Is more popular than dell or disney, or are they just not paying enough?

Google’s auto-suggest is an interesting little contraption. If you type one letter of the alphabet into google’s search bar, in every case the first suggesting you’ll get is a product or a company (Amazon, Best Buy, Ebay, Facebook, etc.) C, D, and W are exceptions – Craigslist, Dictionary, and Weather. Chase Bank, Dell Computers, and WalMart really should be irritated.

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  • mrdwab

    Auto-suggest is regional. In India, for instance, you get Airtel, BSNL, cricket, Dinamalar, Ebay for the first few letters–three companies, a sport, and a Tamil newspaper. Other suggestions are also quite practical considering the local interests. P = “PNR status” (finding out your seat number or confirmation status for your train booking) and L = “live cricket score” (after all, it is the nation’s sport!).

  • Retrostar76

    But since cl, dell, etc. Are all huge in the us, that doesnt really explain the discrepency.

  • Jeremy Hoffman

    Just thought I’d chime in on the subject, as I’m a software engineer at Google Search. Thanks for your interest. Considering that there are more than a billion searches for information on Google every day, Google’s autocomplete is probably one of the most common “nudges” on the planet!

    Those suggestions are automatically based on what users type most often. That is, more people who start typing “c” into Google are looking for “craigslist” than are looking for “chase bank,” so that’s what we suggest for “c”. And the rankings given by our algorithms are not for sale at any price.

    (Of course, Google does sell ads, and I remember an experiment with putting ads in the suggest drop-down box a few years ago, but they were always clearly marked as ads or “sponsored links”.)

    As mrdwab said, the suggestions are specific to the region you’re searching from. They can also be influence by hot trending topics and even your personal search history. More information about that here:

    • Nudge blog

      Thanks for posting here, Jeremy. Sounds as if autocomplete says more about consumers than about companies.