hlforr — 2012-08-15T13:03:25-04:00 — #1
I have a client who has a hotel business specialising in weddings. Recently he has been told by several of his clients that when they searched for the hotel name in Google the predictive search showed an option for the hotel name followed by the words 'for sale'. The hotel hasn't been for sale for at least 10 years. With the recession and so many other businesses going down some people are asking if he is selling up. This isn't great for business as brides will have booked a few years in advance.
Can anyone tell me how this predictive search text is set up? Is there any way to approach Google to remove it? Sorry if this is a daft question.
stevie_d — 2012-08-15T14:00:16-04:00 — #2
The essence of what you get with predictive search is:
As you type, Google's algorithm predicts and displays search queries based on other users' search activities and the contents of web pages indexed by Google. If you're signed in to your Google Account and have Web History enabled, you might also see search queries from relevant searches that you've done in the past. In addition, Google+ profiles can sometimes appear in autocomplete when you search for a person's name. Apart from the Google+ profiles that may appear, all of the predicted queries that are shown in the drop-down list have been typed previously by Google users or appear on the web. (from the horse's mouth)
It goes on to say In some cases, there may be a search term that seems surprising to you, but after doing some searching on the web, you may discover that it's a popular phrase online for some reason that you didn't anticipate. Queries in autocomplete are algorithmically determined based on a number of factors (including search term popularity) without manual intervention.
What happens if you actually search for "[the hotel name] for sale"? You might find that there was another hotel with the same name that was for sale!
hlforr — 2012-08-15T14:16:37-04:00 — #3
That's the strange thing...there is no relevant result or another hotel with the same name.
So, if the owner started doing searches for his hotel name and thewords 'not for sale' would that eventually show as well
Would Google ever remove a search phrase for this reason and if so how could they be contacted?
ted_s — 2012-08-15T14:21:52-04:00 — #4
Google's mission is to deliver what people are looking for thus if people are looking for information about the hotel being for sale that's going to show up. The same is true of typing in company name + discount... many don't offer specials and none want it to be this easy to find a coupon but that's not relevant to the fact people are searching for it.
Perhaps the best bet is to build a landing page about the property's history, the ownership and bring in the term "for sale" to it. In a sense optimize for the term that's getting attention [even if as a result of google's push] but sell up about what's happened rather than down in arguing against some bad change.