Remove Word From Google Autocomplete (Auto Suggest)

If you do a search on Google you will most likely see a box appear with a list of suggestions, see the screenshot further down the page as an example.

Screenshot of Google Autocomplete

Google will also try to “Autocomplete” the first suggestion and show you a set of results, even if you havn’t hit the enter key.

Will Google Remove Words If Requested?

Take a look at the screenshot below, to many people the image below is very offensive and it’s not too difficuilt to understand why:






The official help document for Autocomplete can be found here. Buried in the middle of the page is the following statement:

While we always strive to neutrally and objectively reflect the diversity of content on the web (some good, some objectionable), we also apply a narrow set of removal policies for pornography, violence, hate speech, and terms that are frequently used to find content that infringes copyrights

Also, there isn’t a form or other direct way to contact Google so you would need to post a request in the help forum.

So Google will not remove the word “scam” if it appears next to your business name, neither will they remove the “why are black people…”

How Are These Suggestions Generated?

Each suggestion has been searched before and Google will try to show the most popular ones. They may also create a list solely for you based on your web history, which you can activate or deactivate via your Google account, if you have one.

People will generally search for a word or phrase if they see it on the web and want to research the topic some more.

If you own a small business and there is a page on the web that claims you are scammer, chances are some people will search Google for your business name + the word “scam”. Your best course of action would be to contact the site owner and get this content taken down. Also try and investigate why people would be writing such things and why others are searching for those words.

If you see an Autocomplete suggestion that is pornographic, hate speech, violence or is a term that is frequently used to reach copyright material, you should let Google know by posting in the official help forum. Please note that this forum will show up in the search results, so don’t disclose any personal information you wouldn’t want to see on Google.

Google Autocomplete in the News/Legal Stuff

There have been several legal cases against Google, most have been because they showed the word “scam” next to a business name. Nearly all of the cases I have seen have been from Europe.


2 Responses to Remove Word From Google Autocomplete (Auto Suggest)

  1. Barry November 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    HI, I just wanted to thank you for your resource here, I am in the mobile marketing area as well as preparing a very focused local rep management service. I really appreciate intelligent and actually useful and relevant information for those of us trying to constantly learn and for those of us looking for a place to start.

    I wish you continued success


  2. Premchand Chandran - Convonix November 18, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Hi, Very interesting read!! But i have one doubt, what if some autosuggestion appears which is not related to brand, like ‘Brand + loot’ etc. Obviously no one would like such suggestions to pop up. So is there anyway by which the algorithm can be influenced in order to remove that suggestion??

    Thanks in advance,