This Is What The New Search Query Suggestion Feature From Google Looks Like
Google just launched a new search query suggestion feature that provides users with search queries based on their recent activities. SEO experts and site admins can see the suggestions as a link below the search bar along with the modifying word italicised and bolded, as shown below.
The new search query suggestion feature in Google is based on recent user activities.
The personalised suggestions can be very nuanced as first reported on by Android Police.
How it works. Try searching for “google home” before looking for “noise cancelling headphones”. Google will then suggest a query, which will crucially mixed the two queries with a common thread of the Assistant, depending on your history.
Below is what will the scenario look like:
Query 1: “google home” > Query 2: “noise cancelling headphones” > Google’s suggested search query: “noise cancelling headphones with google assistant”
By clicking the suggestions, you’ll find search results related to your query.
In order to see these search suggestions, users must first log in to their Google accounts. It would seem that the suggestions are not present if you search while logged out or in incognito mode.
Suggestions for various search intents. Below are some examples of search suggestions that are also shown to trigger outside of the e-commerce context.
It seems like the search for “search engine news” earlier greatly influenced the suggestions for “google search engine”.
Meanwhile, when you search for “streaming services” before typing for “disney”, Google will show “Disney streaming”.
Some of these suggestions are more valuable than others. Prior to searching “post office”, try searching for “boston”. You’ll see that instead of suggesting “post office boston” or something related, Google will show “post office restaurant”.
Why we care. These customised search suggestions can aid users in finding what they’re looking for. Sometimes, the users’ behaviour may even be impacted by exposure to choices that they might not have previously considered.
This new suggestion feature is more prominent compare to some other similar features, which have been around for some time. This includes “people also ask” and “related searches” box. This feature also seems to signal that Google either sees it as a better suggestion or is testing user engagement.
As of now, it’s still not clear how Google generates these search query suggestions or if they have tools for it aside from mere search history.
Why Mobile Website Versions Should Be Prioritised?
Recently, John Mueller of Google advised SEO companies and site owners who have both desktop and mobile sites to prioritise the mobile website version.
The topic was one of those covered in a Google Webmaster Central hangout on May 1, 2020.
Question: Focus on Mobile or Desktop for SEO?
One e-commerce site owners asked whether boosting the desktop or mobile version of a site should be their focus.
Since many site owners don’t have the financial resources to update both versions, they want to guarantee they are investing in something that will improve their search rankings.
Speaking from an SEO perspective, which site versions should the owner invest their time and resources in?
Here’s what Mueller has to say.
In regards to ranking, the mobile site version is the sole thing that matters and has bee ever since Google shifted to mobile-first indexing.
In the case of the e-commerce site in question, if it was moved to mobile-first indexing, then Google would no longer crawl the desktop version.
Hence, Mueller said that the mobile version should be prioritised by site owners.
However, this doesn’t mean you should abandon the desktop site since there are still some users who access your website through desktop devices alone.
If you’re selecting between a mobile or desktop site, it’s ideal to switch to a responsive site.
But where you are dealing with budget restrictions, then focusing on updating the mobile version is the best thing to do.
With SEO as your first priority, mobile-first is your go-to action.
Here is Mueller’s full answer:
“So, in general, if we’ve switched the website over to mobile-first indexing, which we’ve switched most websites over to mobile-first indexing now, then we would only be using the mobile version for indexing as a basis for understanding what is on the website…
[We would only be using the mobile version] as a basis for understanding the context between individual URLs of a website, so we would really only be using the mobile version for that.
Especially if you have a different version on desktop and mobile, then we would essentially just be using the mobile version there.
If you’re really in this, I’d say, tough situation, that you need to decide which of your versions is your favourite one to work on more, and if we’ve switched to mobile-first indexing, then I think the mobile version is probably the one you should be focusing on.
However, I wouldn’t say that you can completely delete the desktop version and everything will continue to be okay, because probably you still have a lot of users on desktop as well.
Usually my recommendation for people who are working on their website, and trying to figure out desktop or mobile, is to find a way to move more of the content to a more responsive design so that you just have one version.
If you just have one version to maintain then you don’t have to make that choice, and by fixing the content once then you’re essentially fixing it for all of your users.
So, moving to responsive design would make this a lot easier.
If you absolutely can’t move to a responsive design, and need to pick one or the other, and you really only care about SEO which is kind of tricky in itself, then the mobile version would be the one to focus on”.
Details on this local SEO blog are based from https://searchengineland.com/google-is-suggesting-searches-based-on-users-recent-activity-334309? and https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-if-choosing-between-desktop-or-mobile-site-choose-mobile/366582/. Visit these links to learn more.
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