Google has updated its “People Also Search For” function in the search engine results page.
Previously it used to show at the bottom of Google’s SERPs. Now it’s showing up in other places after it is triggered by a click back from an unsatisfactory search result.
But what’s really interesting is that the People Also Search For feature moves around.
This new feature was noticed by members of WebmasterWorld and a discussion was started on February 14th.
The feature itself isn’t new. The placement and the look of it is brand new. The novel quality of this feature is that it moves around.
This is the first search result before I clicked on the first result:
I clicked the first result, waited five seconds, then clicked back. This is what the SERP looked like:
How to Trigger the New Feature
I managed to trigger the new feature by making a search query, clicking through to the first result, waiting about five seconds, then clicking back. That’s when Google showed me the new People Also Search For options.
This Feature Moves Around
However, there’s more to this feature than clicking through and clicking back. If you click the third result, wait about five seconds, then click back, the People Also Search For feature is located below the third link.
In other words, the People Also Search For feature is dynamic. The search suggestions will show up beneath the site that the user may have found unsatisfactory.
Examples of the Feature Moving Around
This is the initial search result before I clicked on the third result:
I clicked the third result then clicked back and now the “people also search for” feature is located beneath the third search result:
What Effect Will This Have?
It’s unclear if clicking through then clicking back will have a ranking effect on websites. But we know Google measures CTR and Viewport Time metrics to gauge user satisfaction.
I believe that this new feature could give Google extra feedback on what went wrong with a search and help Google predict what satisfies the most users.
For example, if people who make a search indicate that the third position is better served with results for a different kind of search, then it’s plausible that, with enough user interaction, the kinds of sites shown in that position might start changing.
It’s possible that this change may be a way to provide feedback to the search algorithm, a quality control feedback mechanism. If so, then Google may have figured out how to give their algorithms extra data for training.
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Screenshots by Author