Google Expanding the “People Also Ask” Feature

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It would appear that Google is now testing a new feature in their “people also ask” section on search results. You may not have noticed, or subconsciously accepted that it was always there but in fact, it was not. What exactly is this feature?

Now instead of simply showing you similar questions to the one that you asked, Google provides the answer as well in a little dropdown menu.

Try it out: ask a question such as “how much do youtubers make”? You will be shown the top answer (in this case a blogger’s article) followed by four “People also ask” questions. For each of these you’ll notice a little arrow to the right of them which when you click—there’s your answer!

What Do We Think?

It may be a simple change, so why are we writing about it and what is our opinion on it? We believe Google’s reason for doing this was the same reason behind many of the changes they’ve been making lately: ease of use.

By allowing you to be curious about their suggested questions without having to lose the main search you were trying to make, you don’t have to be stuck in an endless Google loop only to find yourself in a dark corner of the Internet hours later wondering just what happened.

This feature helps expose similar topics, giving browsers an idea of what else is out there and other top websites a chance to shine on ideas they’re related to. All in all, this is a good thing.

But Is It Too Much?

Here’s something a little scary (or exciting) about this update. It depends on your level of OCD and curiosity. With many larger topics, if you start expanding the suggested questions and answers in order, you’re going to notice the list keeps getting added to…and added to…and added to…well into the hundreds.

This addition may seem counter-productive to Google’s goal of streamlining search. Four or five suggestions that help with SEO and search ease are great but who really wants to be drawn into an expansive list of PAAs?

The Future of PAAs

The Google PAA feature went live in April of 2015, and that’s almost three years ago exactly. It’s been a section that integrated easily, and that Google is clearly trying to make better as time goes on.

While the expanding answer boxes may seem to just be throwing a lot of information your way, they will populate based on which boxes you expand. Looking to find out how much YouTubers make and see the suggestion that people are wondering what Logan Paul specifically makes? If that is more what you were looking for, click that and you’ll get a different set of additional drop-downs than you would if you clicked on a different YouTuber name.

Google is fascinated with providing real-time, accurate information that acts at the speed you can think at. I think we all know where this is headed eventually. But until then, enjoy those extra little thought-provoking questions, and happy searching!


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