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Google’s Suggestion Beta Search – New SEO & Webmaster Wonder Tool or Over Rated Popularity Meter.

With Google’s release of their new Beta Google Suggest site, many SEO’s are jumping on the ... to preach praises about Google Lab’s latest ... However, in a recent article ... b

With Google’s release of their new Beta Google Suggest site,
many SEO’s are jumping on the bandwagon to preach praises
about Google Lab’s latest breakthrough. However, in a recent
article published by Site Pro News by Mike Banks Valentine,
noted SEO of, entitled “A is for Amazon, B is
for Best Buy Google Suggest Feature”, Mr. Valentine would
have us believe that the “results” shown in Google Suggest
are for the number of SEARCHES conducted at Google for a
given search term. I would have to disagree with him given
the research I’ve done behind the ground breaking new tool.
However, before I put the cart before the horse, maybe I
should explain this new “tool” just in case you haven’t
heard of it yet.

Google Suggestion Beta – Salvation for SEO’s &
Webmasters or a Marginal Tool to Gauge Search

Google has finally rolled out a new tool touted as their
latest breakthrough in logical search suggestion. In a
nutshell, this tool follows your typing, letter by letter,
and as you continue to formulate you search query, Google
Suggest opens a drop down box of suggestions based on what
it thinks you might be searching for. As you type each
letter in your query window, Google Suggest continues to
update the list based on the information you type. The Beta
site is located at After reading
Mr. Valentine’s article, I was quick to drop by the Beta
Site to check this new tool out. I thought to myself, “If
this actually reports the number of searches being done at
Google for a particular search term or phrase, then boy is
it going to be easy to evaluate the best search terms to use
when optimizing a page for Google.” I felt like a kid on
Christmas morning running downstairs to see what Santa
brought me.

The Investigation Begins – My Hopes Become Fears.

My first idea was to type web site design into the search
box query area. No sooner than I finished typing “web si”,
up pops the box listing “web site design” as the top
suggested pick, and the results showing “22,600.000
results”. My first thought was “Holy crap, there’s THAT many
searches being done at Google on web site design?” My next
question was “Now I wonder if that is a month, to date since
Google has been in operation, or what?” Soon after
additional thought, my mind began to clear and the horror
struck me. The next question was “What if these are just the
number of matching results in the Google database for the
search term web site design?” My hopes and dreams of a new
tool to demystify Google search popularity began to
disintegrate as my mind started to rationalize the situation
and ponder the question further.

Comparing Suggestion Beta “Results” with Google SERP

I decided to click the top suggestion “web site design” and
see what happened. As I looked at the SERP, the top line
stated “Results 1 - 10 of about 32,700,000 for web site
design. (0.22 seconds)”. At first, my hopes began to soar
again as I pondered the wonderful SEO opportunities.
32,700,000 does not match the results of 22,600,000 reported
in the suggestion tool. There seemed to be hope, but then my
mind started to wonder again. The next question I asked was
“What if the beta tool is using an older database than the
present database used to distribute Google’s main site
results”. The horror sat in again as I sat there pondering
my thoughts and possibilities. Logical reasoning sat in, and
my hopes and dreams were dashed as a ship tossed into a
rocky coast during a hurricane. 22,600,000 results a month
would be an extremely odd amount of searches for the term
web site design even given the number of webmasters and
SEO’s that normally check that search term to see
competition rankings. In addition, given the closeness to
the regular SERP results for the same search term, it just
stands to reason that the results are from an older database
snap shot of the web the lab is using for testing the beta

Further Investigation – My Hopes Continue to

To investigate my thoughts as thoroughly as possible, I
spent some time reading the FAQ located at Nowhere in this FAQ
does it say anything as to what the “results” indicate other
than that the ranking of suggested terms are based on the
popularity of searches done at Google. That does NOT come
right out and say that the number reported for “results’ in
any way indicates the actual number of searches for the
particular search term, but yes, one could infer that
meaning, especially SEO’s and webmasters so desperately
looking for another way to help “properly” optimize their
pages for Google. I can understand this thought process, and
would have fallen prey to it had I not thought about it in a
little more detail, but the facts speak for themselves, and
common sense rules out.

Comparing Google’s Usage of the Term “Results”
Throughout Their Site.

The other proof I offer to substantiate my claims stems from
the context Google uses everywhere else the word “results”
appears on their site. They tend to use that word
EXCLUSIVELY with the results being returned for the number
of matches for a particular search term from their database.
Add to the facts that Google has never been one to openly
give webmasters or SEO’s ANYTHING that can be used to
manipulate their SERPs and it just goes to further prove
that the experts are wrong in the assumption that the
“results” are an indication of the search term’s search
popularity at Google. The way the terms are ranked to
provide the best possible suggestion IS based on search
popularity at Google, but the number has nothing to do with
the actual number of searches conducted. That synched it. I
have no choice but to believe that the article written by
Mr. Valentine is misleading, and that many other SEO’s are
jumping the gun to tout the “new salvation tool” to help us
demystify Google search term popularity, or help us improve
our page optimization. This “tool” isn’t going to give SEO’s
and webmasters anything but a preview of the number of SERP
results they will have to wade through to find their

Taking the Final Plunge – Getting the Information
Straight from the Horse’s Mouth.

Nevertheless, being I’d rather hold on to some shred of hope
that I am wrong, I have taken the liberty to question Google
and am still awaiting their reply. Although the order can
give some insight into search term popularity for the
particular search terms, there is still no way to know just
how much of a difference exists between the first and second
terms suggested. In all reality, there could be thousands
more searches for the first term over the second, or their
could be just a few more for the first over the second, but
either way it really doesn’t give us the useful information
that I’d like to see for SEO work like Overture’s suggestion
tool does. When Google responds to my question, I’ll be more
than happy to try to edit this article or post the results
to the forum. Until then, hopefully I am wrongFeature Articles, but I just
can’t hold out hope that Google would make things that much
easier for SEO’s and webmasters looking for ways to
“optimize” their pages for the Great Google Bot.

Source: Free Articles from


James R. Sanders is the owner of Sanders Consultation Group Plus. He has been a webmaster and web site designer since 1997, and involved in self-employment ventures since 1992. He is presently a contributing author of NewbieHangout, and has been published through WebProNews. You can email him at

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