Google receives millions of question-related searches each day. As per Internet Live Stats, there are 3.5 billion question-related searches per day. While in 2017, a study by Jumpshot which was published on Moz said that around 8% of overall queries are question-related. So, it means the question keywords can have a huge impact on your SEO performance. It also means that you can generate humongous organic traffic or convert it into sales. So, let’s know how Google gets out an answer for question-based queries and how your site can rank high in those queries.
Let’s get started!
First thing, understanding the algorithm which brings out the search results.
Question Keywords And Semantic Search
Semantic search technology is the part of the search which pops up ‘searches related to’ and ‘auto-suggest’ kind of things when you enter a query. There is a significant relationship between the searched query and semantic search.
Semantic Search is searching with the meaning ‘Searching by analyzing the words and the logic behind them’. In a Semantic search, it understands the natural language, user context, query context just to drop the correct result like when you search any coupon or deal for Snapdeal than it will show you exact results for Snapdeal Sale offer.
So, whenever you type something on the Google search engine, with the help of semantic search technology, the search engine tries to understand your context and produce results.
Google Hummingbird Update
Launched in 2013, Google Hummingbird update made the search engine faster and more accurate. This algorithm was better than older ones and focused majorly on keywords. Now, Google picks the identities from strings and try to find out the relationship between those identities and come out with the best result.
What are Q&A Phrases?
Whenever you type a question query on Google, Google most probably comes with an answer in “Featured Snippet” which might be fetched from the Knowledge Graph or some website.
Types of Questions:
Direct Answer Questions (DAQ)
Questions starting with ‘What’, ‘Which’, ‘Where’, ‘Who’, ‘When’, and ‘Why’ comes in this category. For example, when someone enters a query “What is the name of this planet?” the answer directly comes, in this case, it is “Earth”. Google predicts the intent of the user and by the semantic search technology, you get the result.
For a query like “When the Flipkart is announcing the sale in 2019?” Google returns a direct answer “Flipkart Sale offers” after fetching the answer from Q&A sites like Quora. From the Knowledge Graph, Google fetches the results of queries like “Where is the Taj Mahal?” which has a direct answer “Agra, India”.
Some answers are fetched from websites too. For questions like “Who is the father of medicine?” Google gives answer “Hippocrates”
Short Answer Questions (SAQ)
Questions starting with ‘why’, ‘can’ etc fall in this category. For example, “why is sky blue?” a question like this is returned in a snippet which perfectly explains the reason. Moreover, for a question like “Can, humans survive the snake bite?” google answer snippet will provide the best explanation to the question.
Long Answer Questions (LAQ)
When a query is put like “How to cook Maggi?” Google comes up with a step-by-step guide in which the procedure is described. Google knows the intent of the user who is willing to know the procedure of cooking Maggi in the best way with a number of steps.
How to Find Question Keywords?
You can find the best questions using many tools which are good for your SEO strategy.
- Keyword Magic Tool from SEMrush lets you find question-based keyword. Just enter the main keyword in the Keyword Magic Tool, the tool will generate lots of questions keywords for you.
- The SerpStat Search Questions helps you find a big chunk of relevant question keywords. Under Keyword Research -> SEO Research, enter your primary keyword and click on Content Marketing -> Search Questions. You can find relevant questions searches sorted according to countries.
- Other tools like AnswerThePublic, SEMrush Topic Research, Ubersuggest, Seorch, Keyword Tool, and Instakeywords can help you find the best question keywords.
How To Rank For Direct Answer Questions (DAQ)?
To rank your web pages for direct answer questions, you need to do the following things:
- Answer as fast as possible.
- Imagine if a question is, “What is the full form of USA?” try answering it like “The full form of the USA is the United States of America.
- Try explaining your answer and provide rich content to it.
- Don’t use shady SEO tricks or plagiarised content, this will not help you in any way.
How To Rank For Short Answer Questions (SAQ)?
To rank your web pages for short answer questions, you need to work like this:
- Try writing your content in an elaborated way and publish it as early as possible.
- Moreover, the content written must be easy to read even for a school going kid. You must maintain the Flesch-Kincaid score between 65-70 for this.
How To Rank For Long Answer Questions (LAQ)?
To rank your web pages for long answer questions, you need to work like this:
- Try to answer the questions using videos or explain it in entire depth.
- You can also choose to answer in a step-by-step or tutorial format.
- Content must be easy to read.
- Make your answers in list format which makes it easier for a user to understand the content.
- Try using an image to describe every step.
Which Question Keywords You Should Avoid Answering?
Questions which are located in the Knowledge Graph, try avoiding to answer such questions. No website or anything is linked with such questions because it is in Google’s bag. For example, “What is the length of the Great Wall of China?” Google directly answers that directly fetching it from the Knowledge Graph.
All said question keyword optimization is a nice technique to boost your SEO strategy. So, if you are trying to get an edge over others in this business, try writing articles on question keywords. It might happen that your content comes in the answer box of Google which will eventually bring more traffic to your website.