Google Chrome gets improved Search suggestions on desktop and mobile

Mar 1, 2024
Google Chrome

Google is improving the search suggestions that are displayed in Chrome's address bar, as part of the February 2024 Updates. The new capabilities include a read-only on-device model that works in incognito mode.

Google Chrome will display Search Suggestions based on your previous queries

Chrome normally lists a bunch of trending searches when you click in the address bar on a new tab. This is changing, the new Search Suggestions are now based on your previous searches. The suggestions will include an image thumbnail relevant to the suggestion.

Take a look at the above screenshot (courtesy: Google). It shows suggestions that are similar to your current query.

In addition to the images, Chrome also displays a "people also search for" section to the right side of the panel. You may have come across a similar section in a snippet or at the bottom of the search results page. But Search Engine Roundtable says that the Search box version of the feature has actually been tested since 2020.

Note: The Search Suggestions only work when you are signed in to Chrome.

More images for suggested searches on Android and iOS

Chrome for Android and iOS displays an image next to search suggestions based on products that you were looking for. This feature is being expanded to display more relevant images that are related to your query, for example to help you with your shopping needs.

Here is a screenshot from Google that highlights how the feature works when performing a simple search for “bohemian table.” The app shows results for a tablecloth, table lamp and a table runner.

Search suggestions for poor network connections

Search Suggestions work on an as-you-type basis, i.e. they are delivered in real-time. It doesn't work when you have a slow internet connection. Google is addressing this problem by adding a new on-device capability in Chrome for mobile devices, in order to display search suggestions even on a poor connection.

While Google's announcement does not go into the details about how the feature would work, Joshua Cruz, a spokesperson for the Mountain View company, told The Verge how Chrome provides search suggestions on slow networks. Chrome will download a “lightweight read-only model” for a locale to the user's device, the data is stored in the user directory. It contains top search suggestions for the user's locale, and the app will use it to deliver the suggestions when the device cannot reach Google's server quickly. This feature will also work in Incognito mode, and as you may have guessed these suggestions are not personalized, rather these are trending searches for your locale.

I couldn't test the improvements on the latest version of the browser, i.e. Chrome 122. It still shows the old style of search suggestions. But The Verge reports that they were able to try them. It is likely that the improved search suggestions could be rolling out on a limited basis.

Chrome has a setting under chrome://settings/syncSetup, called "Improve search suggestions". Toggling this option disables suggestions entirely, so in theory it should prevent the new improvements as well.

Do you like the new search suggestions?

Article Name
Google Chrome gets improved Search suggestions on desktop and mobile
Search suggestions in Google Chrome have been overhauled on desktop and mobile.
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  1. John G. said on March 3, 2024 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks @Ashwin for the article. :]

  2. 45 RPM said on March 2, 2024 at 9:24 am

    This is the best takeaway/tip in the article:

    “The Search Suggestions only work when you are signed in to Chrome.”

    No need whatsoever to ever log into Chrome other than cross-device sync.

  3. Milan said on March 2, 2024 at 4:42 am

    Yeah, but does it come in black?

  4. VioletMoon said on March 1, 2024 at 3:39 pm

    @John–I turn the feature off on all browsers because the suggestions are, 98% of the time, so far off from what I’m really wanting that it clutters the entire search.

    No mention of Bard for finding sites; or the use of a VPN. Or Tor. I’ve found using a VPN completely changes the sites that are available; and using Tor offers an incredibly different search grouping.

    Search away and be happy. We are all one day closer to death!

  5. Andy Prough said on March 1, 2024 at 3:36 pm

    >”Search Suggestions work on an as-you-type basis, i.e. they are delivered in real-time.”

    Sounds creepy. Why does a multi-trillion dollar mega-corp need to know what you type letter-for-letter?

  6. Tom Hawack said on March 1, 2024 at 2:19 pm

    Google will do it all for you, Google suggests because it knows what is best for you, because it knows you.

    Reminds me Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (eighties),

    “Now there is this song [Google] wrote
    I hope you learned it note for note like good little children
    Don’t worry be happy”

    No Google here, nor their browser, nor their bloated, biased search engine, nor any other of their products and services. What a dreadful company. Again and again, take my word, avoid all of GAFAM companies, not to mention a few others, avoid social networks, strive to think freely. Then, only, be happy.

  7. John said on March 1, 2024 at 1:09 pm

    I don’t typically rely on search suggestions from any search engine.

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