How Can Marketers Leverage The New Paid ‘People Also Search For’ Results?

Post written by Sohail Rupani
On Monday, September 10th, 2018

Google’s “People Also Searched For” Box isn’t new, but it was only for organic search until recently. Google has now made the box available for paid search results, and naturally, it will open up another avenue for advertisers. This article will touch upon how this new update can assist advertisers in their keyword research, how it can help them generate campaigns using keywords and if it will call for a change of strategy in marketing agencies’ SEO departments.

SERP and Its Features

With 75% of the market share among search engines, Google is a giant and all of us are bound to its magical computing powers. With more than 63,000 searches per second and yearly searches above 2 trillion, if as a marketer you’re not leveraging Google’s SERP features, something has gone wrong with your strategy.

SERP, a short hand for Search Engine Result Pages, holds many features that aid to the marketers if paid attention to and harnessed to the max. A few of the SERP features that Google offers are:

  • Rich answers
  • rich results
  • knowledge graphs
  • knowledge panel
  • local 3 pack
  • image packs
  • site links
  • vertical search
  • people also ask
  • top stories
  • twitter
  • featured snippets
  • numbered list snippets
  • YouTube featured snippets

Some of the paid SERP features that Google offers are Google AdWords, Shopping Results and now a new feature has been launched for paid listings in ‘people also search for’ box. This feature was previously displayed in organic search results.

About a decade ago, this is what a SERP looked like.

Google SERP

How the SERP has Evolved

The SERP page has now evolved to this:


Top Stories

People also Ask

The people also ask feature shown above has seen more than a 1700% rise in the search results from 2015 onwards.

The People also search for snippet was only designed to be displayed in organic searches earlier, but recently Google has started showing this snippet in paid search results, too.

Google search

However, clicking on any one of the suggestions will initiate a new SERP, making it behave in the same way as it used to in the organic search. This is the only case of Google adapting an organic search feature in paid search results as this feature was only available in organic search results.

Marketers have also noticed this feature popping up in organic listings as you can see below:


The results, however, seem to load with a delay and Google also has been testing dynamic loading versions. It also appears when you click on a certain result and head back to the search engine result page.

Julie F Bacchini

Sometimes, the suggestions even include competitor terms as shown in the above tweet by a Digital Marketer, Julie Bacchini. The advertiser reaction to this is not as positive as expected. They claim that this snippet draws the attention away from the other ads on the page. The suggestions snippet also looks like an extension of the ads and will draw people away from the other ads on the page.

What does this mean for the marketers?

The marketers haven’t yet warmed up to the idea of this update yet as it takes time to understand and get used to a change like this. With this update Google is actually sending more traffic back to itself rather than the websites or advertisers as the click on the suggestions generates a new SERP page. The marketers can leverage this fact by doing extensive research on the keywords and then optimizing their websites for those specific keywords that appear in the suggestions. This is the way to generate more traffic. This also goes for the paid advertising campaigns on Google. Marketers can optimize their campaigns for the keywords that appear in the suggestions and leverage the users into visiting their websites.

Since a few years now, Google has introduced features that it uses to leverage the user traffic back to itself. This is another one of those features a major part of the Google revenue comes from search advertising. Google has been aggressively creating links and deep links within their search results so that a part of the traffic goes back to itself. This being said, without organic search results, a search engine would hold almost no authenticity; marketers still can leverage a lot when it comes to that. A marketer’s relationship with Google is symbiotic, it is a delicate balance and always in flux. Marketers just have to find newer ways to work with Google to keep pace with things. It is a never ending romance and it probably never would end.

Will it help advertisers in their keyword research?

This update may cause changes in the SEO strategies of the marketing agencies around the globe, as the ‘People also search for’ snippet acts like a SERP itself when you click on it and take you to the next search engine result page. If you have your keywords or ad campaigns optimized for those particular keywords, there is great potential to generate a lot of traffic.

The positives that can be taken from this new feature are that the snippet can be used reliably in keyword research and keywords ideas. Marketers can also get ideas for ad creative. Another plus point that can be taken from this update is the landing page ideas.

It is highly likely that Google Keyword Planner would pick up the same suggestions for the keywords but this new feature is another tool that can be utilized in the creation of the ad campaigns.

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About the Author:
Sohail Rupani is a senior SEO strategist at PNC Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Orlando. He specializes in SEO and SEM techniques. He is passionate about technology and loves to analyze the tech industry in his spare time and stay in touch with the latest happenings. He also writes technical articles about SEO and digital marketing. Follow @sohailrupani for more updates.

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