In its mission to improve the search engine experience for its users, Google started displaying the ‘People Also Ask‘ boxes in 2015. According to a study conducted by SEMrush, 49% of the search results have a ‘People Also Ask Box’.
The PAA box is displayed on the first page of Google and is usually seen at the top. As of March 2022, some queries have started showing two PAA boxes on the first page of Google.
This makes it a very hot real estate to acquire. But is there a way to show your content in these boxes? Are there any SEO benefits of ranking in these boxes? Let’s have a look.
What is the ‘People Also Ask’ Box?
People Also Ask Box is a Google search feature displayed on the first page of Google search page results.
The PAA box displays questions and answers related to the user’s search query. Clicking the question expands the box to show an answer to the question. These answers come from different web pages which also have a link to the source.
On clicking a question, you will find new relevant questions load up.
Earlier, the PAA box used to show up after the first or second search result. Nowadays, the box can be seen anywhere on the first page and depends on the search intent and query.
The PAA box usually contains text but sometimes Google shows videos in PAA boxes as well. This suggests that having a mixed content strategy with text and videos can be helpful.
Why is Ranking in the ‘People Also Ask’ Box Important?
Ranking in the ‘People Also Ask’ Box is mainly important because of the location on SERPs where this box is displayed. The PAA box is on the first page of Google and showing up on the first page of Google is important to increase a website’s search engine visibility, increase brand awareness and increase organic traffic.
People Also Ask boxes can also help with voice search. With the increase in usage of voice assistants, understanding the PAA box algorithm can be a good inclusion in your overall SEO strategy.
Google does not show us any data related to the People Also Ask box, hence it is difficult to know the exact data on how these boxes can be beneficial for the website.
How To Rank in ‘People Also Ask’ Box?
Google has never released a statement on how the People Also Ask box works. There are no dedicated markup or schema to generate and rank in the PAA box. Hence, it can be a hit or a miss to get ranked in the PAA box.
However, we can reverse engineer the search results and use these steps to increase our chances of ranking in a PAA box.
1. Answer Popular Search Queries
These tools will help in researching questions for your target keyword.
Another way of looking for such content ideas is to look at Google search suggestions, and Google related searches.
2. Use Plain and Simple Language
There is a big myth that your articles or blog posts need to have a specific number of words for them to rank. This is not true and hence writers should not add unnecessary words to the article.
Make sure you answer the query in a very simple language.
3. Do Not Use Sales Language
A question should have a simple answer to it. Avoid promoting your products or services here.
4. Look For Similar Questions
Before writing any content, research is very important. Repeating what is available on the Internet won’t get you good rankings. However, researching on a similar topic, product or service can help you generate good content ideas.
For eg., If you are writing about an SEO tool, research on the Internet and check the People Also Ask box for a competitor. This way you are writing something which is not written before.
5. Add FAQ Schema
FAQ Schema is not a sure shot strategy to get featured in the PAA box. However, it will increase your chances. Moreover, FAQ schema helps in showing your questions under your search result which occupies more real estate.
Hence, FAQ schema is a good strategy to increase your search engine visibility and click-through rate.
People Also Ask box is a SERP feature. There is no schema or code that can help you get your website listed on a PAA box.
However, proper research and following some basic rules can get a website featured under a PAA box.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Featured Snippet the same as the People Also Ask Box?
No. Featured Snippets are always shown on top of the search results and is not as same as the PAA box.
Is there a Schema for the People Also Ask Box?
No. There is no Schema available for PAA boxes.
How many questions are shown in PAA Boxes?
There are 4-5 questions and answers displayed in the PAA box. The box expands and new questions & answers load as we click a question.
How do People Also Ask help voice searches?
Voice search uses knowledge graphs, rich snippets and structured data or schema to populate results. A PAA box is a snippet and hence it can help in voice searches.