The People Also Ask feature on Google which started showing in 2015 has witnessed a phenomenal increase in time it is displayed in Google search results. The surge is reported to be around 35%, accounting for almost half of all queries. Dr Pete Meyers from Moz who first posted about it on Twitter said that there was a 34% increase and Google now displays this feature in 43% of all SERPs in Mozcast 10K data set.
People Also Ask(PAA) is a series of questions which are loaded dynamically and are related with the initially searched question which appears in search results on both mobile and desktop. Once a user clicks on a query in this feature, a drop-down arrives with the featured snippets from another search result. The organic search feature is a part of Google’s efforts to improve search experience and ensure that searchers stay on the Google interface for a longer period.
In contrast to featured snippets, PAAs tend to move around the first page of search results. But most of them appear on the bottom of the first search result page. PAAs appear in 70% of all search results which have a featured snippet. (source: Get Stat). They tend to utilize the same source for answering PAA as well as featured snippets. Therefore, ranking as answer to a PAA and featured snippet question might result in numerous different instances of exposure.
When attempting to gain rank for an answer in a People Also Ask Query, optimize it in the say way you do for a featured snippet. Answer the query clearly. Adopt a “question/answer” approach to the content. This will ensure a better experience by adjusting user intent with relevant content.