The world of search engine results pages (SERPs) is constantly changing, and the last 12 to 18 months have been particularly packed with changes when it comes to Google SERPs. Several elements, including featured snippets, local packs and Knowledge Graphs, have begun to occupy larger and larger amounts of space within a standard search result, and internet marketing pros everywhere are still grappling with what this means and how to optimize based on it.
At SEO Werkz, our search engine optimization services include constant attention paid to these kinds of cosmetic and functional changes. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over one particular element of SERPs that’s exploded over the last year or so: “People Also Ask” sections, abbreviated PAA. Here are some basics on how important they are, whether they “steal” clicks from your normal SEO efforts, and how to property utilize them when crafting your approach.
For starters, it’s important to realize that PAA sections can appear in a variety of positions within the SERP – they are not standardized to a single location. They may show up at the very top of a given search, often just below some basic PPC ads and related videos but above organic search results; in others, they may appear in the middle of the page, below PPC ads, image carousels and even several organic result pages.
Finally, they can also show up all the way at the bottom of the SERP, with all 10 organic search results above them. The main value of the placement of PAA sections is the way they impact CTR for organic results, especially on the more space-conscious mobile side of things.
The results that show up when a user clicks on one of the PAA questions are not always in text form – they can produce video results as well, a valuable tool for many industry types where how-to and other explainer videos are a great way to both inform potential customers and draw them in to your products and services simultaneously.
The general expectation within the industry is that video results will become more important moving forward – Google has clearly worked on simplifying video results in recent months, and this is a great way to optimize your YouTube results so they are an option for PAA answers.
Technically speaking, any search topic can generate infinite PAA questions within an SERP. While Google will usually only show three or four in most cases, the list can continue into huge numbers in many cases. Some results may be limited to the initial smaller number, but this does not appear to be a consistent feature. SEO pros are still working to find the rhyme or reason behind which kinds of searches can expand into huge PAA sections compared to which are limited to the initially visible segments. It’s likely Google will continue to vary this up over the next period of months.
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing (leading), letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space within letters pairs (kerning).
For more on the People Also Ask section, or to learn about any of our SEO, PPC or web design services, speak to the staff at SEO Werkz today.