What is the ‘People Also Search For’ Box?
Last month, Google officially rolled out a new feature to better help searchers find the information they are looking for. Called the People Also Search For box, Google will now display a set of related queries when a searcher navigates back to the search engine results page (SERP) after clicking an unpaid result.
How Does the ‘People Also Search’ Box Work?
Distinguished from People Also Ask results, which often appear below featured snippets when users search for answers to specific questions, the People Also Search For box is only added to the results page after a result has been clicked on and the user returns to the original search. Additionally, the queries suggested in the box lead the user to a brand-new results page for the newly selected query, rather than displaying an answer below the query, as with People Also Ask results.
Although being directed to a new results page may be useful to the searcher, pages that rank on the first page for the initial query may not rank as well for searches suggested in the People Also Search For box. Because of the potential variation in keywords included in the suggested searches, it is possible that a related keyword will not return results from the same websites or entities that were ranking for the original query, instead potentially displaying results from competitors.
Suggested alternate queries appear to be based on intent rather than the actual keyword used. This can be observed in searches that yield local results, even when the original term does not contain local qualifiers. For example, a test search for “chevy” yields four local results (nearby Chevrolet dealerships) at the bottom of the first page. Clicking on one of these and returning to the results page produces alternate local search suggestions, i.e., searches for other local Chevy dealerships. This is distinguished from the first organic result in the SERP, which directs to the Chevrolet homepage. Clicking on this result and navigating back to the results page yields related searches for various models of Chevrolet vehicles, which may be more in line with the intent of a general search for the vehicle manufacturer.
Additionally, although brand searches trigger the People Also Search For box when a user navigates back to the results page, related queries appear to remain specific to the brand, generally adding qualifiers to help searches find a specific page related to the original query. It does not appear as though competitor brand terms will be suggested in a branded search, which would draw searchers to the competitor’s SERP. Results from aggregators and product comparison sites, however, may produce related queries that include competitors from the same vertical within the People Also Search For box.
Finally, not all search result types appear to yield suggested queries. In our tests, YouTube, Twitter, and News results did not activate the People Also Search For box when a searcher returned to the results page. Organic results that include sitelinks and paid search results also do not yield the related search box.
How Can Marketers Leverage ‘People Also Search For’ Results?
For brand managers and content marketers, the People Also Search For box can serve as a direct line of sight into queries that Google deems to be related to a ranking page. The ability to view the suggested alternate queries can also inform a brand’s content strategy – by using this information to audit your website for content gaps, marketers can to round-out content strategies to encompass more related topics and better understand search intent.
Ultimately, the new People Also Search For box further indicates Google’s commitment to its users’ search experience and its prioritization of search intent, rather than relying solely on keywords. As always, it is crucial that content creators align the pages they create with the unique intent of searchers to rank for priority keywords. The People Also Search For box now enables them to better understand what an alternate search looks like if their content does not meet a user’s needs.