Last updated on March 30th, 2023 at 07:36 pm
Google typically works tirelessly so users get more use out of its tools, and that’s on full display with Google Question Hub. A way for content creators to boost their SEO efforts, the new tool has people scratching their heads about what it even is.
That’s primarily driven by the fact the tool is still in its beta mode, so relatively few creators have access to it. So far, the response has been positive, with beta testers touting how it could be a game-changer in the months and years ahead.
It’s worth looking at what Google Question Hub is, how it works, and what kind of impact it’ll have on content creators and their publications. What is Google Question Hub, and how can you use it to boost your SEO and marketing efforts?
Let’s dive in.
What is Google Question Hub?
The site lets content creators find and answer countless unanswered questions across the internet. With how comprehensive and widely used the search engine platform is, it provides an in-depth overview of each question.
Wait… isn’t that what Google Search is? Doesn’t it allow you to find in-depth answers to questions?
Yes, of course… many questions have an answer already. However, Google sees more than 8.5 Billion searches daily. At that volume, the likelihood that all questions are going to be answered by relevant content is slim. As a result, Google sees large amounts of questions as incomplete or not adequately addressed. For bloggers and other content creators, it lets them find topic ideas based on the questions, which optimizes SEO efforts and provides a path to new readers. In short, it highlights information gaps in specific areas.
The tool is currently in beta mode and only available in four countries: the United States, Nigeria, Indonesia, and India.
Google Question Hub was initially released in 2018 in Nigeria, Indonesia, and India as a means to offer answers to questions that the search index wasn’t fully covering. However, the foray into the United States is a recent addition. The U.S. release is seen as a way of helping to combat the flurry of affiliate sites that exist online solely for page ranking without providing contextual answers to the questions searchers are looking for.
Personally, I look at it as Google’s answer to Quora and their 300M monthly site unique site visitors looking for very specific answers to very specific questions.
Think of Google Question Hub as a way for bloggers and creators to generate content readers find appealing. They can search for questions that potential readers care about the most and then craft pieces based around answering these questions.
It’s a way to match content with search intent. With Google placing more and more emphasis on intent rather than keywords and link-building alone, Google Question Hub has become (and will continue to become) an increasingly more useful tool. Consider it a shortcut to finding out what your potential readers are looking for without answers and catering your content specifically to these needs (or by potentially adding content you’ve created that already answers the question to the hub for greater exposure to audiences looking for a more specific answer to their questions).
Marketers and businesses can use the gap analysis provided by the tool to highlight customer needs. With traditional methods, these companies would need to take multiple steps and use several tools to find this information and determine customer search intent. They’ll then have to feed the results into their content marketing strategy, making it a time-consuming process.
Look at Google Question Hub as a way to get deeper audience needs more quickly and use it to feed content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) initiatives. Combined with Google’s ability to draw in information from countless sources – while ensuring this data is accurate – the tool provides a more precise and comprehensive content gap analysis to make marketing decisions.
How Does It Work?
Google is the most popular search engine on the planet, giving it access to countless queries every day and providing the company with access to a wealth of data. Search preferences, topics, and similar information are found within the company’s data trove. Needless to say, its insights for marketing professionals, content creators, and businesses are unrivaled.
As true as that is, it doesn’t mean Google has the answer to everything. Instead, it can provide tools and information, letting content creators, marketers, and similar professionals answer questions. This release is the newest tool to let them do that. So, how does the Google Question Hub work?
In its simplest terms, Google collects all the questions people are looking for on its search engine and measures whether these are answered. These are organized based on specific keywords, with Google lumping them together on numerous data points and algorithms.
Given the hundreds of varying metrics and the rapid changes within Google’s algorithm, the exact criteria used to generate these questions based on keywords is a little fuzzy. What is known is that it takes search intent, volume, and similar factors into account.
For users, this means Google identifies the most searched-for questions based on a keyword, filters out the ones that already have in-depth answers, and presents the rest in a report. It presents up to 100 questions based on inputted keywords, which are spread across several categories.
The report generated from this can then be used as a content gap analysis to base content marketing and SEO decisions on.
Who Should Use It, and Why?
Google’s new tool focuses specifically on content marketers, bloggers, similar online creators, and businesses using digital marketing techniques. It’s designed to let these professionals maximize their efforts.
With the wealth of tools already on the market, why should these professionals switch to a new tool that’s still being tested? One of the more notable reasons is Google’s fundamental access to a wealth of information its competitors likely wouldn’t have. And it’s faster than looking through YouTube comments.
It has access to more data to produce its content gap analysis and questions, allowing for more comprehensive and in-depth reports. It takes the guesswork out of the equation, letting content creators focus on specific issues and highlight search intent before starting their content marketing strategies.
Google Question Hub lets them make more informed decisions, allowing them to boost SEO and content marketing efforts, ensuring there’s less wasted time and a better reader experience. They’ll get more comprehensive information, which could be lacking with similar tools.
It lets content creators and digital marketing specialists align their marketing efforts with search intent more accurately while hyper-focusing on specific keywords. Combined with other Google and Google-adjacent tools focused on marketing, it provides an in-depth view of what these professionals should focus on.
How to Use Google Question Hub
Using Google Question Hub is relatively simple. However, it’s worth noting that a verified Google Search Console and related Google account are needed to sign up for the tool..
Once these have been set up, using Google Question Hub is a breeze and only takes a few specific steps. It’s a matter of:
- Navigating to the Question Hub tool
- Clicking on the Launch button
- Picking which Google account you’d like to use
- Pressing the Add Questions button
- Searching for particular keywords and topics
- Adding any topic to your Questions tab
- Reviewing and exporting the generated report
After this, it’s a matter of using the report as part of a content gap analysis and then informing content marketing and SEO efforts. The questions that the Question Hub tool generates might not all be relevant, but it’s not an automatic process.
Content creators and digital marketers will need to review questions manually to discern whether they’re appropriate for their business and needs. Then there’s the content creation process, which is left up to the companies and creators themselves.
While the Question Hub tool primarily highlights unanswered questions, that’s far from all it does. It can also be used to measure content’s impact. It features a Performance tab that lets users determine how their content performs over time. Once this content has been added through the Performance tab, the tool measures its performance.
It should be noted, however, that adding this content to Google Question Hub doesn’t improve its SEO rankings. Instead, it solely focuses on performance and impact. The content will still need to follow SEO best practices and similar areas. While the tool helps focus on search intent, it’s still only one of the areas that content creators and other marketers need to focus on.
Using the Performance tab lets these professionals identify where they can improve and if their current process needs to be tweaked to provide more significant results. See it as a measurement of the impact of the process and resulting content.
How Are Questions Generated?
With how vital getting the right questions, search intent, and keywords are to content marketing, it’s crucial to know whether the suggestions from Google Question Hub are appropriate. Part of this involves figuring out how the tool generates the questions in its report.
Content creators assuming Google simply scrapes the web and its data trove for unanswered questions might not be too off the mark. As Google notes, it takes many of the questions in its reports, specifically from its search engine users. As it does so, it focuses specifically on keywords and search intent.
Because Google lifts many of its questions from its users, it’s not too uncommon to come across misspellings and similar errors in them. From now on, it appears that Google will continue refining the tool and how it collects and aggregates these questions. It’ll be a continual process, similar to how the company updates its most well-known options.
The BERT – Basic Excel R Tool – will also play a factor in this, as it’ll have significant implications for how questions are identified and highlighted in the future. It makes managing keywords and similar information a breese. It’s an area the tool is known for, making it practically mandatory for any content marketing professional.
Tools to Use With Google Question Hub
The Google Question Hub looks like an essential tool for anyone in content marketing. It’s far from the only one, however, as it only focuses on identifying search intent, which isn’t the only factor that plays into SERP rankings. A high-quality SEO strategy takes multiple factors into account, including:
- Content quality
- Keyword density and placement
Using multiple tools is vital to ensuring content passes all of Google’s quality marks, such as the BERT tool mentioned above. Thankfully, there are various tools that help with this process, with several also being offered by Google, such as the Search Console and Keyword Planner.
Outside of these are the likes of:
- Yoast SEO – Used alongside WordPress’ content management system, Yoast SEO lets users manage their content’s metadata, tags, and similar information. It lets creators further refine and optimize their content for SERP.
- SurferSEO – A content creation tool that lets users identify keyword density and the use of related phrases and topics. It takes competitors and existing content into account as content is created.
- Squirrly’s SEO 2020 – While a few years old, SEO 2020 by Squirrly lets users make their content more readable. Since readers should be at the forefront of any content marketing strategy, this should be in every marketer’s toolkit.
Alternatives to Google Question Hub
While Google Question Hub looks to be a comprehensive way for creators and marketers to find questions readers are searching for, it’s not exactly a new idea. Several platforms have done this for multiple years, with two doing this quite well.
- Quora – Quora may be the most obvious Google Question Hub alternative, as it’s been around for quite some time and skyrocketed in popularity. It lets the average person ask a question on the site while letting people answer them. Searching for particular topics or keywords lets creators develop content based on reader needs.
- Answer The Public – Answer The Public is a search listening tool that lets marketers and similar professionals find specific questions readers are asking. While the end result is much the same as the Question Hub tool and Quora, it lists questions based on the most relevant criteria.
While still in beta testing, Google Question Hub aims to be one of the most useful tools to hit the market for content creators and digital marketing professionals in several years. It lets content marketers find questions and topics based on user search intent, further refining their efforts.
With search intent becoming one of the core factors affecting SEO and SERPS, it’s an area businesses and marketing professionals need to focus on. With the Question Hub tool, that gets a whole lot easier. The tool, when combined with other content marketing platforms, provides a more in-depth and holistic approach to creating content.