Google’s Newest Mobile Search Feature: “People Search Next”

Over the past few years, Google’s “near me” search function has become increasingly popular. In 2019, the popularity of “near me searches” increased by 150%, and since then, the Covid-19 pandemic has only continued this trend of user search activity.

In the last week of January, Google launched a new mobile search feature called “people search next” to improve and capitalize on the popularity of the “near me” search function. Let’s give a quick overview of how this feature works and what it could mean for the future of Google and your SEO.

How does the “People Search Next” Feature Work?

The purpose of this new feature is to allow users to view and easily access popular next searches based upon the given “near me” search. This is not an entirely new feature. Similar to existing features at the bottom of Google’s SERP (Search Engine Page Results) such as “people also ask” and “related searches”, the “people search next” feature is another addition aiming to improve and continue the user’s search experience.

To give an example, if a user searches “Dentist near me” on Google, the “people search next” feature may appear towards the bottom of the search page with clickable search prompts such as “does your tooth hurt after filling?”

When Will I See this Feature?

Currently, it seems this new feature is only accessible through mobile devices. When using a “near me” Google search on a laptop, this feature did not appear, while it did appear on the same search result on a mobile device. In addition, this feature only appears specifically when you are using the “near me” search prompt and is not guaranteed to appear on every search. It seems this “people search next” feature may only appear when Google’s algorithm has a good idea of what other users are searching after their initial “near me” search.

What Does this New Feature Mean for You?

While this new feature only appears on some “near me” searches, it is important to understand the implications of this feature on Google’s search page. This new feature takes up space on the Google search page, potentially pushing further down other useful relevant webpages. This has the possibility to decrease visibility for certain webpages while keeping users in the SERP loop for a longer period of time. Because of this, it is essential to closely monitor this new feature to see how it may develop in the near future. If you feel this feature may have a negative impact on your SEO results, reach out to BluShark Digital today for a quote.