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Don’t Use Microworkers To Fix Your Google Autocomplete Problem

Microworkers is a crowdsource site that allows you to get tasks completed by workers all over the world. I’ve used it in the past to create search activity (similar to Mechanical Turk) to correct Google Autocomplete campaigns and it used to work beautifully.

But it doesn’t work anymore. In fact, crowdsource sites no longer work to fix problems with negative suggestions in Google.

Failed Autocomplete Campaign Using Microworkers

I know we’re not supposed to “out” other firms, but I want you to understand and see for yourself why Microworkers isn’t working and why YOU NEED TO ASK YOUR REPUTATION MANAGEMENT FIRM HOW THEY INTEND TO FIX YOUR AUTOCOMPLETE PROBLEM.

autocomplete campaigned failed using microworkers

I took the above screenshot April 22, 2016. Notice the negative “scam” appearing #1 and “corporation scam” appearing #6.

There were 500 jobs listed on Microworkers asking for people to search positive terms related to Vector Marketing. (This is typically how we try to push out negatives – by accumulating search activity around positive terms in hopes it will push out the negative suggestions).

I had a feeling it wouldn’t work because crowdsource sites like Microworkers, Mechanical Turk, Crowdflower and others leave an easy footprint Google can track. I believe that any searches made from these sites simply don’t count and this is why Autocomplete campaigns using these sites will fail over and over again.

vector marketing autocomplete campaign update july 2016

The screenshot above was taken July 7, 2016 and after 3 months, you can see that scam is still the #1 suggestion and now a new negative “scam reddit” has appeared #8.

We’ll have to check back in another 3 months, but thus far, the “scam” suggestion continues to hurt Vector Marketing and this campaign is failing. The reason is because whatever ORM firm setup this campaign used Microworkers to list it’s jobs.

I outline the reasons why crowdsource sites like Microworkers do not work in this 6 minute video:

Summary

No one can guarantee results with Google Autocomplete. The algorithm is simply changing too quickly: Google needs to protect the authenticity of the suggestions it provides.

But if you have a negative suggestion that is effecting your business, you need to hire us. We give you the BEST CHANCE to push out unwanted suggestions because we:

  1. Only use real people to perform searches
  2. We do not use crowdsource sites like Microworkers
  3. We do not use bots or proxies to try to simulate search activity
  4. We do everything we can to not leave a footprint Google can track

Our methods are explained here.

Before you hire anyone else to fix your Google, Bing, or Yahoo Autocomplete problem, you need to ask them: How are you creating natural looking search activity?

If they won’t tell you, can’t tell you, or skirt the question, move on. They don’t know what they’re doing.

Call me at 503-890-6663 for a quote.

6 Reasons Why Your Google Autocomplete Campaign Is Not Working

You may have noticed that manipulating Google Autocomplete is a lot harder than it used to be. In the “old days,” all you had to do was load your positive search terms into Mechanical Turk, wait for the algorithm to refresh and voila! You’re negative suggestions were gone and replaced with the new positive ones.

Reputation management firms like mine and others offered 100% guaranteed results and made a nice profit with very little personal time involved.

But all of that changed in July 2014. That’s when Google began tweaking its search suggestion algorithm to keep people like me from changing it so easily.

Over the last year, our case load dropped, along with our certainty of being able to clean up a client’s unwanted suggestions. Instead of a 100% success rate, we were only successful between 50-75% of the time.

In checking with other reputation management firms, they were experiencing the same problems. Some firms stopped offering the service, others referred their clients out, and other firms went to a “content+search activity” model that was a lot more expensive and only marginally more effective.

In the cases we were successful in fixing, I have to be honest: we didn’t always know what it was we were doing that was fixing the case, because we usually didn’t see our suggestions replacing the negative ones. A colleague and I theorized that simply “shaking the tree” was enough to get negative suggestions pushed out – even if the new suggestions weren’t the ones we were creating search activity for.

Success Again

But I recently saw that change.

In July 2015, for the first time in a year, we saw the exact terms we were searching appear as suggestions for our clients. It didn’t take long to discover that the clients who saw these changes were the clients whose keywords were being searched entirely by our private network of real people.

So, for now, at least, that’s the secret sauce.

If you want to change Google Autocomplete suggestions, build a private network of people and have them do the searches for you. Don’t spend a lot of time and money on content – search activity, in my opinion – has always trumped content as the factor which most influences the suggestions we see.

Having already spilled the beans on how to fix autocomplete, here are some reasons why your autocomplete campaign might not be working as you’d hoped.

Reasons (Theories) Why You Can’t Change Google Autocomplete

1) Too much search activity. Back in January of 2014 when Justin Bieber was arrested, within hours, we saw suggestions like mugshot, jail, prison, and arrest after his name in Google autocomplete. Within a week, the negative suggestions were gone as the story died down.

I’ve heard of the same thing happening to reputation management clients. In the haste to create a positive solution, the firm handling the account will spike search activity so high to try to get a quick result. And while they get the result, it doesn’t stick very long.

I feel the principle is the same as in the Justin Bieber case. If you want new keyword suggestions to remain visible over the long haul, you’ve got to ramp up search activity at levels that are reasonable to your keyword.

For most clients, the volume for their negative suggestion is low, <20 searches per month according to Google’s keyword planner. Doing 1,000 searches for a set of new keywords just isn’t going to stick.

2) You’re using overseas workers. Sites like Mechanical Turk and Microworkers let you setup a task and get them done for pennies. It’s cheaper to hire workers in Bangladesh then it is in the United States, so there’s higher profit in hiring overseas workers to create your searches.

It used to work. It doesn’t work reliably anymore. If you want to change Google.com, you’ve got to use American workers.

3) You (or your workers) are using proxies. Proxy switching services like HideMyAss used to be excellent for creating the search activity that changed Google autocomplete for three reasons:

  • I could hire overseas workers to perform the searches (costs less)
  • I could geo-target locations (great for clients with problems in local markets)
  • No consecutive searches on the same IP (looks more natural)

Proxy services used to work; they don’t anymore. In June of 2015, we completed a test case for a client using HideMyAss exclusively to try to push out unwanted suggestions his company had in two specific markets. It didn’t work and confirmed our prior research from June 2014.

And even though crowdsource sites like Mechanical Turk and Microworkers allow you to select US workers for your jobs, those sites don’t do a good job of screening who actually lives in the United States vs. who is using a US proxy. So, if your searches are being done by someone using a proxy, they might not count and your autocomplete campaign won’t be successful.

4) You’ve tripped a “consecutive search” filter. This is a theory, based on my experience and what I’ve seen. (Why else would our campaigns on crowdsource sites not work?)

Maybe Google has an algorithmic filter that says, “If we see 20 searches in a row from one computer, we’re going to mark that as suspicious and not count any more searches from him/her, for fear of possible manipulation.”

Google loves to fix things algorithmically, so this makes sense. It sees 20 consecutive searches (or 50 in a row or 100 in a day) and a filter is tripped. Those searches don’t count and no other searches from that computer count for [six months, one year, life].

This adds even more weight to why our campaigns running on MTurk and Microworkers are ineffective. You can imagine workers there doing search after search after search. It’s rhythm work and it’s easy. Do too many in a row, trip a filter, and you’re paying workers to do searches that don’t count.

This theory is further reinforced by the ineffectiveness of running autocomplete campaigns on one of the largest crowdsource platforms in the world – CrowdFlower. CrowdFlower has relationships with hundreds of small crowdsource and gaming sites, so that when your job is posted on CF, it gets farmed out to other sites to be completed.

You would think this diversity in workforce would yield better results, but I have one colleague who runs his jobs on CrowdFlower with mixed results. So, either the workers on all of these smaller sites are using proxies or their IPs have been blocked.

One thing is for certain: Something is going on that is causing autocomplete campaigns on public crowdsource sites to be less effective.

5) Suggestions are frozen. This is a theory, too, and its one I heard through the grapevine from a client.

I’ve seen a few cases where no matter what we do, the suggestions don’t change. We’re testing this theory on a client right now with our private network to see if we can get the suggestions to change. If they don’t, we’ll conclude that this particular client’s suggestions are frozen for some time period.

6) Suggestions are different in different markets. For companies with multiple offices and lots of search volume, it’s common for Google to show different suggestions in different markets. A client with a problem in Houston is not going to get fixed unless people in Houston make the searches. While you might get lucky and see changes based on sheer volume, it’s unlikely that you’ll be successful.

Microworkers lets you target workers at the state level, but it’s hard to accumulate volume and impossible to know if your specific DMA is being hit with search activity (ie, you target California hoping to hit Los Angeles, but workers are spread out across the state, so it’s hard to get the needed volume in the Los Angeles DMA). Proxies allow you to target certain citites, but most proxies don’t work anymore.

We fixed a client once who had a problem ONLY in Minneapolis. In order to fix it, we had to run ads on Craigslist to find the people to do the work. It was a management nightmare and cost a lot of money per search. In the end, we were successful, but didn’t make any money on the campaign due to the high costs of running such a city-specific campaign.

Trying to change suggestions for a client in a specific city is possible, but much more expensive due to the high costs of recruiting the market and paying the workers.

If you have problems in a market that aren’t being fixed, it’s probably because you aren’t getting enough search activity from people on real computers who actually live in that market.

Conclusion

I could’ve titled this article, “6 Reasons Why You Should Create A Private Network To Fix Google Autocomplete Campaigns” because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

I’m convinced that having a private network to create search activity is still the best way to effect the suggestions in Google Autocomplete.

There are many positives to creating your own private network, such as:

  • You know workers are US-based
  • You have some control over the # of searches per day
  • Workers most likely not using proxies

Of course the biggest positive is right now we’re relying on the private network to fix the majority of our cases and we’re having more success than we have had in the last 12 months.

While it’s still not a guaranteed solution, we’re feeling good about our chances as compared to using the traditional method of crowdsourcing and the expensive method of content development.

If you operate a reputation management firm and want to send your clients to us, we offer a whitelabel service you can package and price as you like. Good luck with your campaign!

Remove SCAM from Google Autocomplete

If you have the word “SCAM” appearing after your business name in Google Autocomplete, you are not alone. Many businesses – particularly those who sell products and services that seem too good to be true – often see scam as a suggestion associated with their business.

We have developed a service where we can remove this for you at no risk! That means, you do not pay unless we are successful.

business name with scam in google autocomplete

Removing Scam From Google Autocomplete

We have tested a method whereby we can remove the word “scam” from your suggestions in autocomplete. We have had success with numerous clients using this method and we now offer it to you as a no-risk solution to your problem.

At present, the fee is $700 and you only pay if we are successful. We have found this fix to be long-lasting and while we do not control Google and cannot say it is a permanent fix, we have not seen “scam” return as a suggestion for any client we have worked with.

Removal Of Scam Guaranteed

If you would like us to attempt to remove the “scam” suggestion from after your business name in autocomplete, please complete the following form and we will contact you promptly to remove it.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Keyword (required)

Real Estate Autocomplete Marketing Campaign

We were recently asked by a real estate agent to append his name to a local keyword he believed would help steer search engine traffic to his website. The realtor works in the Vancouver, BC market, so the keyword he wanted us to append was:

  • Vancouver real estate [local search volume 3,600/month]

In this post, I’m going to explore the strategy, costs, and possible ROI of undertaking this real estate autocomplete marketing campaign.

Research Of Search Volume Needed

Before we get to the strategy, let’s take a look at what we need to accomplish.

Below are the suggestions I see when Googling “vancouver real estate” with my location set to Vancouver, BC.

vancouver real estate 4-12-15 vancouver BC only

As you can see, the top 4 suggestions have an average monthly search volume of between 210 and 480 according to Google’s keyword planner. This volume is from people in Vancouver, BC only.

So, to compete with these terms, you’re going to need a minimum search volume of about 350 per month to have a shot of having your name appear as a suggestion. What’s more, these 350 searches need to come from people located in Vancouver, BC with Vancouver, BC IP addresses, in order for it to show to people who are searching in that city.

If you’re able to achieve that local search volume, it’s certainly not guaranteed your name will appear in autocomplete because suggestions don’t appear in the order of highest volume.

Now, you might be thinking, “Why can’t I just have people all over the world searching this term? Why do they have to be in Vancouver?”

The answer is yes, of course, you could not worry about targeting Vancouverites with your search activity and you’d probably be successful in having your name appear in other cities, but NOT in Vancouver, which is where you want it to appear. For best results and to get the term to appear to potential clients in your city, you’re going to need to geo-target where your searches are being performed.

Local Google Autocomplete Strategy

Let’s move on to the strategy. The mission is:

Get 350 different people living in Vancouver, BC to search the keyword, “vancouver real estate firstname lastname.”

How are we going to target these people? What will their motivation be to perform the search and do it successfully so Google recognizes it as a completed search?

Here are some methods for targeting Vancouverites to complete the task of searching this keyword:

1) Run “gig” ads on Craigslist every day. I’ve done this. Some ads get flagged and removed. You’ll likely need to pay people $5 to complete the task. Direct them to a contact form on a website where they have to perform the search then answer certain questions to confirm they performed the search. Check for accuracy. Collect their email address and pay them via paypal – one at a time.

2) Use Crowdsourced sites. I haven’t seen a single crowdsourcing site that lets you geo-target workers. Microworkers lets you target by state, but volume is extremely limited. Mechanical Turk doesn’t have any geo-targeting. Crowdflower has state level targeting but you have to pay a huge monthly fee ($2,500) to use their service for this sort of task.

3) Use Facebook ads to get people to click a link for “vancouver real estate firstname lastname.” I’ve not tried this and am not sure FB would allow it.

4) Run cable TV ads that say, find us on Google by typing “vancouver real estate firstname lastname.” You could use direct mail to do the same thing.

5) Use proxies. Yes, you could try doing it with proxies, but that is extremely unreliable. Google’s gotten pretty good at blacklisting IPs it feels are suspicious. The best strategy is to get REAL PEOPLE making the searches for you, one at a time, completely at random.

6) Email Marketing. Start by importing all your contacts into Constant Contact and send them a newsletter with news and ask them to perform the search task for you. You won’t have to pay these people. As we recruit new people to do this, I’d create a 2nd email list and send them a monthly reminder to perform the task again to earn another $5.

I’m sure there are other clever methods for getting people to perform the search, but I think you get the idea.

Costs

To run this campaign, you’re going to have the following estimated hard costs:

  • $5 per CL search X 350 searches per month = $1,750
  • $150/ month for VA to place multiple CL ads per day, every day on CL
  • $1,000 monthly ad budget (Facebook, other possible sites)

This estimate does not include management fees (paid to someone like me) for writing ads, setting up splash pages, managing the applicants, checking their work and paying the people who completed it successfully. It’s a lot of work and takes a lot of time. I’d charge $2,000/ month to run this campaign correctly, bringing the total monthly campaign cost to about $4,900 per month.

Assuming you get 350 people the first month (which is going to be tough – I once ran daily CL ads in Minneapolis and only attracted 2-3 people per day), you’ll need to keep advertising on CL every month. We’ll need to be aggressive with other campaigns in hopes of reaching the desired 350 searches per month from Vancouverites from the get go.

It’s likely that it would take 2-3 months to reach the target volume, which is actually a good thing – it appears more natural to Google.

ROI

Okay, let’s say we’re successful. After a 2-3 months, the suggestions now look like this:

vancouver real estate 4-12-15 vancouver BC only with realtor name

Yippee!!

How many people do you think will click on your name now that it appears as a suggestion?

1%? 5%? 10%?

I’m conservative, so let’s say 1%, or 36 people each month click your name and are taken to your website.

How well does your website convert those clicks into new clients? 10%? 50%?

Again, I’m conservative, so let’s assume 10%. So, we’re looking at 3.6 new clients per month. Let’s round it up to 4 🙂

According to Global News in January 2014, the average price of a home in Vancouver, BC is $670,300, so a 3% commission would be $20,109. If you close all 4 deals in a month, you could earn $80,409 in monthly gross commissions.

That’s not too bad for investing $4,900 per month. It’s a return of over 16x your money.

Ongoing Challenges & Risks

The two biggest challenges of running a campaign like this are:

  1. We don’t control Google – your suggestion may never appear
  2. The suggestion might go away – predicting whether or not your suggestion remains in the top 4 where it is likely to be clicked is not a ‘for sure’ thing (see #1)

As mentioned above, to mitigate the risk, I’d continue trying to advertise and attract new Vancouverites each month, so I always had new people in the pool performing the searches.

I’d probably ask the realtor to email his own list from time to time asking people to perform the search. Even though they aren’t getting paid, some of them will do it, especially if you’re transparent and say, “Help me out, I’m trying to market my business in Google!”

I’d plan on a minimum 6-month commitment to get this campaign underway and then a 6-month maintenance campaign to help ensure your name sticks as a suggestion. At that point, we could look at ways to scale it back and reduce the monthly marketing cost.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of risk involved with this type of localized autocomplete marketing campaign for a realtor, but there’s also a potential HUGE upside if it works.

And there’s another advantage to this campaign, EVEN IF IT DOESN’T WORK AT ALL!

Consider that hundreds of people will now KNOW your name (since they searched for you) and if only 1 of them arbitrarily decides to do business with you, you could recoup a majority of your investment:

  • 1 sale = $20,100 commission
  • 6 month marketing investment = $29,400

If 2 of those “workers” choose you as their realtor or refer you to a friend, you’re easily in the black.

Other intangible benefits include:

  • Increased traffic to your website, better for ranking organically for the keyword “vancouver real estate”
  • Prestige/ego of seeing your name amongst suggestions like “market, bubble, and news.” Plus, you’ll likely be the ONLY agent with his/her name in “lights”

As you can see, it’s a campaign well worth considering!

Call 503-890-6663 if you’d like to consider an autocomplete marketing campaign like this for your real estate business.

Bing Search Suggestions Are Localized

bing search suggestionsI can’t say how long ago Bing started localizing its search suggestions, but I can confirm that suggestions are different based on the physical location of the user.

I stumbled upon this because we’ve been working on a client case for several months, trying to push a negative suggestion out. When I check his suggestions from my Portland, OR office, I don’t see the suggestion. But when I change my city in Bing to where my client lives, I see the unwanted search suggestion, still sitting there at the bottom.

Want To Change Your Bing Search Suggestions?
We can help push out unwanted, negative suggestions about you or your business.
Call 503-890-6663 for a quote.

So, while my client’s Bing search suggestions are cleaned up in every other city across the United States, they are still not fixed in the city where he lives and does business.

How To Change Bing Search Suggestions In A Local Market

To fix the Bing search suggestions in his city, we’re going to need to create positive search activity IN THAT CITY and there are three ways to do this:

  1. Private proxies in that city. This is the preferred method because it’s easier and requires a lot less time and management. Simply find a group of private proxies (you’ll need at least 20 for low volume cases and many more for high volume cases) and perform searches for your positive keywords from those individual proxies for several months until the suggestions clean up.
  2. Hire and pay people in that city. Place ads on Craigslist and hire individuals to perform the searches. This is a hassle for a couple reasons – one is that this type of work is a violation of Craigslist TOS, so your ads might get removed (I know from experience, its a real battle). The second is you’re hiring and managing a lot of people one at a time, so it takes a tremendous amount of work to get your outcome. I’ve done this and it’s effective at helping change the search suggestions in a targeted city, but the amount of work involved is ridiculous.
  3. Use Geo-targeted Crowdsourcing. CrowdFlower is the only crowdsource site I’m aware of that allows you to geo-target searches and even they will only allow it at the state level, not the city level. So, it’s at least in the ballpark. The bigger issue is that CF TOS don’t permit you to do this sort of manipulation work without being a paying partner, which costs thousands per month. So, unless you’ve got the budget to afford that (and I don’t), you’ve got to choose one of the first 2 options listed above in order to change Bing search suggestions in a local market.

How To Change Your City In Bing

Go to Bing.com and click the gear icon in the upper right hand corner.

Under location, type in the city/state or zip you want and then click save. Now, you’ll see the Bing search suggestions as if you lived in the city you specified.

If you have unwanted suggestions in Bing, we can fix them for you. Call 503-890-6663 for a quote.

Don’t Use HideMyAss To Change Google AutoSuggest

Update May 2015

We recently completed a 3-month test for a large business client who wanted to push a negative suggestion out of the top 4. The customer wanted to target 2 specific cities where he had offices, so the best way to do that is with proxies. We used HideMyAss, as it had hundreds of proxies in each of the cities he wanted to target.

We searched each of 12 terms in each city, 100 times per month from February through April. IP was changed for each search and cache was cleared. Searches occurred in batches on different days throughout each month.

Result

Good news is we were successful in fixing the client’s problem – in both cities the negative no longer appeared and this happened in the first month. Bad news is NONE of the 12 terms we were searching appeared as suggestions.

For me, this further confirms two things:

  1. HMA is not a reliable fix for autocomplete
  2. Sometimes just “shaking the tree” is helpful in pushing negative terms out.

Regarding #2, I’ve discussed this with associates who do autocomplete work and we agree that even though we don’t always see EXACTLY what we are looking for, the fact that we’ve put energy into fixing the problem is enough to force negative suggestions out.

Of course, if this client had waited and done nothing, he may’ve seen the negative go away on its own.  For big clients with lots of queued suggestions, it’s not at all uncommon for Google to randomly pull in and push out suggestions.

Below, is the original blog post, written in 2014.


hide my ass logoHide My Ass is a user-friendly proxy switching service with prices starting under $12 per month. It has thousands of unique IP addresses which makes it ideal for fixing AutoSuggest problems in Google and Bing. It also allows you to choose the location of your IP which is is excellent for fixing local Google autocomplete issues.

Or, at least it was an excellent tool until few days ago.

Hide My Ass IPs Blacklisted By Google

Around June 1, 2014, Google blacklisted all of the IP addresses in HMA and we suspect Bing is soon to follow. This means any keyword searches you do using a HideMyAss.com IP will not count. Further, we believe this algorithm update rolled back to around May 8, rendering any HMA search activity useless.

We have two recent case studies to back up our claim.

We are always testing our methods to make sure they are effective at changing Google autocomplete. In April and May of 2014, I had one of my team search Google.com 50 times each for:

  • Mike Munter digs
  • Mike Munter linkedin
  • Mike Munter marketing specialist

We made sure each search was done from a unique IP address, so that over 2 months, we’d accumulate search activity equivalent to that of 100 different people all across the United States.

However, when Google refreshed it’s Autocomplete algorithm on May 26, 2014, I did not see the suggestions above appearing after my name. “Hmmm,” I thought, this is cause for alarm. Ordinarily, this would’ve been enough search activity and enough time for at least ONE of the suggestions to begin appearing.

I kept an eye on it and about a week later, I have proof of two cases where clients whose suggestions HAD BEEN FIXED, were now not fixed.

AutoSuggest Algorithm Update Nullifies Hide My Ass Search Activity

One of these is a reputation management client.

On Day 1 of his campaign, April 21, 2014, the client1 had 2 suggestions appearing next to his name:

  1. DUI
  2. Pensacola FL

On May 8, 2014, we noticed our first  update with these suggestions appearing next to his name in this order:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Blog
  4. DUI
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Pensacola FL

On May 26, 2014, the client’s situation was fixed and these were the 10 suggestions we saw when Googling his name:

  1. Inventor
  2. Twitter
  3. Author
  4. Latest news
  5. Blog
  6. Press Releases
  7. Marriage
  8. LinkedIn
  9. Facebook
  10. Patents Pending

On June 3, 2014, we noticed that the suggestions had reverted back and were very similar to what we saw on May 8, 2014. “Blog” and “Twitter” flip-flopped and the negative had returned.

  1. Facebook
  2. Blog
  3. Twitter
  4. DUI
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Pensacola FL

Since many of the searches we had done for this client were done using Hide My Ass, we now had further proof that Google had banned HMA IP addresses.

In another case we worked on, we had appended a brand name to lucrative keywords in order to help this client increase it’s visibility in Google. With this client, we also noticed that those positive brand suggestions were gone.

What we don’t know yet, is the severity of Google’s update. I believe it’s possible that Google could look at all searches done using HideMyAss IPs and blacklist those keywords. If Google does this, it could mean those terms will NEVER appear as suggestions. We’ll have to wait and see.

Conclusion

In the mean time, manipulating Google AutoSuggest just got a lot harder. We continue to streamline our systems, build our army of people, and ensure that each of our searches is done naturally. But since this work is a violation of Google’s TOS, it’s always going to be prone to algorithm updates.

If you have a problem with Google autocomplete or you don’t like the suggestions you see when you Google your name, we can help you fix it. Call 503-890-6663 for a quote.

 

 

1 We adhere to strict confidentiality for all our clients and therefore are unable to share the screenshots or identifying client information. Keywords used in the example were substituted for the real keywords.

How To Keep Unwanted Google Suggestions From Reappearing

So, you’ve just invested in fixing Google’s suggestions about you or your business. You’ve got ten positive suggestions that represent you or your brand the way you want. Now, how do you keep the negative suggestions from coming back?

The quick answer is to keep up the search activity for your positive terms.

If you stop all search activity when your campaign ends, you run the risk of seeing your negative suggestion(s) return. Why does this happen? The answer in a moment. First, let me share how Autocomplete works.

Understanding How Google Autocomplete Works

Many clients who call us ask, “How did the negative suggestion(s) get there in the first place?”

If we assume there is no search activity for a term before it becomes a suggestion, then there is only one answer: Content.

Google makes a connection between your name and content posted about you online and adds it to the suggestions that appear when you Google yourself.

So, after your campaign has ended successfully, if you choose not to do ongoing monthly maintenance – in the form of search activity – you run the risk of the negative term coming back, just like it did in the first place.

Of course, you won’t see it right away because just as it takes a few months for Google to recognize our positive search activity, it also takes them a few months to recognize there’s NO search activity.

Over time, positive suggestions can drop off and negative ones can reappear.

How Often Do Negative Suggestions Reappear?

We’ve seen negative suggestions come back in about 50% of the cases we’ve handled.

We know you don’t want to keep paying month after month, but if you don’t maintain a minimal level of search activity that exceeds the search volume for your negative term(s), you do risk losing the impact of all the work we’ve done.

We recommend monthly ongoing search activity for all clients and we always recommend the absolute minimum we feel will be sufficient to keep your suggestions looking good.

Will Monthly Search Activity Guarantee My Suggestions Stay Fixed?

Of course, there is never a guarantee with Google. I’m seeing signs that they’ve already begun honing their autocomplete algorithm. I’ve seen plenty of cases recently where results not only change from one city to the next, but they’re also different from one hour to the next in the same city.

Yes, literally, I’ve checked on a client in the morning, seeing one set of suggestions, then by lunch, the same search pulls up different suggestions. By early afternoon, they’ve changed yet again, back to the original set.

Much like Google search results can change frequently, I believe this form of “Google Dance” can also have an impact on the suggestions we see – especially when search activity has ended.

Again, another reason why we recommend monthly maintenance.

Maintenance Costs

Depending on your particular case, expect monthly maintenance to cost anywhere from 10-50% of your usual monthly campaign price.

If you have questions about Google autocomplete and how it works, we’ve been studying it pretty closely and have handled a variety of local and national cases. Give us a call at 503-890-6663 for a speedy consultation and a quote.