Those digital professionals responsible for search engine optimization that monitor the results pages of their brands' keywords and phrases are noticing an interesting phenomenon of late and it has a great deal to do with related questions (likely fueled by machine learning.
Google has slowly begun making a rather significant change to the featured snippets (on both desktop and mobile) functionality in that immediately following a featured snippets, the new "People also ask" box follows.
What do we know about this relatively new feature of the Google Search results? Google's Satyajeet Salgar actually announced it on Twitter last week (to little fanfare) but hardly any information was shared on how it works, so we had to do a little digging on our own to find out.
While the "People also ask" box does not appear on every query where a featured snippet is triggered, it does for many (making it important for SEOs to monitor moving forward).
It appears that the questions asked/answered come from a variety of sites (which means no single site grouping which is a good thing - e.g., more democratic) and those sites listed in the box appear to have very high authority on average.
Again, while Google has not provided any indication as to how a website might receive this designation, what is clear based on our preliminary research is that the sites which received placement in the box appear to offer very clear, well structured and informative content (often going as far as providing a linked table of contents which take users to the specific section of the page with the question and answer.
Have you seen the "People Also Ask" box on the Google search results? Is your website listed as a question/answer combo in the feature? Share your experience with other Internet professionals by commenting below.
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.