Google is an ever-changing beast. Just missing a day of updates can leave you in the dark about what is happening and what is coming. These updates are designed to help the Google Bots crawl webpages in search of the right information. If a business owner's website falls behind the times as it relates to these Google updates, it could result in lower website traffic.
Recently, Google has started displaying suggested search queries based on a person's recent search activity. The suggestions will appear as a link under the search bar with the modifying term italicized and bolded. These personalized suggestions, which were first reported by Android Police are considered very helpful to some. Android Police, established in 2009, is a well-respected blog dedicated to everything in the Android universe.
How It Works
Google now considers your search history when displaying suggested items. For example, if you first search for "Google home," and later search for "noise-canceling headphones," Google will blend these two queries, which could produce a suggested result of "noise-canceling headphones featuring Google assistant."
If you click on the suggestion, it will take you to the search results for that particular query.
From most accounts, it looks like you must be logged in to your Google account to receive these more specific and targeted search suggestions. You can reproduce the series of searches in just one session while you are logged in. If you log out of your Google account or browse in incognito mode while searching through Chrome, there will be no suggestions.
Search Intent Suggestions
Search suggestions will also appear beyond the e-commerce context. Some examples include:
If you search for "search engine news," you may then receive a recommendation for the "Google search engine."
Searching for "streaming services" may provide a suggestion of "Disney streaming."
There are some situations where specific suggestions are more helpful than others. Before you search for "post office" if you have searched for a city or area in the past, such as "Pittsburgh," Google may suggest "post office Pittsburgh," or even "post office restaurant." This is because there could be eating establishments with the phrase "post office" in the names when driving from your location.
Why Does This Matter?
Personalized search suggestions can help someone find what they are looking for and even help to influence behavior by exposing them to options they may not have otherwise considered. There are similar features available, such as "related searches," and the "people also ask" section, which has been around for a while. The placement of these new search suggestions at the top of SERPs (search engine results page) makes it more prominent and is a sign that Google considers a better option or to help test user engagement.
It is not clear what "recent activities" Google uses to generate the suggestions beyond the search history.
In 2019, Google started presenting personalized recommendations on the Google Shopping hub based on a person's search and shopping histories. This is an essential factor to keep in mind when optimizing pages for SEO, as the keywords used are going to impact if something appears in the suggested products or listings section.
Gaining real estate here can help to improve visibility and click through rate (CTR). Your CTR is a term used to describe the number of clicks you receive on Google search engine results pages.