I don’t know about anyone else, but when Moz re-branded from “SEOmoz” back in May of 2013, I was more or less flabbergasted!

Part of me thought it was genius, part of me thought it was utter suicide. Nevertheless, it seems like it was a great move for them and it’s been a lot of fun watching the change happen.

When this first happened, I wondered how long it would take for “Moz” to occupy Google auto-complete. At the time “SEOmoz” completely owned auto-complete for pretty much everything.

So I set off to do a super-informal case study to see how long it would take for “Moz” to own Google auto-complete.

The Moz Auto-Complete Case Study

Self-Imposed Rules*

  1. Test will only include “moz+space” with no variations.
  2. Logged out of Google, Private Browsing, Personalization Off
  3. Grab a screenshot every week or so
  4. Be TAGFEE

* huge disclaimer- I definitely realize that pretty much everyone will see different auto-complete results. This study was more for me than anyone, as I haven’t really taken a good look into auto-complete in a few years.

May 30, 2013

The day after the re-brand. No love for Moz whatsoever and it is looking like they will have stiff competition with “Mozilla” and a few competing brands.

may 30 auto complete


June 1, 2013

Still no love. Moz is nervous?
june 1


June 7, 2013


june 7

June 13, 2013

Movement, still no love.

june 13 autocomplete case study

June 14, 2013

I kept asking myself, “what is Moz-ART” then I finally figured when I Googled “MOZART” (like the composer, duh)

june 14

June 20, 2013

Still no love, but thinking about getting some moz wheels.

june 20

July 5, 2013


july 5

August 11, 2013

Right at about the 2 month mark Moz starts showing up in the SERPs!

aug 11 moz autocomplete

August 22, 2013

About a week or so later they really start poppin’.

august 22

August 27, 2013

Another week and solid branding remains.

august 27

September 2, 2013

Into September and still seeing the same auto-complete.

september 2

September 6, 2013

There has definitely been some fluctuation but I think all these impressions are finally registering with Google.

sept 6

September 27, 2013

At this point Moz is steadily occupying 2/4 or 3/4 auto complete spots.

september 27

October 1, 2013

No changes today.

october 1

October 2, 2013

The day Google decides to show me their new logo, also my birthday. No major changes.

oct 2

October 6, 2013

Still can’t seem to knock these “moz wheels” folks off the top here.

oct 6

October 23, 2013

This is the first date I noticed Moz took the top slot.

oct 23

October 31, , 2013

They kept the top slot from that moment on.

oct 31

November 2, 2013

Or did they.

november 2

November 5, 2013

Moz wheels strikes again, but Moz keeps 3/4 auto-complete slots.

nov 5

November 6, 2013

No changes.

november 6

November 13, 2013

This is the first major change I saw in a while. We are now seeing “moz google updates” along with “moz analytics” which I’m sure Moz is super stoked about.

nov 13

November 23, 2013

3/4 slots dominated, way to go Moz!

nov 23

November 27, 2013

3/4 slots dominated, moz wheels remains a player in the Moz war.

nov 27

November 30, 2013

Same stuff, no changes today.

november 30

December 24, 2013

An early X-mas present to Moz. The first time 4/4 Moz auto-complete slots were occupied.

dec 24

December 25, 2013

Christmas morning Moz owns auto-complete.

dec 25

January 8, 2014

Tested one last time yesterday and they are going strong, with a little fluctuation.

jan 8 2014

Great job Moz!

It appears as though you’ve conquered the mysterious auto-complete. Again, if 5 other people ran the same test I am sure we would see 5 completely different case studies.

As a matter of fact, within about a week or so after the re-brand with personalization on and location set to “Seattle, WA” “moz” was dominating quite a few autocomplete slots.

Many people have failed at this daunting task, but over the years we can conclude a few things about auto-complete:

  • it is algorithmic
  • personalization and geo-targetting are huge factors
  • the algorithm takes into account impressions / search volume
  • social mentions might be a factor
  • co-citations might also be a factor

Any questions or criticisms please leave a comment!