Search Box Optimization (SBO) is the process of tricking Google to put your brand or blog name in Google suggest. It's a spurious technique.
It is estimated about 75% of the users' search queries are influenced by Google Autosuggestions. So many internet marketers are making use of Search Box Optimization to make the users opt for their brand before hitting the search button.
If I were one among those folks who named it as Search Box Optimization, I would name it as Search Suggest Optimization.
It's a blackhat technique. Here you are basically tricking the Google Algorithm, by manipulating searches.
As an SEO geek, you must know the basics and how SBO is done.
Why Search Box Optimization is done?
As I have said earlier, SBO results in the appearance of your brand name in Google suggest. So what's the use? If Google suggests your site for its visitors, isn't it cool?
As a result, you will get more CTR in search results**. People more likely trust you (Because Google suggested your brand).
How it is done?
The main point of SBO is to make your target term appear in Google Autosuggest.
For this, they adopt these techniques,
- Using bots and proxies to search for the target term tons of times in Google.
- Manually searching for the term, using different proxies. To make the process natural for Google.
- Via services like Fiverr, oDesk.
- Encouraging users all over the world to search for your brand.
Or by these kind of spam comments.
It's actually working.
He is ranking for the term!
There are also several services for search box optimization. You may want to take a look at Fiverr Gigs, or on any other micro job sites and.
How search box position of a term is determined?
Nowadays, search box has become the mini-search engine results page. You can get answers to several questions by making use of autosuggest itself.
There is an order in the terms that Google suggests right? What is the reason behind that order?
The search terms that Google suggests, is based on the following.
- High search volume
- High click through rate
- More search diversity. Searches from various different countries and regions.
- More mentions on the web
- More mentions in anchor texts
- Personal searches or search history.
- Locality that the search user is living. Location base personalization.
Is search box optimization worth it?
As I said earlier, about 75% of the user search queries are affected by Google autosuggest. That means, if a search marketer optimizes his brand for search box, then there may be an increased chance of him doubling the traffic.
Ask yourself the question, "How many times I made use of Google autosuggest?". Almost every time isn't it.
Search box Optimization is definitely worth it.
How long does the term in Google autosuggest last?
This entirely depends upon the interaction of the user with Google after clicking on the auto suggest term.
That means, if user clicks on the autosuggestion does not interact with SERPs, then the particular term may demote in Google in auto suggest.
So while doing search box optimization it's important to interact with the search engine results. By merely doing searches for your brand and never clicking on the links and the results page, may look fishy.
Take an example. You have optimized a keyword to appear in Google suggest. On clicking the term (yours) suggested by Google. The user enters your web page. Now Google tracks the user experience on your page. If the user experience is bad, then it may demote your webpage in SERPs. So in order to maintain the position in Google suggestions you need quality content.
Consider your brand as "xyz". If a user types in "XY" in Google and made use of the Google's suggestion, "xyz". Then landed on your "XYZ Blog". Google now tracks his interaction with your blog.
If the average page visit duration is high and bounce rate of the user is low** on your blog. Google concludes that the search users are actually benefiting by the search suggestion "xyz".
If that's not the case, then your search suggestion may last for two months.
Up to you
It's actually not a legitimate practice. If you are a serious about your online career, you should not do that. However, if you're experimenting, well, that's great.
If you can notice that you are tricking the search engine, it may demote your search engine rankings. For example, if there are tons of searches for your brand, and no interaction on the search engine results page. Then it is an easy job for Google to hunt you.
Most of the times, using bots or proxies may also not help. Because these automated tools, follow some particular known pattern while searching for your brand name in Google. In this case natural searching patterns or natural searches work.
Also, it is worthwhile to note that sudden spikes in the number of searches for your brand sounds fishy.
As a said earlier, search box optimization is one of the black hat SEO practices. It's up to you whether to follow this strategy or not.