Gain Visibility in Google’s Mobile “People Also Search For” Feature
A guide to improving your SEO, SEM, and content performance by helping users gain a deeper understanding of a topic on your website.
Google fully rolled out the “People Also Search For” query refinement box on Feb 13, 2018. When people are searching, they seek experts to answer their questions to make better decisions. Search marketing teams need critical-thinking marketers that grasp audience needs, language, and search patterns.
Consumers have come to rely on Google or Bing without conscious thought of their dependency. It’s highly likely that if they don’t get the right answer on the first try, they’ll click on a feature called people also search for. This is part of Google’s advancing search engine optimization capabilities so it’s worth taking a good look at.
What is “People Also Search For”?
The People Also Search For (PASF) SERP feature helps users find a better search result if their search intent wasn’t initially satisfied. It is a search engine feature that displays after someone acts on a SERP feature and then returns to the result page almost immediately.
This is taken as a signal they could not find what they wanted. So, the search engine next suggests new results under “people also search for”. The search engine hopes the person won’t simply try a different browser. Their algorithms strive to be the best at matching search intent and pleasing the person conducting the search. Like all universal SERP elements, this feature typically commands significant space in page one search results.
The subsidiaries and “people also search for” links take people to a SERP with a related carousel result, or informational content that keeps you connected to your main query. The People also search for box can display anywhere on the Google search engine results page, though: either at the bottom of the Knowledge panel or lower down the page is more common.
The People Also Search For box or PASF is a dynamic entry. It is generated by Google’s AI answering technology. Meaning that it is not always visible on every search and is query case-dependent. It also returns a similar by unique type of result from its initial iterators – the Related Search Results section and the People Also Ask or PAA section.
Currently, the People Also Ask section is presented immediately after the first result in the SERP or below a PAA box. The benefits of “People Also Search For” keywords are so extensive that they are unlimited. You gain full advantage of them when your creative content also wins image and video thumbnails. These QA-featured snippets displayed in Google search intend to make it easy for people searching to discover similar topics and expand their query results. For someone who isn’t clear or very specific when formulating their query, this is especially helpful.
How People Continue an Unfulfilled Search
People also search for can reveal your top local competitors
Or it may not be so much a competitor as much it is an association. Whether or not the entities know each other, there is a connection in search value. Your SERP analysis guides your content strategy.
In fact, often potential customers can’t find what they need in organic search results. This feature is precisely meant to further assist to find what they’re looking for. There is less reason to get frustrated when Google quickly suggests additional options. Marketers need to think that quick, too. Powerful marketing often starts with better and more robust content.
Once a searcher clicks one of these questions, the box expands to provide a brief answer to the question. Often the source URL is included so they can navigate to where they can read the full text.
Researching search trends confirms that many queries start with “What is?”, “How to…”, “Where”, and “Why is/are?”. This sends search engines looking for specific answers that will best align. They scan all formats of useful online content types.
Frequent Google testing signals that keywords that frequently display video results in the SERPs commonly also include video clips in PAA listings. People enjoy a variety of search results which is prompting the need for a multi-modal approach. It’s important to think beyond just text and image content. It has become necessary to optimize for YouTube, video results, podcasts, and audio formats as well. This provided you with more opportunities to surface in PAAs and PASFs.
Look for the “People also search for” feature located in the bottom of a Knowledge Graph (KG). Google is giving the searcher options. When you want to own the KG it may feel frustrating that your competitors show up here. However, it works both ways. If you are displayed in a competitors’ KG box, it counts in your Google Business Profile Insights. One of the top advantages of implementing structured data is it help populate your Knowledge Graph.
Looking forward, we anticipate that conversations with a search engine will replace queries. Currently progress is made when search engines provide better answers with helpful details. One example is how the Google Knowledge Graph answers questions. And we can do better research to know what questions to answer.
People Also Search for in Mobile SERPs
At one point Rank Ranger reported “People Also Search For” displayed 67.3485% of the time on mobile. Depending on the searcher’s query, it will display either a short answer, images or text for each of the listed items. It may also display the relationship between the listed item and the query (such as parent, partner, spouse, brother, etc.).
In our current tests, this space is given to “Related searches”.
Note the small three dots to the top right of the PASF box. If you click on them it explains: “These are related searches that other people have done”. Google goes further to explain: “Your search & this result”
- This result contains suggestions related to your search terms
- This result is in English
- This is a search result, not an ad. Only ads are paid, and they’ll always be labeled with “Sponsored” or “Ad”.
- Lower still in line format, you can “Send feedback on this info”
How People Also Search For & PAA Compare
People Also Search For SERP results for mobile is 32.7645% according to RankRanger.
There’s not a lot of difference when creating content. When you know your audience’s needs, investing in content creation focused on adding more value often will include QA format. The more natural you write, the more your audience will relate, which is good for growing consumer relationships.
Develop an SEO strategy to show up in People Also Search For. As Google continues to expand SERP variety, they make the search engine results pages (SERP) increasingly dynamic, and answer-rich. Business owners of all sizes and search engine optimization (SEO) professionals can embrace this chance to add more value to potential customers. These Google-owned and immediate features are designed to help people find more precise information faster.
By paying attention to “People Also Search For” your strategy will emerge so you can target additional web traffic.
An agile marketing approach lets you adapt quickly to new ways to gain more visibility in search. Effective SEO requires a holistic approach that sees past the desire to rank number one. New dynamic search features are filled with Featured Snippets, Answer Cards, and People Also Ask Related Questions or Related Searches. In fact, today, we’re seeing more Related Search features vs PASF results for may queries.
Meeting Searchers’ Needs with QA Content
The need for Question Answering (QA) content is a rapidly growing field in research and for content writers. QA systems are rapidly advancing to deliver solutions to many real-world problems. Your business’s web of data can be a rich source of useful information. Question answering research requires establishing an up-to-date overview of your audiences’ queries. It is time-consuming in nature but necessary.
Search engines are tasked with trying to understand both unstructured data and structured data. Machine reading comprehension, Information Retrieval, and data cataloging data are involved with unstructured content. Knowledge-Based Question Answering (KBQA) works over structured data types like relational tables, designated data APIs, and knowledge graphs (KGs). Question Answering within Knowledge Graphs (KGQA) can be highly rewarding to the business entity that gains their prominence.
It expands your chances to be the business with answers when people keep searching to meet their needs. Top KGQA datasets to try get into are: DBpedia, Wikidata, Freebase, WikiMovies, and EventKG.
Keep in mind that Google currently limits queries to 32 words. Most people use fewer words when querying to meet a need. They also like concise information and answers. It simple saves them time and is easier to grasp and move on.
PASFs offer Suggested Answers for Complex Tasks
Using MUM, Google can get past new queries that previously lacked a good response. It now displays better “related topics” to further assist the searcher when seeking answers to further questions. Search marketers can combine machine language learning, natural language processing, and data graphs to connect the context of search questions to their content. You can also learn which of your competitors answer questions you miss.
Skills useful for populating Knowledge Graphs with Answers:
- Understanding KG relevance scoring – This relies on pre-trained learning models to score nodes on KGs conditioned on a question. This is a general workflow for weighting information on KGs.
- Combined reasoning as to how text populates KGs: connecting the context of questions with matched content using LMs and graph neural networks.
Create Content Depth with a Purpose
People Also Ask boxes are rich with insights in terms of content ideas since they are supplied directly by Google. They are closely associated with PASF relational nodes. Studying them is an ideal way to trigger ideals of how you may gain a broader reach in Google SERPs.
People consume ideas differently. One answer may satisfy one group, but another question may need an answer with a different approach. Keywords in boxes titled “People Also Search For” are related search terms that others have used when searching for the main query. The content Google displays in Related Questions directly informs you of relational queries.
Your Google Search Console and analytics insights indicate what content resonates best and reveals which pages have less or no traffic. Take this as an indicator that you can offer more value and better answers. Ensure that your content is consumer-centric and not perceived as centered around your business goals (even if it is). It about making your data more beneficial to your audience.
Add information on your website that supports your primary topics. You build your authoritative quality and demonstrate your expertise in your business niche when your provide the best answers. For news content, an individual’s search history and preferences can trigger Top Stories carousel content.
History of People Also Search For
The “people also search for” feature isn’t new. It had a different look ten year ago as knowledge graphs were first introduced. Today’s version is getting more attention and is more useful than its former image thumbnails.
It’s evolved to display topics closely related to the original search phrase. Mobile search results typically offer even more PASF options. Market research indicates that over 80% of mobile SERPs and nearly 60% of desktop SERPs return a “People also search for” display. Those percentages tell us this is one opportunity not to be missed.
Sometimes we find the placement of the PASF box not in its expected position at the bottom of the page. Google’s algorithm seems to attempt to meet users’ needs given the lack of cataloged content for the initial search. Google’s algorithm clearly tests and adjusts its position on the page. Meaning, we don’t see this as something that will go away anytime soon.
So, what is Google the Answer Engine saying about is QA processes?
New milestones for Google understanding information better
“Every day, billions of people turn to Google to search for answers to questions big and small. Of all the searches we see, it’s the complex tasks — like planning a family vacation or fixing a broken appliance — that are the most challenging to solve.
Since the announcement of the Multitask Unified Model (MUM, for short) earlier this year, our consumer teams have been experimenting with its capabilities to help solve complex tasks. We saw a preview of what’s possible at Search On.
MUM represents a significant leap forward in Google’s ability to understand information and deliver better Search results. It’s one of our first multimodal AI models, meaning it can understand information across a wide range of formats simultaneously — like text, image, and video. In addition, it can unlock information in new ways by inferring connections between concepts, topics, and ideas.
Taken together, these latest advances will enable entirely new ways to search by helping Google understand complex tasks and questions in ways never before possible.” – Google Search Changes & Updates
How to Optimize for PASF featured snippets?
- Understand the search intent behind the question.
- Understand content relevance.
- Add strong headlines and use Question Answer format.
- Answer questions correctly, clear, and concisely in an authoritative manner.
Final Takeaways for Marketers and SEOs
Gaining a featured snippet in PAA and PASF answers is an easy way to increase a specific page’s visibility and organic share of voice.
Hill Web Creations, a Minneapolis digital marketing service, offers content management services as either a stand-alone or packaged option. If you are serious about your marketing efforts, call 651-206-2410 today and ask for Jeannie.
We can help you Win SERP Clicks and New Customers!