How To: Use Google Suggest for Market Research

Recently, I was amused by the site suggestoftheday.com. It’s a site that shows Google Suggest results and pokes fun at the suggestions generated by Google users. The results range from “My hair is a bird your argument is invalid” (generated by the suggestion “my hair” to several variations on “is it impossible to lick your elbow” (generated by the keywords “is it impossible to l”). What is most interesting, however, is thinking about what these results say Google users are concerned with, how we free associate, and how we can apply this to market research.

Although it’s likely that you already know how to use Google Suggest, there are some ways that Google Suggest can be applied in order to provide insight and keen perceptions on a variety of subjects. One way is to type your keyword and then add different letters from a to z to see how others free associate with that search term. Fortunately, Think Pragmatic has also created a keyword application called UberSuggest which is powered by Google Suggest that does that work for you. This tool will add each letter of the alphabet to your search term on your behalf and generate a total list of primary results. It’s very simple:

1. Visit http://suggest.thinkpragmatic.net/
2. Type in a keyword that you would like to investigate
3. Click the box (below the search bar) that says “expand” in order to receive complete alphabetical results.
4. Click the next box that says “txt” if you would like to download the results into a text file.

The results are the top keywords associated with any search term which means that they could reveal trends about brands, customer insights, provide context for your thoughts, and more.

So what would you search first? What do these results reveal? And what does “my hair is a bird your argument is invalid” even mean?

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About Joshua Hoffman

Joshua Hoffman is Technology Specialist at Microsoft and a frequent contributor to Research Access.

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