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When you’re producing marketing content, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of the most important is how your publications will perform on search engines. This dictates how easily people will find your articles, whether or not they will click on them, and even what topics you should cover. As such, it’s essential that you use every tool at your disposal to ensure that your content is optimized for search engines.

There are many approaches to ensuring that your articles and blogs are visible and engaging for your intended audience. However, one strategic consideration that doesn’t get as much attention is the People Also Ask feature on Google.

So, let’s go over what this tool is, how it works, and how it should impact your marketing content.

Key takeaways on People Also Ask (PAA)

The article discusses the People Also Ask (PAA) feature on Google search and its impact on marketing content. Here are five key takeaways:

  1. People Also Ask is a feature on Google search engine that lists additional questions related to a user’s query, providing an accordion list of questions other people have asked about the entered search.
  2. PAA questions are primarily determined through machine learning that observes user tendencies and draws connections between different topics and search questions.
  3. Google’s People Also Ask related questions depend on how common the original search is, the connections to other queries identified by the search engine, and the popularity of those related questions.
  4. Benefits of People Also Ask include greater visibility, double-ranking opportunities, and the ability to guide future content creation.
  5. To optimize content for People Also Ask, one can respond effectively to user interests, adapt existing content to better fit changing questions, and check what questions relate to their topic, among other things. Additionally, there are several research tools options, such as SEOwind, Semrush Keyword Magic Tool, KWFinder, and Ahrefs Keyword Generator.

What is People Also Ask?

Whenever you launch a Google search, what is your primary interest? Typically, users are most interested in the results on the front page, which ideally answer your primary question. But another feature on the front page is incredibly useful not only for your everyday Google user but also for marketing leaders: the People Also Ask (PAA) box.

Source: PeopleAlsoAsk questions for “Google SEO”

This is an additional tool that lists additional questions related to a user’s query. Specifically, People Also Ask provides an accordion list of questions other people have asked about your search entry. When a user clicks on one of these questions, Google provides a snippet answer as well as a link to the source page. In addition, that initial click triggers the dynamic addition of new questions to PAA boxes.

With this tool, Google ensures that its users find more than resources that directly respond to their queries. They will also discover questions people ask that are relevant to their interests and additional links to check out.

Where do PAA questions come from?

So, how does Google determine what people also asked and populate this box? Primarily through machine learning that observes user tendencies and draws connections between different topics and search questions. Based on this understanding, the search engine creates a list of the questions people also ask and relevant resources.

But where do the snippets come from? Google draws from resources that rank for these alternative questions, though it draws from more than just the front page. According to Devrix, As long as the content is high-quality and relevant to the question, the search engine can draw from the second or third page for its PAA questions.

What’s particularly interesting to note is what happens when the same question appears in different SERPs. Though the original query might change, Google’s People Also Ask will always use the same resource for the related question. As a result, if the search engine identifies a particular answer from a given website, this resource will reappear every time the question is featured in the questions tool.

What queries trigger People Also Ask questions?

In theory, any query can trigger the Google People Also Ask box to appear. This depends on how common the original query is and how many connections to other questions have been identified. This is also determined by a search engine algorithm that determines the most popular search terms.

So, the appearance of Google’s People Also Ask related questions depends on how common your original search is, the connections to other queries identified by the search engine, and the popularity of those related questions.

How does Google’s “People Also Search For” work?

Of course, PAA isn’t the only Google feature that goes underappreciated. Let’s take a short break to discuss the People Also Searched For box.

Imagine that you’ve just searched “google ask question” in Google. After reviewing the results, you find a link that seems to answer your question. However, once you’ve read for a bit, let’s say that it turns out to be less valuable than initially thought. So, you navigate back to the search results page, only to find a new box has appeared beneath the link you originally clicked on.

This is the “People also search for” function, which is powered by Google’s related search algorithm. This takes multiple factors into account when determining which queries are related to the main query and the resource with which you’ve just engaged.

What exactly does it take into account? Obviously, this begins with the original query that launched the search, but it goes far beyond that. Google’s algorithm also considers your location, device, search history, and web browsing history. Last but not least, the search engine factors in the content of the SERP. This algorithm runs constantly and updates in real-time to reflect the latest queries. It also represents Google’s latest work, as the company constantly makes tweaks and improvements.

Benefits of People Also Ask

It’s all well and good to know how these various Google tools operate, but what good do they do you and your business?

Greater visibility

First and perhaps most obviously, ranking for People Also Ask expands the visibility of your content. Not only does this offer users another opportunity to engage with your website, but it can also sometimes provide a major competitive advantage. Keep in mind that once it selects content for a specific question, that resource will always be referenced. As a result, your content can end up featured on a large number of different SERPs. To achieve this, you’ll typically need to have a page that ranks within the top three results.

Double ranking opportunities

But ranking for People Also Ask is not the extent of what you can achieve. In fact, unlike other featured snippets, this tool allows you to double-dip. You can rank on the first of Google and within the PAA box on the same page. As such, if your content appears in this box as part of a search for questions, users have two chances to click on your link.

Guide future content creation

The benefits extend beyond improving PAA SEO and driving engagement. You can use the related questions to help develop new content ideas that will appeal to your audience. The People Also Ask tool offers an issue way to discover what people are asking about. By then following up on this knowledge to develop content that shares themes, you build topical authority. In this way, it becomes easier for Google to trust you on a specific topic, which in turn improves your chances of having content featured and ranking higher.

How to optimize for People Also Ask

All of this might lead you to ask exactly what is PAA in SEO? What role can it play and how should you adjust your content to take advantage of it?

Used properly, the People Also Ask tool can make an impact at various stages of your marketing processes. 

Respond more effectively to user interests

First, as we’ve already mentioned, you can use this tool to learn what people are asking on Google. This can then guide an adjustment of your content themes and ideas based on questions you might not have otherwise considered. By developing new content that responds to the questions people also ask Google, you ensure relevance for your audience.

Adapt existing content to better fit changing questions

But you can also adjust existing content to perform better while keeping PAA in mind. Take the related queries and add an FAQ section to an article that answers them. As a result, you’ll cover additional ground without having to start from scratch while expanding the page’s relevance for Google. Using PAA can be a great way for creating long-form content.

Check what questions relate to your topic

Finally, before you start writing, a bit of PAA research can flesh out your briefs and content outline. By responding to the questions people are actually asking on Google, your content becomes more targeted and a better source for snippets.

How do you rank for People Also Ask?

If People Also Ask can make it easier for users to find your content, then how do you rank for it?

1. Identify questions related to the initial search

The first step is to actually find questions that users want to be answered after an initial query on a subject. Once you know what people ask when looking into your topic, you’ll have a better idea of what content to create. And that material is then more likely to be targeted by PAA.

Keep in mind that any properly optimized content will need to directly answer the question it addresses. By doing so, you ensure that Google will recognize your website as a valuable response to common questions.

2. Check the PAA results for your keywords or subject

One way to learn about related topics and queries is to simply click through the PAA box. When you enter keyword questions into Google, the tool will naturally indicate what other users want to know. But if you’re looking for more in-depth data and understanding, use a Google research tool. A number of solutions out there will identify questions users are asking and related topics they’re searching for. 

3. Do your research

Really at the end of the day, publishing content that will appear in People Also Ask requires knowledge. Whether you do the necessary keyword research yourself or use a keyword questions tool, you’ll need to properly understand Google’s People Also Ask related questions in order to produce content that suits it.

Aligning your content with your audience’s interests

Now, what do you do if you simply are not getting the traffic you expect? 

When that happens, it’s time for introspection. Obviously, it’s not your audience’s fault if they don’t engage with your content. As a marketer, it’s your responsibility to publish material that will attract users.

But how do you accomplish this?

Too often, marketers will focus too much on their own goals and not enough on their audience’s interests. People Also Ask helps to put you in the average user’s shoes by revealing the search engine questions you should focus on.

Once you have that foundation, it’s time to figure out new types of content you could make to bring people to your website. But as discussed earlier, there’s no reason not to go back through your existing content catalog. You can make updates in a number of ways, including adding sections, changing headers, and even writing an FAQ section. All of this should directly respond to the questions that users search for in connection to your primary query.

Research tool options for People Also Ask

AnswerThePublic is one of the more popular tools out there for finding keywords questions. And while it does its job admirably, it is far from the only option out there. Here, we’re going to cover a few AnswerThePublic alternatives that you can consider.


seowind questions to answer

If you are looking for keyword questions to include in your content brief or for optimizing content, then SEOwind is a good choice. As a part of analyzing SEO data, SEOwind collects questions on People Also Ask, as well as ones asked in Quora and Reddit. This will help you have all the data regarding the target keyword in one place.

If you would like to find out how to create content brief with SEOwind using People Also Ask questions got to our Guide: How to create a content brief with SEOwind? Best practices in SEOwind

Semrush Keyword Magic Tool

Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
Source: Semrush

This Answer the Public alternative draws upon 21 billion keywords taken from 142 geodatabases. Semrush provides detailed information about search volume, cost per click, and competition activity for any given keyword. By entering a few related words or phrases related to your topic, it generates an extensive list of keywords that you can then filter however you’d like.


Source: KWFinder

In KWFinder, we have a tool that focuses specifically on helping its users find low-competition keywords. In addition to other standard criteria, the tool identifies a difficulty score for each option. KWFinder also lists all the relevant question keywords, the trends associated with different queries, and other key information that you need to understand the connections between different questions.

Ahrefs Keyword Generator

agrefs keyword generator
Source: Ahrefs

Our final alternative suggestion primarily helps by discovering keywords that are relevant to your primary topic. With Ahrefs, you can choose your desired search engine and database. Afterward, the research tool will gather a list of question keywords, keyword difficulty, and search volume.

People Also Ask is an incredibly useful tool for identifying underlying audience intentions when searching for a topic on Google. If you comprehend and use it properly, it can play a key role in guiding the evolution of your marketing strategy!