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Google Showing People Also Ask (PAA) Results More Often | May 2021 W2

By joannechan on May 17, 2021

Hey there… how have you been? Hope all is well with you.

Here goes the latest update on SEO news. 

  1. Google Showing “People Also Ask” Results More Often
  2. Google Uses Machine Learning In Google Search
  3. Google Do Not Use The Trust Project Directly For Search Rankings

Let’s explore..

11/5/2021 – Google Showing “People Also Ask” Results More Often

There is this feature that you may have noticed for a time now during your search which is the “People Also Ask” (PAA). It is noticed by some trackers that Google increased the frequency of showing this PAA feature. In case you forgot how it looks like, here is an example.

The chart from Semrush has shown an increase from 59.1% to 64.1%.

The chart from RankRanger also shown an increase from 64% to 66.1%.

A little background on the birth of this People Also Ask (PAA) feature. Since 2012, Google becomes clear of its mission to “move from becoming an information engine to becoming a knowledge engine”, which means answering users’ queries as swiftly as possible within the search results pages, instead of having the user to click on multiple results and wait for the relevant website to load. To have more effective search results, Google has added several SERP features on the top page such as universal results (eg. image, featured snippets), knowledge graph (eg. weather, celebrity knowledge panel, and also including the People Also Ask results. 

Location of PAA is Highly Visible

The location of this PAA feature appearing after the first organic result is over half of the time. This makes it one of the most visible search features. It also provides more opportunities for sites that were not present on the first page to gain presence in this feature. 

10/5/2021 – Google Uses Machine Learning In Google Search

How Google may use machine learning for adjusting the weights of various ranking signals? The short answer is, Google will depend on the specific ranking signal.

A question is prompted to John Mueller during Google SEO office-hours event that will Google uses machine learning to weights their ranking signals. It is pointed out that Bing is heavily using for their ranking signals but not certain on the weights as AI changes based on lots of factors. 

John Muller explaining on Machine Learning for Google for ranking signals

The answer given by John Muller is that it depends that some signals they are integrating with machine learning and some they don’t.  This is in progress to have a clearer understanding of the metric that they could base for machine learning. 

11/5/2021 – Google Do Not Use The Trust Project Directly For Search Rankings

Back in 2017, Google announced that it was working with The Trust Project to help publishers use “eight trust indicators that newsrooms can add to their content.” 

The Trust Project is an “international consortium of news organizations” that aims to “affirm and amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, inclusion, and fairness.”

In Twitter, a question is asked that whether Trust Project guidelines have anything to do with how Google evaluates #EAT? 
E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Answers: Google’s Danny Sullivan said that was the extent of it, and that Google does not use The Trust Project directly for how it ranks websites in its search results. 

It is also in the Google search Central about E-A-T & Google search ranking correlation. It spells: 

” It’s important to understand that search raters have no control over how pages rank. Rater data is not used directly in our ranking algorithms. Rather, we use them as a restaurant that might get feedback cards from diners. The feedback helps us know if our systems seem to be working.

If you understand how raters learn to assess good content, that might help you improve your own content. In turn, you might perhaps do better in Search. “

The End

That’s all for the updates this week, see you until then. 

Updated: 13 September 2021

About joannechan

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