People Also Ask Feature From Google: A Definitive Guide

You’ve probably noticed the helpful boxes popping up in your Google search results providing answers to questions related to your main search query. These are called “People Also Ask” or PAA, and they aim to give you faster access to helpful background information and context around a topic you’re searching for. Understanding how to best utilize People Also Ask can enhance your searching efficiency and allow you to get more value out of Google’s interface.

In this definitive guide, we’ll explore what exactly People Also Ask is, its history, how content writers use it, how the questions are generated and selected, how to interpret them, and tips for taking advantage of this feature to become a savvier Google searcher and learn information more quickly. Whether you find PAA boxes helpful or a bit confusing, this guide breaks down Google’s automated efforts to anticipate your potential follow-up questions on any given search. Read on to become a People Also Ask pro!

Google's People Also Ask Example

What is “Google’s People Also Ask (PAA)” feature?

Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) feature displays related questions that people often search for or ask about when viewing a particular search result.

The questions are algorithmically generated based on what other users have searched for in relation to the main search query or result. So they reflect commonly asked follow-up questions.

The questions aim to anticipate and provide answers to potential follow-up questions searchers may have.

They allow searchers to quickly get answers to additional questions without needing to reformulate entirely new searches.

PAA questions appear in a box or carousel format above or alongside the main search results.

They are meant to provide more context, background, or related information to help searchers learn more about the main topic they’re searching for.

People Also Ask is an additional feature that tries to predict and surface other frequent questions people have around a search result to keep them engaged with the information and quickly provide more relevant context. It aims to anticipate follow-up questions and provide quicker access to related information.

Additional details about People Also Ask


It usually appears near the top of search results, but can also be found lower down the page.


Questions and answers are displayed in a collapsible accordion format, allowing users to expand and explore further.

Answer sources

Google pulls answers from various websites, though those with high rankings and relevant content are more likely to be featured.

Dynamic nature

PAA is constantly updated based on user searches and trending topics.

Overall, Google’s People Also Ask feature is a valuable tool that enhances the search experience for both users and website owners. It helps users find the information they need quickly and efficiently, while providing website owners with a valuable SEO and content creation resource.

Behind the Curtain: How People Also Ask Questions are Born

Imagine Google as a gigantic knowledge library with a helpful librarian named AI. When you enter a search term, AI scans its vast databases and identifies related concepts, concerns, and potential next steps for your information journey. PAA questions are born from this analysis, tailored to the specific context of your initial query.

Benefits of People Also Ask

How does “People Also Ask (PAA)” benefits?

Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) feature is a valuable tool for both searchers and website owners.

For Searchers

Refines and expands searches

PAA suggests related questions to refine your initial search term, helping you discover information you might not have thought of before.

Provides quick answers

Each question often comes with a concise answer snippet, allowing you to find information quickly without clicking through different websites.

Understands user intent

Google uses AI to identify relevant questions based on your initial search, making PAA a dynamic and helpful resource.

For Website Owners

SEO opportunity

Getting your website featured in PAA boxes can increase website visibility and click-through rates.

Content inspiration

PAA provides insights into user search behavior and questions, helping you create content that people are actually looking for. You can use these insights to create some reading worthy Cornerstone content related to your business.

Boosts authority and branding: When your website appears in PAA, it signals expertise and trustworthiness, potentially improving brand perception.

History about Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) feature

Origins of People Also Ask

  • 2015: Early testing began in April 2015, initially appearing as “Related questions” in some search results.
  • 2015-2016: Google refined the feature and confirmed its official name to be “People Also Ask” in July 2016.
  • February 2017: PAA became more prominent, showing on 57% of searches compared to earlier figures.

Motivations behind People Also Ask

User focus

The primary motivation was to improve user experience and answer search queries comprehensively. PAA anticipated further questions users might have, streamlining their information quest.

Data insights

Google leverages anonymized search data to identify common questions related to specific topics. PAA presents these questions proactively, potentially saving users time and effort.

Evolving search

As search behavior shifts towards more complex queries, PAA acts as a bridge, helping users explore different facets of a topic without needing to reformulate their search terms.

Content discovery

PAA can lead users to diverse and relevant content, not just the top-ranked pages. This helps website owners with high-quality content gain visibility beyond traditional SEO rankings.

Evolution and impact

Increased prominence

PAA has become a staple of Google’s search results, appearing on roughly 85% of searches today.

Richer formats

Answers now go beyond text snippets, including lists, images, tables, and even videos.

SEO implications

Understanding PAA questions has become crucial for content creators and SEO professionals to target relevant topics and format content effectively.

Overall, Google’s People Also Ask feature emerged from a desire to enhance user experience by anticipating their needs and presenting relevant information proactively. It has transformed into a powerful tool for both searchers and content creators, shaping the modern search landscape.

How to integrate People Also Ask (PAA) questions in your content?

Here are some best practices for website content writers and blog copywriters to research and integrate Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) questions into their content:

Researching People Also Ask questions

Direct search

Simply type your main topic or keyword into Google and see what PAA questions appear. Explore related keywords and variations to discover more questions.

Keyword research tools

Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz offer PAA-specific features to identify relevant questions alongside keyword research.

Dedicated PAA tools

Tools like and Answerthepublic specifically crawl and display PAA questions, offering deeper insights and visualizations.

Competitor analysis

Analyze top-ranking content in your niche for their use of PAA questions. See how they format and answer them, and identify any missed opportunities.

Community forums and Q&A platforms: Look for forums and platforms related to your topic and see what questions users are asking.

Integrating People Also Ask questions in content

Dedicated FAQ section

Consider a separate FAQ section where you address the most common PAA questions in a clear and concise way.

Subheadings and H2 tags

Use PAA questions as subheadings or H2 tags to break up your content and guide readers to specific answers.

Naturally woven in

For shorter content pieces, organically blend PAA questions into your writing as you naturally address different aspects of your topic.

Q&A format

Consider a Q&A format for your content, directly addressing PAA questions and then providing detailed answers.

Google Search Console be a valuable tool for understanding and optimizing your content for potential PAA inclusion.


Headings can improve click-through rates: Using PAA questions as headings can grab attention and increase click-through rates from search results.

FAQs build trust and authority: Answering common questions directly can build trust and establish your brand as an authority in your niche.

Improved SEO: Targeting PAA questions can help your content rank higher in search results and reach a wider audience.

Enhanced audience engagement: Addressing specific user concerns shows you understand their needs and can keep them engaged with your content.

Ultimately, the best approach depends on your content format and target audience. Experiment with different strategies and see what resonates best with your readers. Remember to provide accurate, informative, and engaging answers to PAA questions to maximize the value for your audience.

What should you consider for preparing People Also Ask (PAA) questions?

What should you consider for preparing People Also Ask (PAA) questions?

When creating Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) questions, content writers should consider several factors to ensure they’re effective and valuable for both users and SEO. Here are some key points:

Understanding User Intent

  • Align with search terms: Analyze the main keyword or topic you’re targeting and create PAA questions that users are likely to have after encountering your content.
  • Focus on different stages of the buyer journey: Include questions for awareness, consideration, and decision stages to guide users through the entire process.
  • Go beyond the obvious: Don’t just restate your main topic as a question. Dig deeper into potential doubts, concerns, or related inquiries users might have.

Format and Style

  • Clear and concise: Keep questions short and to the point, using simple language that users can easily understand.
  • Grammatically correct: Ensure proper grammar and sentence structure for professionalism and readability.
  • Intriguing and engaging: Phrase questions in a way that sparks curiosity and encourages users to explore further.
  • Variety is key: Use a mix of question types (who, what, why, how) to address different aspects of the topic.

Information Accuracy and Depth

  • Factual and reliable: Ensure your PAA questions are based on accurate and trustworthy information. Do your research and cite sources if necessary.
  • Provide actionable answers: While the questions exist in PAA, consider having corresponding content that provides in-depth and actionable answers within your site.
  • Avoid clickbait: Don’t ask misleading or sensational questions just to attract clicks. Focus on genuine user queries.

Technical SEO considerations

  • Target long-tail keywords: Incorporate relevant long-tail keywords in your PAA questions to improve search visibility.
  • Optimize for voice search: Consider PAA questions people might ask using voice search, as these are often phrased differently from text searches.
  • Structured data markup: Use schema markup to help Google understand your PAA questions and potentially display them directly in search results.

By following these considerations, content writers can create valuable PAA questions that enhance user experience, boost Technical SEO, and ultimately serve as a bridge between search queries and informative content.

Remember, the goal is to be helpful and informative, not just to game the system. Provide genuine value to users through your PAA questions, and they will become a powerful tool for both your audience and your content’s success.

Magic Formula for getting into Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) boxes

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for getting your content into Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) boxes. However, there are several key factors that Google considers when choosing which content to display:

Content Relevance

  • Topic alignment: Your content must closely align with the main search query and the surrounding PAA questions. Relevance is king.
  • Depth and comprehensiveness: Google prioritizes content that covers all aspects of the topic in detail, addressing the underlying user intent behind the PAA questions.
  • Accurate and trustworthy information: Ensure your content is factually correct and sourced from reliable sources. Google values quality and user trust.

Answer Clarity and Engagement

  • Conciseness and clarity: Directly answer the specific PAA questions in a clear, concise, and easy-to-understand way. Eliminate ambiguity.
  • Engaging and interesting: While informative, ensure your content is captivating, avoiding dry academic language.
  • Structured formatting: Use headers, subheadings, and bullet points to make your content easily scannable and visually appealing.

Technical SEO considerations

  • On-page optimization: Use relevant keywords and phrases naturally throughout your content, including in headings and meta descriptions.
  • Internal linking: Link to other relevant pages on your website to build context and enhance user experience.
  • Mobile-friendliness: Ensure your website and content are mobile-optimized for the majority of search users.

Additional factors

  • Website authority: Google prioritizes content from established and authoritative websites with a good reputation. Building backlinks and improving your overall website health can help.
  • User engagement: Google may consider user engagement metrics like time spent on page and bounce rate when evaluating content for PAA.


Focus on quality: Prioritize creating high-quality, informative content that genuinely helps users and answers their questions.
Organic integration: Don’t force PAA questions into your content. Let them flow naturally and seamlessly.
Stay updated: Google’s algorithms constantly evolve, so keep yourself updated with the latest PAA best practices.

While there’s no surefire formula, by adhering to these principles and creating valuable content that aligns with user intent and PAA questions, you can increase your chances of getting featured in Google’s coveted PAA boxes.

Picking the Pearls: How People Also Ask Questions are Chosen?

Not all questions are created equal, and Google employs a sophisticated selection process. Here are some key factors:

  • Relevance: The questions must tie closely to your search term, addressing underlying user intent and potential areas of confusion.
  • Popularity: Google analyzes real-time search data to identify frequently asked questions related to your topic.
  • Content Availability: AI scours the web for existing content that can provide accurate and comprehensive answers to the chosen questions.
  • Interpreting the PAA Treasure Map

Treat PAA questions as signposts pointing you towards deeper understanding

  • Refine your search: Identify specific aspects of your topic you might have missed.
  • Uncover hidden knowledge: Reveal unexpected angles and potential rabbit holes of exploration.
  • Confirm your understanding: Check if you’re on the right track and address any lingering doubts.
  • Becoming a PAA Power User: Tips for Savvy Searchers

Harness the power of PAA to learn faster and more effectively

  • Click and expand: Explore the answers provided for each question. They can be concise summaries or links to relevant websites.
  • Follow the rabbit holes: If a PAA question sparks your curiosity, click it and see where it leads. You might discover unexpected connections and insights.
  • Use PAA as a brainstorming tool: Stuck on a research project? Use PAA questions to generate new ideas and angles for your work.
  • Combine PAA with other search features: Use PAA alongside filters like “Latest” or “News” to tailor your search for specific timeframes or content types.
  • Remember: PAA is a dynamic tool, constantly evolving to reflect user behavior and emerging trends. Experiment, refine your search techniques, and watch your knowledge blossom!

By understanding how PAA works and interpreting its questions effectively, you can transform your Google experience from a simple query-answer routine to a thrilling odyssey of discovery. So, embrace the PAA power, become a savvy searcher, and let the learning adventure begin!

In the end

After reading this definitive guide, you should now have a much stronger understanding of how Google’s People Also Ask feature works and how you can best utilize it in your searching. In particular, by anticipating and answering the most common follow-up questions about a given topic, PAA boxes aim to provide broader context and background information to enhance your research. Additionally, knowing how to quickly scan and interpret the suggested questions can help guide your knowledge search and lead you to highly relevant content you may have otherwise missed. While not perfect, tapping into People Also Ask can unlock added search insights and efficiency.

Therefore, we encourage you to put these tips into practice as you continue using Google, always considering how PAA can provide useful shortcuts to supplemental information related to whatever you may be exploring at the moment. Ultimately, with your new expertise on this search tool, you’re sure to notice improvements in the effectiveness and speed of your searching thanks to Google’s automated efforts at predicting your information needs through People Also Ask. The more you leverage PAA, the more value you can derive from Google search.


What exactly are People Also Ask (PAA) boxes in Google search results?

People Also Ask (PAA) boxes are dynamic question-and-answer features that appear in Google search results. They aim to provide users with quick and relevant information by displaying related questions and their corresponding answers.

How can I find People Also Ask questions relevant to my topic?

Several tools help uncover PAA opportunities:
Semrush, Ahrefs, Moz: These SEO suites have dedicated PAA research features.
AnswerThePublic, These websites specialize in generating commonly asked questions around specific keywords.
Manual Search: Searching your topic on Google directly will often reveal relevant PAA boxes.

What’s the best way to structure my content for People Also Ask optimization?

Follow these guidelines:
Direct Questions: Pose questions as headings or subheadings (use H2 or H3 tags).
Clear Answers: Provide concise and informative answers in the following paragraph.
Natural Language: Write in a conversational style, just as you would speak.

How can I measure the success of my PAA optimization efforts?

While there’s no single metric specifically for PAA, monitoring the following can offer insights:
Impressions in Search Console: Track if your pages are appearing more often in PAA results.
Organic Traffic: Check if more people are landing on your pages from search.
Click-Through Rate (CTR): Look for improvement in the percentage of people clicking on your PAA result.

Does schema markup influence my chances of appearing in PAA boxes?

Yes! Implementing relevant schema markup, such as FAQPage or QAPage, helps Google better understand your content’s structure and context. This makes it more likely that your answers will be chosen for PAA display.

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