This week, some marketers noted that Google’s organic “People also search for” box of suggested queries is showing up within the paid search results after a user clicks on an ad and then goes back to the search results page.
We hadn’t noticed this feature displaying within the paid search results before either, but it turns out the inclusion of these suggestions in the ads section isn’t all that new. We’ve learned Google began showing the “People also search for” suggestions in paid search results on mobile in September 2017 and more recently extended them to desktop paid search results in May.
The organic “People also search for” query refinement feature has been around for several years. It displays at the bottom of the search result pages and also appears within organic results either on delay or when a user clicks on a result and then clicks back to the search results.
The idea is that including suggested queries among organic and paid results saves the user from scrolling to the bottom of the page, if they know the feature is there, and allows them to quickly perform a refined search if they’re not finding what they want among the current results. That could also mean they end up searching on a competitive brand name after leaving your site. As you can see in the tweet from digital marketer Julie Bacchini below, the suggestions sometimes include competitor terms.
Advertiser reaction to this feature is not positive, no surprise. In addition to the competitor suggestions, concerns include the fact that the suggestions look somewhat like ad extensions and that they’ll detract attention from other ads on the page. On the plus side, the suggestions are fodder for keyword research and ad creative and landing page refinement ideas. Because the results are typically the same as the “Searches related to” query suggestions at the bottom of the results page, you won’t need to go clicking on ads to see what will show up.