What Is People Also Ask on Google?
It’s something that has become second nature to almost everyone on the internet: the humble Google search.
You want the answer to a question; you enter your search query into Google. Your answer comes up in almost no time, but along with it, in a box just underneath, come more questions.
These are titled People Also Ask (PAA). This expandable grid box has been part of Google’s Search Engine Result Page (SERP) for a while now; if you click on any of the additional questions, you will get more information related to them, including a link to take you to a suggested site.
What’s happening is that when you make your query, Google interprets it, alongside other similar queries other users have made, and offers the top results of those to you as well. Every one of these is expandable, giving you the top result to that related query.
Click one of those links and there will be yet more results, and so on. It’s a seemingly endless stream of potential answers to your original, simple question.
People Also Ask triggered questions can vary, in terms of their relevance to what you’re actually searching for. Their idea is to give you the best possible range of results, in anticipation that you may actually want additional info, even as you make your first query.
One obvious benefit for Google is that with People Also Ask, if you utilize it, you’ll almost certainly keep Google uppermost in your mind when contemplating a search, and stay on their platform longer.
They’re also trying to offer users a better understanding of any topic searched, based on their huge database of past search queries.
For example, the above search query might have been “How to make an apple pie?” but Google’s analysis of it offers a deeper dive into the topic, giving you more options to choose from, via similar-sounding phrases and keywords.
In fact, the further you go into the “People Who Ask” feature on Google’s SERP, the deeper into their knowledge base you go, with an evolving shift away from your original query, in terms of relevancy.
Click on the expanding carousel of new questions you might have not thought of, and you will be given a whole new set of additional follow-up questions and answers to consider. Google even extracts a quick summary from the related page, when you click that particular question. It can be a useful way for you to get potential additional information you’re seeking, without having to think of new search queries or phrases.
Conveniently, and for clarity, the box won’t appear at the top of the results page, but further down the page.
Why Is Google Making These Changes?
By offering this deeper dive on your search queries, Google’s algorithms are trying to anticipate different ways you may have wanted to phrase your original question, or that you had additional queries in mind along with your first one. With the example above, you can see how they interpreted the original query with their offering of related search terms and questions.
The end result is that with People Also Ask, you get more options; the more additional questions you click, the more related questions you’ll get. Part of Google’s goal is also query refinement; they are encouraging websites to improve their visibility by adding more specific content.
It’s mutually beneficial – the website gets an opportunity at increased traffic, and Google gives their users a better, more meaningful search experience.
Find the Right Questions In “People Also Ask” Box
PAA are becoming ever-more common with your Google search results, but there are still times when the related question box won’t show up on the results page.
The more narrow and specific your search query is, the less likely it will generate People Also Ask questions. Generally, the more general or vague question or phrase searched is, the more likely you will trigger the Google People Also Ask box.
Reliability of Quality and Authority of related posts
Take a close look at the related questions’ sources, and you’ll see they come from Google’s most popular results.
People Also Ask and Readability
The same attributes that Google has historically recognized – the tried and true methods of good content:
- proper tagging
- keyword placement
…will help determine the People Also Ask questions and the sites they point to. As always, the strength of the related posts will lie on the strength of the content.
People Also Ask Authority
All this information will be critical to the performance of your website. The better and more well-informed the content is on your website – the more of an “authority” you are determined to be, the more likely Google will add your website to this related posts box.
Additionally, in order to get a good placement in one of these boxes, forming your content to more of a question and answer form will give you a spot in those boxes as well. This is what makes FAQ pages so important and prominent these days.
Your content’s questions are now part of the algorithm Google uses to drive People Also Ask results. Google will run its algorithm to determine similar People Also Ask questions, comparing your site’s questions against the user’s original query.
How Do I Optimize My Website For People Also Ask?
So now you know why it’s great practice to create an FAQ page. Just take a look at the above heading again. These are exactly the type of questions Google seeks out.
They analyse the questions they find on a website like yours (and your competitors), to determine whether they are worthy of a PAA placement, and how high up they should be placed.
This, in fact, is one of the key strategies we at All The Way Up Media use to ensure our clients’ content is optimized for the best possible Google result – and that includes People Also Ask.
Even if your question is linked to an anchor text, to simply jump to a different section within your website, Google will still recognize this as relatable questioning. But keep in mind, the question must be there for Google to find it.
If your page is lacking in relevant questions, say good-bye to a PAA placement.
So as a quick summary – be sure, when creating your content, that you optimize your website pages, so that they meet the following criteria:
- Create in-depth content with many relevant questions
- At the very top of the page, create an index of links to jump to the section where each question is presented with the answer below.
- With each question and answer, you will reap the reward of the potential exposure of:
- Getting featured in the “People Who Ask” section
- Get additional mini-site links to your search snippet
The Benefits Of the PAA Featured Snippet
Taking advantage of a placement in Google’s People Also Ask related question box has added benefits to your website:
- You’ll stand a greater chance of driving more organic traffic to your website, by offering more information on the topic the user is searching for.
- Your website will become an authority and become a chosen site for answers to most common questions throughout Google.
- Digital marketers and internet marketing experts take advantage of People Also Ask to give them idea of topics to write about.
The People Who Ask featured snippet should be made part of your overall online marketing strategy, and website content. Having relevant questions for Google to find, even if you have to do it through trial and error, to try and solve their complex algorithm, will be worth the time spent.
You’ll stand a far greater chance of success in your search rankings by paying attention to People Also Ask.
Take the time and make the effort, and your website will be destined to become a true authority for many related questions online. Ignore this important snippet at your peril.
Of course, if you think this all sounds like a lot of work, and requires a considerable amount of expertise, you’re right.
That’s why partnering with an SEO agency like All The Way Up makes so much sense.
It’s a cost effective way towards achieving a true web presence, which generates traffic to your site, leads to your contact form, and ultimately, increased sales to your bottom line.
Contact us now to see how we can help your site become the lead generating machine it deserves to be.