Digital Marketing

People also search for : Understanding the feature from an SEO perspective

It’s not just for 2022, but also for 2023 and beyond; People also search for (PASF) is a tactic and feature that Google has put in its search engine (putting it ahead of competition). Google continues adding more innovations and variety, and additionally, it has made its search engine result pages (SERP) more dynamic.

This gives both business owners, C-Level executives, SEO professionals, digital and content marketers alike more features to explore and more chances to become overwhelmed.

At first, it wouldn’t look like that. Yet these changes have their advantages. Focusing on People Also Search For is good for targeting new traffic on what people ask other than their search queries is advantageous.

With a lot of variety present in SERPs, there are numerous new ways to obtain more exposure as well as search. Hence, the ultimate objective of SEO is no longer just rank number one in search engine result pages (SERPs). 

The fact of the matter is that there are diminishing returns on top organic rankings because of dynamic search features that are now a reality, especially Featured Snippets and of course, ‘People Also Ask.’

Google continues adding more elements to search engine result pages and has decided to include as many paid ads into the SERPs as possible, and number one ranking is no longer what it once was. Now businesses and SEO teams need to adapt and adjust accordingly. One method of doing so is aiming for the PAA area on as many keywords as they can.

‘People Also Search For’ – what does it stand for and what is it all about?

The People Also Search For (PASF) is a feature that is only shown to users clicking on a search engine result and then coming back quickly to the SERP. Why did the user come back to the SERP? Google assumes that since they couldn’t find what they need on the search engine, it offers more suggestions to see if they found what they need.

The recommendations are basically related queries and part of User Intent. Determining User Intent and providing appropriate options accordingly helps find the exact intent of the search query any user makes.

The People Also Ask (PAA) of Google – Do people also search for other examples?

The People Also Ask feature is one of google’s most dynamic features. It contains questions which are relevant to the original search query. 

In terms of SEO, the PAA is colloquially referred to as data goldmine as all data comes from Google directly. Each search result on those pages is associated with almost six ‘PASF’ keywords. They can be used to expand the potential reach on Google’s search engine in numerous ways.

Featured snippets are somehow unaffected – here is how

When SEO professionals are replicating click-through and back button tests to see whether or not PASF boxes are on display, the featured snippets were not seen on them and they did not change either. This means that it can be quite critical to aim for a good rank in Google Position Zero.

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When people bounce, relevant queries should be examined

Let’s suppose a business viewed their analytics data and found out that a lot of people bounce off its web pages for specific keywords or queries. What this indicates is that the business did not provide the needed answers (or value) the users required.

Close attention should be paid to the list of related questions on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), and ensuring that the content is able to address them all nicely. This kind of tactic should make the page more beneficial to the audience.

Those who are not sure about the best way to format content and add new ones or make content which is more useful and relevant to users, they need to examine which sites rank higher than theirs. They can alternatively look at the content from their direct competitors. This helps them see the style, length, types of topics covered along with the language and tone used.

SEO professionals, content and digital marketers alike need to see what makes their competitors’ content unique. They should also look for patterns. The aim here is not copying the competition but rather improving content. Being user-centric first and then focusing on the search engine in this matter is compulsory.

Making content around related queries

Another way of going ahead of competition is to begin expanding information on the website. This is where marketing teams need to think about topics related to the primary topic, research thoroughly and then create more valuable content.

Businesses can grow faster provided they have this kind of information. They can also become more authoritative in their area of specialty as well.

Let’s just imagine potential customers looking for a particular company in organic search results, and they are unable to find what they are looking for. Instead they could become frustrated, return to the search engine result page and go to a relevant query. This is where the customers find something they need. Yes, it is powerful marketing.

Once users click on one of those questions, the box expands to exhibit text especially if it is a brief answer to a question. The content’s source (URL of where the content was extracted from) is shown below. Moreover, a shortcut link for conducting other Google search terms for the particular query is also conducted.

The PAA area at first has a few questions. As people continue clicking on more questions in the PAA area, they get to see two or three more items being added. In fact, those boxes expand with new questions added once users click on more queries to see their answers.

Yet the number of PAA does not relate to keyword patterns. Yet it can change later as professionals can see comparative keywords that can be more or less inclined to a certain number of PAA results. The number of questions SEO professionals can use for finding SEO opportunities varies.

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What more needs to be understood about the PAA box?

SERP positions of the PAA area can change

It can be assumed that the PAA area has the same static location on a SERP (whenever Google triggers them). However, unlike featured snippets which are usually at the top of the SERP, the PAA area is present on different areas of the SERP (meaning it has no static location).

It is hence fundamental to understand implications of varying positions of PAA in SERPs as they can impact the click through rate of organic search results. This happens especially on mobile devices due to limited space.

It can bring in video results

As  queries are usually ‘What is’, ‘How is’, ‘How to’, ‘How can’, ‘Why is/are?’ and the like; video results are included because not only are tutorials shown but also users are asking for solutions to a particular problem.

Google will continue testing this to the point that most of the keywords showing video results in the SERPs can also initiate videos in the PAA listing. Companies need to optimize their videos on YouTube and other platforms on Google so they can be found in the PAA area.

PAA box usually repeats and triggers featured snippets

A lot of PAA questions initiate featured snippets. Meaning the same Q&A in the PAA box can display itself for various keywords. The same answers plus listings appearing for a particular query in the PAA area also appear for other questions started by PAAs.

The main difference between People Also Search For (PASF) vs People Also Ask (PAA) – what to know 

Choosing one over the other has no reason. Expanding content to make more value for the customers whilst also aiming to get shown in the SERPs for both these features is best as well. The more organic chances a company has the more they will be shown to their audience. This is essential for credibility, trust, traffic, and for improving Google people search too.

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