link format within the video description that makes it easy for viewers to find out about places mentioned in the video. The feature will be available on iOS and Android and visible in videos under the Food and Drinks category. There’s no news yet on when YouTube will release it across the board, but this is great news for food and restaurant marketers. They no longer need to manually add a text link to the video description, thanks to YouTube’s automatic location detection and link creation capabilities. 

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory. 

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