A Detailed Guide on Google’s “People Also Search For” Feature to Boost Your SEO Performance

By learning related keywords that people also search for, you can gain a deeper understanding of a topic. Discover what your visitors are looking for next during their journey and use people also search for information to develop content that will keep them on your website.

by Manas C
What is the "People Also Search For" Feature and How To Use It for SEO

Google’s SERP results page has constantly been undergoing various changes over the years. Depending on the type of question asked by users, Google offers different search result types and snippets.

But how does that affect SEO, you ask? It does and to a great extent! 

On the whole, Google’s result page is much more dynamic than its contemporaries like Bing. With them pushing on more paid ads,  featured snippets, and sections like ‘People Also Ask’ – the path to ranking organically has also changed. 

The case in point here is the People Also Search For box. While the People Also Search For the box is not a new entrant into Google’s SERP results, it did undergo some changes to be what it is now:

The People Also Search For box is now a dynamic entry which means it is not always visible on every search and is case-dependent. It also returns a different type of result than its initial iterators – the Related Search Results section and the People Also Ask section. 

Confused? Don’t be. Let’s dive into a step-by-step of how People Also Search For (PASF) works when it appears and most importantly – how you can leverage it to your SEO advantage. 

When does the “People Also Search For” Box appear?

Being a dynamic entry, the People Also Search For box is not initially displayed. It only appears after you have clicked on an initial organic result and then return back onto the SERP result page.

In other words, Google assumes you did not find what you were looking for on that particular website and offers more suggestions. However, PASF differs from regular SERP results. PASFs are URL-centric. This means, it offers snippets from the particular website you just visited – hence it appears just beneath it.

Here, we conducted a search for “how can an invention be protected”. This is the results page:

Next, let’s visit the 2nd search result  – Wipo.int and then return to Google (it works both within the same tab and when you open it in a new tab and close it). 

When we return, an additional section drops down from that result. The PASF keywords are related to the Wipro.int website and not to the original search string we typed. 

On a desktop, you can also access another PASF section from the search box itself – another new addition. So, how does this differ from the PASF section that appears along the URL visited?  

Let’s search for “Marie Curie”. 

Now, clicking on the search box again expands the suggestion list to include another PAA (People Also Ask) and PASF section. The PASF results here are centered on the search string and not on any URL visited. Thus, they are much more generalized. 

Again, this is not a new feature, but simply an additional placement. You might be familiar with the right-hand snippet that appears when one searches for specific items. Here too, we see a PASF section at the bottom. The same is simply reiterated within the search box. 

However, the PASF along the search box does not appear for every term. For our earlier search term, there is no further PASF section along with the search box. 

PASF also works great for music, movies, books, and other similar recommendations. Here too, we get a static People also search for section below streaming and buying suggestions. 

People also search for is a data mine for anyone who knows how to use these terms to their advantage. You essentially get data directly from Google based on their understanding of user search patterns! 

How People Also Search For Works – What You Should Know

But, before getting into how one can use the PASF results to their advantage, let’s understand the ins and outs of what triggers and runs it. 

  • Trigger – The trigger for People also search for is visiting and closing a search result tab. However, the PASF box appears for search results only – both organic and paid ones. Here, you can see the People Also Search For box being deployed for the top result which is a paid ad. 

If you click on a Featured Snippet result or a People Also Ask result and return, the PASF box is not activated. The same goes for the Related Searches section. 

  • Position of the PASF Box – People also search for is a dynamic entry which means it drops down from the URL you visited and closed. As such, it changes position depending on your search pattern. Google will keep offering PASF boxes for each search result that you visit and close – here, we have 3 on the same page. The overlap between these can offer some interesting SEO insights. You can close these boxes anytime using the cross button. 
  • Phone vs. Desktop – On desktop, People also search for returns 6 results. On mobile, it returns 4 results. If you are using a browser other than Chrome, like Safari or Firefox, dynamic content like the PASF box may not be displayed at all. Static content like Featured Snippets and the People Also Ask section are not affected.

A Timeline of the People Also Search For Feature

Like we said, People also search for isn’t new, but it certainly underwent various changes to be the SEO goldmine it is right now. 

2012

The People Also Search For section made its debut in the form of image thumbnails. The feature is still present today as we saw while searching the term “Marie Curie”. As Google started working with knowledge graphs, the PASF box evolved as something that directed people towards related topics. 

2020

Google started experimenting with the PAA and PASF features. Originally, it featured the PAA box in the form of related questions.

2021

The final People also search for box as we see today was rolled out and is currently running on both desktop and mobile versions.

Other Related Features by Google

While PASF is a great tool to understand user search intent, the Google search result page has many different segments that offer different types of data. 

To better understand how to read their data, let’s conduct a simple Google search for “NFT”. 

  • Search Results – This refers to the regular search results that appear on a page. Search results appear based on the presence of your search term or related terms on that page. For example, for NFT, search results include the primary term – NFT, and related secondary term – NFTs. You can see this by clicking on the 3 dots next to a search result and accessing the “About this result” section. 
  • Featured Snippets – These are displayed in two ways. The top result can either be a snippet in itself as seen here. 

O you can see further snippets when you expand on the People Also Ask section as seen next. 

  • People Also Ask Section – The People Also Ask section differs from the People Also Search For section in that it offers questions and not keywords.

And it also offers multiple result types. For search terms that are questions, the People Also Ask section (PAA) might include video results with part of the video highlighted. In the search result here, clicking on the first PAA result opens up a video snippet. 

The position of the PAA section is dynamic. It may appear at different positions however, it is always present and does not appear later like the PASF box. Also, unlike the PASF section, PAA offers a featured snippet of text as seen below:

  • Related Searches Section – Present at the end of the page, the Related Searches Section aims to provide other related search terms that you can look at. For example, if you look up a musician, the Related Searches Section might suggest other such musicians, whereas the PASF section would look at the same musician’s discography.  On the whole, the Related Searches section drives you away from your original topic to similar topics. 
Google Related Searches

How to Leverage People Also Search for SEO

Understanding the user intent behind searches

Simply knowing that “NFT” has a high search volume does not really help us figure out what it is that users are looking for. However, once we look at the PASF results for the same such as: how to create an nft, nft price and nft marketplace, we get a better idea of what users are interested in at the moment. 

Once we combine this with the People Also Ask results: how can I buy NFTs, and Are NFT a good investment? – the motive becomes much clearer. Thus, utilizing the People Also Search For results can help you identify the user intent behind searches as well as identify what user search patterns are. 

What do we mean by search patterns? Simply, how users move through topics to find what they are looking for. 

PASFs are meant to answer the user’s next query or search intent.. Here’s a search for Brad Pitt. 

The PASF tells us more about what people usually look for next and answers them. That’s how they were designed, as per Google’s former senior vice president  Amit Singhal. Singhal rewrote the original Google algorithm devised by its founder Larry Page. 

Thus, the suggestions are offered based on Google’s own algorithm and data collection. In other words, you get data without investing in your own tool for analyzing the same!

How to Implement It?

  • Create relevant content by studying PASF results – Try to find out what it is that the customer is looking for. In other words – identify the search intent for your keyword. Once done, try to create content surrounding that intent. Doing this will also help you realize if there needs to be any restructuring in your webpage. 
  • Include major seed terms in your content – PASF terms often repeat for multiple websites. PAA results can be the same for more than one search term. Identify these seed terms that are repeated using excel – these are the terms your content must have! By creating organic content that focuses not only on the search term but the PASF terms, people might revisit your page as their next-in-line query comes up. It is a way of generating secondary traffic. 

Identify popular search engine categories

Data structuring is extremely important for search engines to be able to find their way through your website. Hence, anything that helps them identify items including tags, metadata, and other types of categorisation can go a long way towards improving your SEO score. 

Rather than looking at individual products, you might also want to categorize them as per the popular categories. Think of it in this way: you might be selling a “Philips HD2582/00 Pop-up Toaster”. But people are more likely to search for something like”Philips toaster” or “Pop-up toaster”. Once you’ve recognized the category as Toaster (or Kitchen Appliances), you can then move ahead and look at the common FAQs and searched questions under these categories.

How to Implement It?

  • Add an FAQ Page – FAQ pages are a great way to organically include user search terms and topics into your content. A lot of the ‘People Also Ask’ for results come up in the way of commonly asked questions. There are many existing templates available in the form of funnels that slowly draw in users. Adding an FAQ scheme as a specialized markup code also allows search engines to know that you have one and sift through it. Thus, we get one more point for SEO! 
  • Include 5 W’s – The 5 W’s include who, what, when, where, and why. One look at the PAA results will tell you that most of these questions begin with one of the above words (or how). These cover all different aspects of a product so make sure you include them in your content. 

Understanding current trends and problems

Site PASFs can change over time with respect to what’s trending at the moment. So, how do we create something that lasts a while longer? The key is keeping the right balance between what’s too specific for the user to search for and what’s not too common to end up on Page 10. 

How to Implement It?

  • Update Your Content – One way is to find out the common characteristics of products and use them as keywords. Instead of being too specific, try to be more generalized. A good way is to look at products in categories instead of as individual products. 

Preventing bounces

If you notice that your page has a high bounce rate, it could be that they cannot find what they are looking for on it. In that case, even a URL-centric PASF may not be able to help them find what they need. 

It is not enough to simply expand upon the content your site has. Structuring it properly and focusing on keywords is the main aim. 

How to Implement It?

  • Google Yourself – You can take a look at your site’s PASF to see what Google considers keywords from your site. Tally this with the user search intent – and you might be able to gauge where the problem lies! 

Tools to Find People Also Search For Keywords

You need not rely on random searches to find out the keywords People Also Search For. Here are some cool tools that can do the same and more.

  1. Keywords Everywhere

A browser plugin available for both Chrome and Firefox, Keywords Everywhere provides not only PASF keywords but also various other metrics. It functions on the Google search results page itself as appears as two separate boxes on the right.  

Feature rundown

  • Related keywords and PASF
  • Metrics include search volume, CPC, and competitiveness
  • Data can be exported as a CSV
  • Can save specific keywords, including adding all keywords from a page onto a list
  • Works on individual web pages and not just Google search results
  • Can offer country-wise metrics
  • Historical trend data for 2 sites – Google and Youtube

How to use it? 

  1. Install the extension for Chrome or Firefox.
  2. Once done, Keywords Everywhere will automatically appear on your search pages.
  3. The Keywords Everywhere icon on the top right offers a dashboard for analyzing individual page content or adding keywords onto a list.
  1. Search Response

Search Response offers both an online PAA and PASF tool. The latter is here known as the PASF tool (People Also Search for Keywords). Currently, the tool is free to use as it is still being tested and is in its BETA version. 

Feature rundown

  • Both PAA and PASK tool
  • Look at monthly search trends, search volume, keyword importance, CPC, and SERP Features. 
  • Also look at 1st Organic Pixel Height which shows how low the 1st organic result is on a results page. 
  • Filtering of data and country-wise data offered

How to use it? 

  1. Visit the Search Response website.
  2. Select either the PAA or PASF tool depending on your need.
  3. You can conduct searches using both keywords and URLs so select one among the two.
  4. Select the region you want to get insights from. 
  5. Enter the data and that’s it! 
  1. Dashword

Along with their many other SEO tools, Dahsword also offers a PASF finder. Dashboard’s PASF Finder is free, and as such, it offers limited features. However, it is still a reliable PASF finder for Google. 

Feature rundown

  • Offers PASF keywords based on Google recommendations
  • Shows search volume, keyword difficulty, and CPC for the keywords
  • Free to use but no exporting option is available. 

How to use it? 

  1. Visit the Dashword PASF Finder page
  2. Enter the keyword you want information on and press enter
  3. Voila! A list is generated. 
  1. Answer the Public

With a unique data visualization style, Answer the Public offers Google search insights for absolutely free. The results are displayed as branches from primary to secondary to tertiary levels which makes it great for identifying parent keywords. It is worth noting that Answer the Public uses Google autocomplete to find their results. 

Feature rundown

  • Data is shown both as visualization and as text.
  • Look at the 5W’s and H previously discussed
  • Alphabetical, preposition-wise, and question-wise arrangement of data
  • Can export data as CSV file and save images onto the system

How to use it? 

  1. Visit the Answer the Public website
  2. Enter the keyword in the space provided
  3. Enter the country you want to get data from
  4. Observe the results as they appear in the form of a branch
  5. Export the data in the form of a CSV file
  6. With the Pro version, you can compare multiple keyword results

Final Thoughts on People Also Search For Feature

On the whole, a lot revolves around creating the right type of content. People Also Search For keywords can help you find the right kind of things to add to your website. But structuring them, making them SEO-friendly and easy for search engines to find is up to you. 

Google’s PASF Feature is great for creating great content by looking to understand more on how to engage users on their website or get that long click thing going. We hope this article was able to shed light on what it is and how it works.

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