After that information has been stored from Google search robots, it’s presented in the form of a list or results when users search for a given term: the SERP.
Did you ever come across a client or friend asking for help with removing a negative search result? Well, what is becoming more common is that although you forgot about what your client has done in the past, Google, being ever so helpful, would like to remind you or the rest of the world, that they still might possibly want to see that unpleasant result.
You know when you’re typing in a given term and suddenly Google gives you a dropdown list of search terms to choose from? And, admit it, sometimes the suggested term was so bizarre or scandalous you just had to see what would pop up when you clicked it? Yeah, well it’s all fun and games until it happens to your name, but there have been cases when the UN uses Google autocomplete in a campaign to highlight gender inequality, generating plenty of other articles accusing Google Autocomplete to be sexist.
Now, being the funny guy that I am, I wanted to test it on myself. Example below:
The problem is that I’m not a football player (I wish), and am not brilliant at pool either. But what’s worse, I have no idea who Jack is!
At one time, Google was supplying as many as 10 autocomplete results for any given word searched. They switched to 4 autocomplete results later on, and personally I’ve had a hard time to find any search term that comes up with more than 6 results at a time.
But now we’re back to 10, again. Now, to you it might seem not like a big deal while to others it’s the ruin of their business/career. Exception made for those who are in the business of the ORM, Online Reputation Management, which has increased exponentially in the last two years, thanks also to Google Search Autocomplete.
What this means is that you should have at least another 9 positive or neutral terms ready that you are wanting to be supplied at the end of your name or brand whenever anyone searches for you.
Question: is Google pushing everybody towards too much data? Aren’t we slowly but surely being “kindly” forced to provide more information about our business or ourselves, so that Google (and marketers) can target us better, hence generating more business (and revenue)?
Here a scary selection of Google autocomplete results for those who are curious.