Google Autocomplete Refresh Dates

Historically, Google refreshes it’s autocomplete suggestions about every 2-3 weeks. Below are the dates of each refresh, along with our comments on what we’ve seen change.

March 18, 2015

Well, we got busy and haven’t updated this page in a while, but today we saw changes/improvements for almost every single client.

December 13, 2014

Today, we noticed a client we’d started work for 4 months ago got fixed. The negative suggestion still shows in the queue, but it’s gone from the 10 suggestions when typing her name into Google.

From my vantage point, it also appears that Google has dialed back it’s July algorithm update significantly, as terms seem to be a bit easier to manipulate now than they were over the Summer and early Fall of 2014. We’ll see what the next few months bring.

November 30, 2014

Today we noticed a client who’d had a negative term #1 for months finally go away. Other clients saw minor changes and it appears Google is still giving credence to searches that have been built over months and months of search activity.

November 11, 2014

Today’s refresh is the first one in a while where we see new terms beginning to come back for our clients. This is an indication to us that Google may now be looking for consistency of search activity over SEVERAL months before it actually shows a suggestion.

Prior to the July 2014 update, suggestions would change usually within 2 months. The terms we see that are appearing now we have been accumulating search activity for 4-6 months or longer. Time will tell whether our theory is correct.

October 20, 2014

Two more clients we’ve been working on for 4-5 months finally fixed today. Apologies for not documenting the 2 prior refreshes in between this one and the one August 27th. They were pretty minor; we did not see much change.

Other clients saw movement in their campaigns.

August 27, 2014

This sweeping refresh of Google suggestions seems to be the biggest yet, since the search engine giant began changing it’s algorithm on July 13, 2014. For many current and former clients, their suggestions were completely gone – everything, including the negative suggestions. It was sort of like Google figured out we were manipulating search activity and just said, “Ok, we’re just going to clear the slate.”

It wasn’t across the board, though; several clients still have negatives appearing, so there is still work to do. Without question, it’s getting more difficult to knock out the negatives, even though Google seems to have removed some negative suggestions from it’s database – scam and arrest are two we’re not seeing anymore.

It will be interesting to see if the next refresh cleans up other outstanding client problems and if the current fixes stay that way.

August 17, 2014

In this refresh, we see that 2 clients who previously had the word “scam” after their name or business is now gone. Even when you begin typing S-C-A, “scam” does not appear. This could be an indication that Google manually removed the word “scam” from it’s suggestions. We’ll have to wait and see.

We noticed some nice updates for most clients today. It seems like content may be playing a bigger role now as several suggestions are not tied to any search activity we are creating. Additionally, today’s update further confirms that a better strategy for success in autocomplete is to spread search activity across 40-50 terms, as opposed to concentrating it on 10 terms. Spreading activity over many different terms is more natural looking – the downside is it is much harder to predict which of those 40-50 terms will appear.

The other thing is Google autocomplete results are not localized. Four clients whose suggestions used to look different in different parts of the country, now appear the same.

Watch this space for additional updates as we continue to monitor Google autocomplete.

August 5, 2014

Today, we noticed a 3rd round of changes that begun July 13th. We see negatives moving up higher, seemingly making it more clear that Google is dialing in their algorithm change a bit more with each refresh. It looks like they’ve gotten pretty good at not counting search activity that was unnaturally “spiked”.

July 24, 2014

Further changes noticed that deepen the algorithmic changes first seen July 13, 2014. Our opinion is that Google simply took their July 13, 2014 changes and rolled it back even further, so that “unnatural search activity” occuring several months back does not count. With many of our searches not counting, Google suggestions look similar to the way they were earlier in the year.

July 13, 2014

This refresh marks a change in Google’s autocomplete algorithm. We saw negative, unwanted suggestions return for multiple clients who were previously fixed. Other industry professionals saw similar negative suggestions re-appear. There are many theories surfacing for what changes Google made, but no one knows for sure at this point, and Google is not commenting on it.

Our personal theory is that Google found a way to “not count” searches it deems unnatural and that this was refresh was rolled back to around May 15 – June 1.

June 25, 2014

Standard refresh; several clients updated and others fixed.

June 9, 2014

Standard refresh; several clients updated and others fixed.

May 26, 2014

Standard refresh; several clients updated and others fixed.

April 14, 2014

Standard refresh; several clients updated and others fixed.

April 2, 2014

It’s pretty clear now, that Google does a “mass refresh” of all its suggestions every 2-3 weeks.

March 7, 2014

Google seems to have refreshed again. Some of our clients were fixed and others saw positive movement.

February 17, 2014

Another of what appears to be a “mass refresh” occurred today. We saw corrections to multiple clients we are working on. Between January 20, 2014 and February 17, 2014, we did notice a few minor changes within Google’s suggestions, but today’s refresh is further evidence that Google may make sweeping changes at one time.

We are also noticing something new in the last 30-60 days. The suggestions are changing within the same day. We Googled a former client and noticed one set of suggestions at 10am PST; at noon, we checked again and the suggestions again. Later in the day, we checked a third time and the suggestions had reverted back to what we saw at 10am.

Could this be a Google dance for autocomplete? Who knows.

My suspicion is that Google autosuggest is where SEO was 5 years ago. Five years ago, one could easily manipulate organic search results with cheap, spammy backlinks, and links from blog networks. Today, it’s not as easy. Today, we can easily change google autocomplete through search activity. My bet is that Google is catching wind of this and working in new ways to ensure that their suggestions can’t be manipulated so easily. Time will tell. We’ll keep watching.

January 20, 2014

I noticed another refresh today. Several clients saw updates and one client we’d been working on for about 6 months saw their changes fixed.

This is the second time I’ve noticed wholesale updates to several clients on the same day.

January 7, 2014

Today I noticed several adjustments to the autocomplete suggestions for various clients. Since these are clients I’ve been working with for a few months, it makes me wonder if Google has a refresh to the algorithm that gets updated from time to time.

I’ll keep an eye on it and if I notice it again, I may start keeping a running log. It just seems odd that after months of work, I see a number of changes all occur on the same day.

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