Ah, Google… they have taken over everything on the web, haven’t they? Once upon a time, they were nothing but a simple Beta engine on a university server, with a unique algorithm and big dreams. Now they dominate the Internet to the point of it being next to impossible to get away from them. Come on, who really uses Bing? Who doesn’t watch YouTube? Who doesn’t have a Gmail account? It isn’t a coincidence that other email platforms have been making message threading an option.
But what they will always be most famous for is their search engine. Every once in awhile they tweak it, adding in a new feature. I still remember my shock and awe when they put in their more advanced Google suggest tool. I have never been given so many unhelpful suggestions in all my life. Yet, I would find myself going to those suggested search pages just out of sheer curiosity. Google kills my productivity.
What I’ve learned doing since then is finding lots of inspiration!
Here are three tricks to using Google’s auto-suggest for content creators!
1. Watch Your Spelling
It sounds stupid, but if you misspell something it can actually really confuse Google. Sure, if it is a common search term you don’t have to worry and it will automatically fix it in results.
But if it is something more obscure, in another language or close to another keyword, you have no way of knowing what you will get. I mean it, go to Google right now and misspell a single letter in a word, even one often used. You will get a whole lot of suggestions, and I bet not a single one will be right.
2. How To… Content Inspiration
How-to pages in every niche are very popular. Any time I need an idea for a trustbait article, this is my first tool to try!
Interestingly, I have also found that ‘how not’ has some bizarre results (think linkbait!). Like “How not to dress like a mom”, and “How not to kill your baby”. Thankfully, this last one appears to be a book title, not something people are often seeking advice about.
Results become even more interesting when you go back to the phrase you just types and add a wildcard inside:
3. More Content Inspiration: Moral Dilemmas
Is it right? Is it wrong? Well, asking this question will get you very different results on Google. “Is it right to kill” is one popular question, alarmingly. But one of the most frequent suggestions for “is it wrong” is “Is it wrong to date my cousin?”
I like to think these two questions were asked by the same unstable person, as are some of the other popular suggestions. Like “Is it right to clone humans” and “Is it wrong to mast”. Which they either didn’t finish, or else I have the wrong idea. I will assume it is the latter, and just inform the search user that, no…it is not wrong to masticate. You have chew your food well before you swallow!
Have a good search trick for Google suggest? Let us know in the comments.