Google’s Hidden Treasure: The “People Also Search For” Box

| Posted on December 30, 2021

If a user comes across something like, “People Also Search For” while searching or researching a particular topic on the internet, it may not seem to be of much significance to them, but it has more to it than what meets the eye.

The desktop box of People Also Search For isn’t a new concept when it comes to SERPs (Search Engine Related Pages) but ever since the algorithm changed in the first half of 2018, PASF became a whole different ballgame that piqued the interest of everyone. Although there might be numerous SEO tools like Sbxhrl, somehow PASF stays the real game-changer. 

After a little digging, it was found that PASF was no longer the conventional box that appears for SERPs, instead, it turned into a URL-centric version that has been enhanced to a greater extent. The “People Also Search For” box and the “Searches related to” box that you see now is heaven for keyword explorers and is stacked with ideas for content that come straight out of the almighty platform of Google.

Let us take you on a ride, telling you all about how the PASF has changed over the years and how one can make the most out of everything that it has to offer.

An Insight into the History and the Inner Workings of “People Also Search For”

Many people do not know about the history of PASF, popularly known as People Also Search For. The term was unheard of before 2012 when it arrived on the scene along with the introduction of knowledge graphs.

In a statement from one of Google’s brightest minds, Amit Singhal had a handful to say about the People Also Search For box. This is what the employee had to say, “It is now possible for us to answer your question sometimes before you even ask it since the facts that are on display are the direct result of what other people usually search for.” Think of it like this, the information that gets displayed about Shane Warne answers a total of 37% of all the other queries that people have regarding the same personality. 

For a brief period of time, the PASF box acted as an independent agent, especially for every search that was related to movies. It was completely disconnected from the knowledge graph and was simply placed at the bottom of the SERPs with all the related topics and images in a different box. SEO Agency uses “People also search for” to increase its ranking position in Google, by adding PASF keywords in pages.

Generally, when the PASF is placed just above the related search box, it becomes pretty easy for users to see the difference that Google itself is trying to come up with for the two SERPs features that are quite similar in nature. While PASF can give you a wide opinion on all the other topics that are connected to your search, Searches related to can simply answer your query in a more detailed manner.

In simpler terms, the earlier algorithm of PASF answered the query by analyzing the taste that we have in music and that we may be in similar songs or artists that resemble our taste. On the other hand, the searches related to the feature simply showcase different results for the same query.

All this went away after 2016. As it stands, the people also search for the box that was independent a couple of years ago has now found itself back with the knowledge graph that makes it look like there are two boxes that hold the same function and even look the same but still don’t bear the PASF name.

All this led up to the PASF of today. The one that you see now, this version of “People Also Search For” changed drastically. In this version, the images for the thumbnail were removed and all the related topics come in the form of an organic result. This version seemed more like a combination of the PASF and the searches related to the feature.

Stats about PASFs Appearing on SERPs

After thorough research and experimenting, it was found that the desktop rollout is more widespread than they thought. The box for “People Also Search For” appeared for around 58.74% of the 15,000 SERPs that were monitored every day for a total of 7 days.

The results were astonishing and when combined with mobile SERPs, where the PASFs were already a thing at 87.05%, everything indicated that this was the start of something different.

These stats simply concluded one thing, which was that the People also ask for more than just another experiment and chances are that it will grow and will increase in scope rapidly.

On average, 8.77 “People Also Search For ” boxes for every SERPs pop up for a single keyword. It was also interesting to see that SERPs with 10 PASFs popped up more often. It was also found that most of the organic results that had a PASF ranked in the top ten positions.

Although it is still pretty hard to determine when one page ends and the next one begins due to the 100 result SERP parsing the rank clustering makes it pretty clear that the People Also Search For has a lot to do with the first page.

The reason behind this remains unknown even to this day, but the “people also search for” box for desktop platforms shows a couple of fewer topics when compared to the PASFs on mobile platforms. According to stats, 95.47% of the mobile “People Also Ask For” boxes had eight topics while 96.81% of “People Also Ask for” boxes had six topics. The rest of the percentage had 2-5 topics. The number 1 cannot be seen anywhere since Google understands how lonely it gets when you are left all alone.

The only logical reason behind this can be that the mobile version can fit eight different terms without making it look like a pretty long SERPs.

How to Manage Duplicate PASF Topics

Related Searches

It is pretty evident that you may find tons of duplication in the topics that are placed in Google’s “related searches” or a PASF, which is a lot similar to the situation with the people also ask box. The best possible way to tackle this is to cut through topics by URL or by queries to narrow down the research part. For instance, narrowing down the topics with the URL approach can simply help users to better understand the topics that are related to the specific pages that they are looking for. Even then, keyword duplication will still come right at you as a major obstacle.

Worry not, as this isn’t something severe and can be solved with the use of any premium SEO research tools.

Get Ahead of Your Competitors by Targeting the SERPs OF PASF Topics

For research purposes, an experiment was conducted where we simply collected PASF topics worth a day and then stuffed all of them into STAT to keep track of the same for comparison purposes. The results were somewhat confusing and relieving at the same time.

To begin with, as soon as a user clicks on a PASF topic that gets displayed under any domain, as many as 78.87% is the number of times when that domain is nowhere near the top 20 for the new SERP. This simply implies two things, either Google doesn’t think that something that is relatively connected to the topic is not even good enough for the new SERP or the algorithm is smart enough to not direct you to the same page that you just left.

For the rest of the cases that amounts to 21.13 percent of the times when the domain did appear in the top 20 of the new SERP, if it was ranked lower down the order, chances are that it will eventually rank higher for the new SERP. Odd right! That is the same thing that came to our mind in the first place.

For the domains that did not rank on the first page and were not there on the subsequent SERP, almost half of them came in as a featured snippet.

Optimization of Your Pages for PASF

  • Keep in mind that creating content that actually matches the description of the actual intent is very important. To do the same, you will need to research all the related topics, understand why you need to research, and understand what the customers are actually looking for.
  • Leave no stones unturned when it comes to the keyword research department. Make sure to identify all of the relevant keywords that can come in handy for your content. To get a better ranking, one can try to include search terms that are connected to your topic and different questions that are asked by people on different search engines.
  • Apart from all this, the addition of FAQ schemes can also come as a great way to make your way up to the assisted features of Google. In layman’s terms, it is a markup code that can be placed on the website to amplify the content for SEO.

Once you have done so, it will simply state that your content is available in question and answer format, further making it quality material for rich snippets on Google’s Search Engine Related Pages or SERPs.

Tools to Find PASF Keywords

  1. Keywords Everywhere
Keyword Everywhere

This tool comes as a browser add-on for Firefox and Google Chrome that can be used to find PASF keywords with relative ease. For the general audience, it simply offers the data of Google’s “People Also Search For” boxes along with monthly search volume, metrics about the competition, CPC, etc. for multiple devices. One can simply view the monthly search volume by purchasing the in-tool credits without much fuss. After you have installed the add-on on your device, two separate widgets will pop up on the right side of your screen as soon as you search for a query on any of the popular web browsers. The first widget will contain all the related terms while the second widget will offer the “people also search for” terms for all the results in the SERPs. 

  1. Ahrefs

Another keyword that comes with a pretty interactive user interface. In terms of offering relevant keyword suggestions, this tool can go to great lengths. As stats show, the tool runs the biggest database, consisting of 5.1 billion keywords for more than 200 countries, meaning that it can offer things that other tools might miss out on.

Apart from this, it can also help users with the competitive aspect of research. The brilliant site explorer feature of this tool allows users an insight into the keyword strategies of their rivals and competitors. On the other hand, the content gap feature allows users to compare their keywords to that of the competitors so as to learn better about the loopholes and the might-have-been.

To make things a notch up, it even notifies you of the slightest progress that your competitors make via email. Strong backlinks lay a great foundation and also severely impact the ranking. Good for you, Ahrefs excels in the backlink depart, unlike any other tool.

Let us get to know how one can use Ahrefs to find PASF keywords. 

Note: It’s a paid tool which you have to buy their monthly plan before using it.

  • Begin by opening your web browser and login ahrefs account, to access the tool of Ahrefs, to begin with.  
  • Once you have accessed the tool, select the “keywords explorer” option from the tab that is available on the top left corner of your screen.
  • In the next window, you will need to search for a keyword and hit enter once you are done with the same. 

This is all you need to know about how the world of “People Also Ask for” works and how one can use it for a higher rank in the standings if they use it to their advantage.

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