4 Google Autocomplete Tricks For Finding Keywords (Hint: Use The _ Character To Have Google Complete The Phrase)

Google Autocomplete is still one of the best tools for finding keywords in SEO.

Most people are familiar with the simple “complete the phrase” method but there’s more to Google Autocomplete than that. You can use fill in the blanks, plurals, and different word ordering to get even more keyword ideas. This will help you accomplish your ultimate goal in this exercise – create a keyword list! Because that is basically your SEO strategy right there.


  • You must be signed in to your Google account
  • You must go to google.com (don’t type in the actual browser)
  • You must hide private results to prevent bias listings (see photo below)

Google Private Results

Here’s what to do. You may want to open a Google Doc and start creating a keyword list


1. Complete The Phrase

If you want Google to complete the last part of the phrase, start typing in a phrase and Google will complete it. Just remember, this works best when it’s the last part of the phrase you want Google to complete. You’ll want to use the “fill in the blank” method otherwise.

Google Autocomplete - Complete The Phrase


2. Fill In The Blank

You can use the underscore character “_” to have Google complete any part of the phrase. Instead of having Google complete only the last part, this can show you a better selection of keywords depending on what type of phrase it is. Assuming you offer different types of photography services in Chicago, this would a perfect way to find out which ones to target.

Google Autocomplete - Fill In The Blank


3. Plurals vs. Non-Plurals

Plurals often show different keywords than non-plurals. See how Chicago __ Photographer and Chicago __ Photographers show different results? This helps you find keywords you may have missed, for example fashion and boudoir were not included in the previous screenshot.

Google Autocomplete - Plurals


4. Different Word Ordering

Use the “fill in the blank” method only try changing the position of the underscore. Remember, you can use the underscore anywhere to get more keyword ideas. Oh look, “average cost of Chicago wedding photographer” … that would be a nice blog post!

Google Autocomplete - Word Ordering


Creating Your Keyword List

Hopefully you wrote down your keywords in a Google Doc or a similar program. Because like I said, the ultimate goal is to created an organized, well-researched keyword list so you can build out your website/blog with those phrases in mind. A keyword list can be created by writing down your different products/services/topics and listing keywords under each…

Keyword List

That’s all I got for now, short and sweet! If you have any questions on Google Autocomplete or keyword research, drop me a line in the comments section. I’m here to help!


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About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis 2017Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

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