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November 26, 2007

Add Keyword Suggestions to Google's Search Pages

If you like Google Suggest, the feature that auto-completes your queries based on Google's aggregated data, you can now add it to the standard search pages by joining the keyword suggestions experiment, one of the five experiments from the search section of Google Labs.
As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you're typing and offers suggestions in real time. This is similar to Google's "Did you mean?" feature that offers alternative spellings for your query after you search, except that it works in real time. For example, if you type "bass," Google Suggest might offer a list of refinements that include "bass fishing" or "bass guitar." Similarly, if you type in only part of a word, like "prog," Google Suggest might offer you refinements like "programming," "programming languages," "progesterone," or "progressive." You can choose one by scrolling up or down the list with the arrow keys or mouse.

Google Suggest is also available by adding &complete=1 to a Google search URL (e.g.: [Google]), in Firefox's search box and in Google Toolbar. Some Asian versions of Google show keyword suggestions by default: China, Korea, India.

This year both and Yahoo introduced these suggestions as a built-in component of the search experience, hoping to guide users when typing a query. Yahoo's search assistant shows up as an extension of the search box if you type some letters from a word and then stop for a couple of seconds. Even if you can disable it, many people found it annoying and unnecessary. "Get rid of any of the so-called assistants. They take up space on the screen, slow down processes and insult everyone's [intelligence]." is just an example of negative feedback.

Sometimes search suggestions save you time and help you enter difficult words like deoxyribonucleic, in other cases the suggested query contains the answer to your question. But are they useful and good enough to bring them to Google's search pages?


  1. Google Suggest also works for Google Hong Kong by default. ;)

  2. How new do you think this is? I have records showing keyword suggest was on the homepage since at least 2007-11-22...

  3. Google Suggest also works for Google Taiwan by default.

  4. Google Suggest is also useful if you are outside the US and want to see .com results.

    For instance, here in the UK, if you type, you are redirected to

    But Google Suggest ( lets you use the .com without the redirect.

    I agree the suggestions aren't always useful, but you can also use it to scan the estimated number of results, and frequent misspellings, all in real time

    All in, a good tool.

  5. I know its helped me a lot, especially since im not the best at spelling. It's also helpful in finding links to pages or terms I would not have thought of, so yes,I think its a great tool.

  6. UserJS plugin for Google Suggest, in case any one wanted.

  7. I started noticing this on on November 29. (Note: i am using the regular Google, not Google Suggest. I had not even heard about that until today.) I absolutely *hate* this. Does anyone have any idea how to turn it off?

  8. Unless this new feature was added by a plug-in (Customize Google, Greasemonkey), there must be a setting in the Google Preferences page to turn it off ("disable keyword suggestions" or something similar).

  9. "Unless this new feature was added by a plug-in (Customize Google,"

    I'll stop it right there, because that was it! I have the Customize Google extension for Firefox, and i was able to turn off the Suggestions from there. There must have been a change in this extension in its most recent update, because i had never witnessed that kind of behaviour before. (I shall have to go through all the options and see exactly what *is* in there, now!)

    Thank you most kindly! I really do appreciate your assistance.