What is “people also ask” in GSC?
PAA(People Also Ask) is a feature in Google that, in addition to the initial search query, provides users with further information that they may be interested in.
For example, If you search “Is Instagram banned in Russia”, you’ll get plenty of follow-up results in the “people also ask” section.
The answers to those questions are curated from sources that Google considers to be the most trustworthy, relevant, and useful. They could be paragraphs of text, bulleted lists, or maybe videos.
How does Google measures the performance of ‘people also ask’ pages in Search Console?
The topic is discussed during the 14 march “Google Search Central SEO office-hours” hangout. During the live stream, a person named Aakash Singh (timespan-2:20) asked how Google Search Console tracks data e.g. clicks, impressions, and positions for pages appearing in ‘people also ask’ snippets.
When a searcher clicks on a PAA suggestion, and a link to a webpage appears below, an impression is counted for that page.
“The short answer is whenever there is a URL shown in the search results we do try to show that in Search Console. So with the ‘people also ask’ sections, I think it is that if you expand it then it shows a link to your site with that question and the snippet there. That means whenever someone expands that ‘people also ask’ section and sees the URL for your site, then that is counted as an impression.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re kind of the first one in the ‘people also ask,’ or if people clicked like 15 different ones and suddenly yours shows up. That would be counted as an impression.”
Mueller further says
“Also, when a click happens, that gets counted as a click. I think the ranking, the position, is based on the overall position of that group of elements. At least, as far as I know, it doesn’t count like within the ‘people also ask’ section what position you are.”
In simple terms, a click is recorded when a link is clicked on, according to Mueller. To determine the ranking position, the Search Console examines where the ‘people also ask’ section appears in a specific set of search results.
How can I rank in the “people also ask” box?
There is a huge advantage of ranking your website in the “people also ask” box. Your website will receive better brand awareness, more organic traffic, and a competitive advantage.
There is a lot of competition to appear in the People Also Ask box on Google. In this search feature, there isn’t an exact ranking formula or process; however, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of ranking higher:-
1. Find pages that rank for many keywords
It’s impossible to seek out all the keywords where Google shows a particular question within the PAA box. All we can hope to do is find questions that show up for lots of keywords with a high combined monthly search volume.
And to do that, we first have to find pages that rank for lots of keywords.
2. Write easy to consume content
In the age of fast information, consumers are less patient with lead-in content or fluff. Utilize the subsequent formatting techniques to boost scannability and user experience:
- Infographics and images
3. Use common PAA questions
Google seems to always use the same source for a question’s answer, even if it shows up in the PAA box across multiple queries. So, the next step is to find the most frequently occurring questions for your page. After all, if the same question is showing in the PAA box for hundreds or thousands of keywords, then it’s potentially worth optimizing for.
PAA is a relatively new feature but has quickly become a typical part of the Google SERPs. You can undoubtedly boost organic traffic by ranking in PAA boxes, but you should focus on the ranking of popular keywords instead of optimizing content for keywords that are searched once in a while.