Related Searches in Google: How Are They Generated?

In a recent article, Vincent Courson, Search Outreach Specialist at Google, discussed how Google’s related searches are generated at the bottom of the results page. Here are some answers provided by the most used search engine specialist in France.

Google uses a number of personalized features to optimize the user experience on its search engine and ensure that the user finds the answer to his question as quickly as possible.

Long before PAA (People Also Ask), position 0, Easter Eggs (useful) which provide instant answers or rich extracts in search results, Google has a very useful historical feature in SEO: related searches.

Related searches ≠ Google search suggestions

Be careful not to confuse them with the search suggestions in the search bar, related searches are placed at the end of the results page in the form of two columns of clickable links (when the queries are short) or as a single column when the associated searches are too long to fit on a single line.

Here is an example of related searches displayed by Google on the query “ google referencing when I am logged into my Google account and therefore has access to my search history (in traditional browsing on Chrome, no private browsing):

example related google searches

How are related searches generated by Google?

According to Vincent Courson, related searches are an alternative to clicking on the second page of search results to help Internet users find the answer to their question (or need) more quickly by providing additional or more specific research.

““Related searches” exist to answer this second scenario: to indicate to the user what other search he could carry out to refine his results. –Vincent Courson

Concretely, Google uses 4 main elements to generate its related searches:

  • By analyzing the “popular” queries associated with the query typed by the Internet user
  • By integrating personalization elements if the Internet user is connected to his Google account
  • Taking into account the geographical location of the Internet user if this data is available
  • By adding additional terms to the query to refine the level of detail of the query (construction of longer-tail queries)

To dig deeper, Vincent Courson recommends reading this blog post on Google Discover, a brand new search engine feature covering topics like query-free search, results based on user journeys and more.

How to use related searches for your website?

First, it’s a way to better understand the search intent behind the query. These elements make it possible to identify the searches which are, as their name indicates, associated with the query. In other words, you will be able to add additional content to your pages, likely to interest Internet users and your audience from these associated searches. It is therefore a way of increasing the user experience of its pages by responding more precisely to the user’s requests.

It’s not just the user who stands to gain from the use of related searches. As part of keyword planning, you might also find your sweet spot at the bottom of search results pages. This can help find new content ideas, more targeted, rather long tail. One can quite imagine using certain associated search keywords as the child page of the basic query, for example. On top of that, these are often keywords with little competition as they are searched for and appear on the search results page.

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