Auto Completions

One great feature we’ve enabled in the relaunched search engine is Auto Completion.

Auto Completion is triggered as soon as you start typing in the search input field – little javascript functions fire off queries to Google’s servers, which return ‘best guess’ matches for what you’ve started typing, and present them as a list of suggestions.

As we use our search engine, Google will take note of the text people type and the Auto Completions they follow, and the suggestions will become more and more relevant and accurate to our needs. It’s truly amazing stuff.

Of course, as smart as all this is, Google’s algorithm won’t always get it right, so we have the option of managing our Auto Completions to include or exclude patterns and results that we think are relevant.

A custom Auto Completion simply consists of a string of text. So, if we were to insert an auto completion of “The Graduate School of Foo”, it would appear whenever someone typed a query which matched any part of that string. When a user follows that Auto Completion by clicking, a search is performed on the whole string.

We’ve also enabled Promotions to appear in Auto Completions, which may offer greater impact, and we have the option of adding Promotions which only appear in Auto Completions, so there’s plenty of flexibility with these features.

If you have a problem which may be resolved by using Auto Completions or Promotions in the search engine, ask us about it via UserVoice, then log a Help Request via the IT website to make it happen.