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All about “People Also Ask” in the Google results

You’ll be familiar with the “People Also Ask” list of questions in the Google results. This is different from the “Featured Snippet“, which actually tries to answer a question on the results page by reproducing the answer from a website. The “People Also Ask” list can appear instead of the Featured Snippet, or in addition to it, with related questions. Only when you click on the questions is the answer revealed. More questions are usually then added.

The “People Also Ask” list can have different numbers of questions and may appear in different positions on the page. Interestingly, I’ve seen it reported that videos (playable on the page) can often result as the answer to the question, as can a Featured Snippet, just to make things more confusing.

So, can we monitor what Google is showing for our most important searches? There are automated ways, but they’re pretty geeky. For most of us, manual searches might be the only course of action. I’d certainly recommend it as an exercise, because it’s quite possible nowadays that with Adverts, Featured Snippets and a “People Also Ask” list, that hard-won first place in the Google results could be some way down the second screen, well hidden from many searchers. If that’s the case, you need to be targeting those questions. That may require new, original content, but getting the published answer is well worth it. Get the question wording right, put it in a heading and make the answer straightforward. There’s also the new ‘FAQ schema‘. Best of luck.