Google recently brought its Suggest feature out of Labs and onto the main .com search page.

Google Suggest has not yet been introduced on, but it's likely that it will be if the feature works in the US, and it could have a few implications for search marketers.

Unlike the search suggestions you get when typing terms into your Google Toolbar, Suggest will give you options for keywords and phrases based on the overall popularity of these terms, not your own browsing habits.

Here are a few potential implications of Suggest for search marketers. If you have any other ideas, let us know...

Changes to number of keywords used 

As Google will start to suggest search phrases as soon as you start typing in letters, users may become accustomed to choosing a longer phrase from the list. This could be a short term opportunity to build traffic based on such phrases.

Reputation management

Suggest could make this more difficult now as, even if you have decent results for your main brand name or biggest keyword, related search terms which may not be so positive could still show up.

Martin Bowling points out this problem on his blog, using the example of searches for Barack Obama. While a standard search for 'obama' will return no negative results, Google Suggest brings up phrases such as 'obama antichrist': 

Google suggest results

Fewer long tail searches? 

Google will be providing search suggestions based on the popularity of phrases searched for, so more obscure, long tail terms are far less likely to appear when you start to type.

Reduced misspellings

Google Suggest will now correct most misspellings, so websites that have been using these terms to drive traffic will need to think of another way, which is no bad thing considering the quality of most of these sites.

Increased competition for keywords

This remains to be seen, but the introduction of Suggest could reduce the number of keywords / phrases used by searchers if they tend to go with the search engine's suggestions.

This means that the keywords and phrases that appear in the Suggest box, especially for searches centred around already competitive areas like insurance, will become more desirable.

Related articles: 
Google Chrome: a review
Why you need to know PPC to be great at SEO 

Graham Charlton

Published 11 September, 2008 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

2566 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (7)

Save or Cancel


I'm a little confused.

Will Suggest display keywords and phrases based on:
1. the popularity of these as a search term?
2. the popularity of these terms based on indexed content?

Thanks for any clarification.

almost 10 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at SaleCycle

Hi Vince,

The suggestions are based on the popularity of keywords and phrases entered by Google users.

almost 10 years ago


Matt Blay

This has al moved on some what, Google has now released Google Insight in beta version. Great article here about it!

almost 10 years ago


SEO Hawk

Instead of showing vague data, Google should have displayed other popular keywords.

Yahoo has implemented this feature several months ago, and Yahoo's keyword suggestion feature is better than Google.

Yahoo doesnt display any vague data, but shows actual searches made by users.

over 9 years ago



how we can finde the phrases ?

for exampel : I published a post in my blog tagged as "medical" . I want my blog find the related most searched phrases on google & show them in my blogg side bar automatically .

"medical news"

"medical articles"

please guide me !!!!!

almost 9 years ago



Best places to play, best strategies to win. Player ratings & reviews of top online casinos & pokers with highest payouts & biggest bonuses.

over 8 years ago


Exotic Car Rentals

well it gives you long tail and short term but they don't necessarily match the adwords kw tool so it is a lot of manual work.

over 7 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.