Google Suggest Seo Is…?

Jan 27
google suggest seo is

Google Suggest SEO is...

It came to my attention yesterday from a coworker that I should type into Google the following “SEO is”.  And to my <sarcasm>shock</sarcasm> we got the results you see in the picture to the right.  In case you are unable to see the picture I will list them:

  • SEO is bullshit
  • SEO is dead
  • SEO is a scam
  • SEO is a Joke
  • SEO is useless
  • SEO issues
  • SEO is overrated
  • SEO is bs
  • SEO is snake oil

Like many of you I took offense to this and started to wonder how these are the ones being suggested and where are the coming from.  First according to Google:

If you’re signed in to your Google Account and have Web History enabled, suggestions are drawn from searches you’ve done, searches done by users all over the world, sites in our search index, and ads in our advertising network. If you’re not signed in to your Google Account, no history-based suggestions are displayed.

So they say it comes from my history and the  searches I have done previously.  I can attest that I have not looked for any of those, except in the past with a recent article about ‘”SEO is Dead.”

The next part indicates that they come from searches done all over the world.  Well let see if that statement holds water by checking Google’s Keyword Tool.

If we search for “seo is” we get the following results with global broad match search volume:

  • search engine optimization seo is the: Not Enough Data
  • search engine optimization seo is the process: 46
  • seo is like: 22
  • seo is: 12,100
  • seo is a scam: 46
  • seo is dead: 170

Well there are at least two of the results, ‘seo is a scam’ and ‘seo is dead’.  But what about the rest.  Even looking through the rest of the “additional keywords to consider” we do not find any of the others listed.  The next logical step is to look for the exact terms to see what the tool indicates for estimated volume.  We get the following results for global broad match:

  • SEO is bullshit: 46
  • SEO is dead: 170
  • SEO is a scam: 46
  • SEO is a Joke: Not Enough Data
  • SEO is useless: Not Enough Data
  • SEO issues: 320
  • SEO is overrated: Not Enough Data
  • SEO is bs: Not Enough Data
  • SEO is snake oil: Not Enough Data

Okay so there are a couple more that contain some search traffic, “SEO Issues” and “SEO is Bullshit”.  This still does not complete the list.  Okay maybe these are keywords that are trending up right now so let us take a look at Google Insight Trends.

If we do a search in Google Insights for Search for “seo is” we get the following breakout rising searches

  • why seo
  • seo is dead

Now I am not surprised at all with these results, if we remember there was a lot of recent activity about the “SEO is Dead” topic.  But, once again, we do not see any references for the other keyword suggestions.  To add insult to injury if we do a worldwide search for the term “seo is bullshit” we get “Not enough search volume to show graphs”.  Wow, there just doesn’t seem to be people out there searching for these terms.

Google indicates that they come from ads in their ad network.  Now this one is harder to check, but if I do a search for these keywords, I should see some adds in theory, Right?  Well here are the results of that experiment:

  • SEO is bullshit: No Ads
  • SEO is dead: No Ads
  • SEO is a scam: Ads
  • SEO is a Joke: No Ads
  • SEO is useless: No Ads
  • SEO issues: No Ads
  • SEO is overrated: No Ads
  • SEO is bs: Ads
  • SEO is snake oil: No Ads

The last piece indicates that they come from sites in their index.  Well that is true, there are sites in their index.  We can check that by doing a search for “seo is bullshit“, ~389,00o results, or more precisely “allintitle:seo is bullshit“, ~217 results.  So there are sites in their index with these keywords.  But to counter, a search for “allintitle:seo is easy” has ~3570 results, and has a 36 for Global Monthly Search Volume.  So why is “seo is bullshit” in the suggestion and not “seo is easy.”

So where on earth are these suggestions coming from.  My hunch is they are hand selected.  I can neither confirm nor deny and nor can Google, but it is my story and I am sticking to it.

3 Comments

  1. Feb 9

    This is a great post. I guess we’re no closer to figuring out Suggest. Could this just be from people searching for the term in order to influence Suggest? Maybe their searches don’t show up accurately in the search volume data?

  2. Jun 1

    This is a great post. I guess we’re no closer to figuring out Suggest. Could this just be from people searching for the term in order to influence Suggest? Maybe their searches don’t show up accurately in the search volume data?

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