In August, Google announced its plans to limit which kinds of websites show FAQ rich results as well as limits to where HowTo results are shown, resulting in decreased visibility for both kinds of structured data. In this blog, we’ll go over the key takeaways of that announcement and what this means for marketers.
Key Takeaways to Google’s Rich Results Announcement
Updates to FAQ Rich Results
Previously, any website utilizing FAQ Page structured data could be shown in FAQ rich results. However, Google has now stated that FAQ rich results will now only be shown for “well-known, authoritative, government, and health websites”.
That said, Google notes that there is no need for website owners to proactively remove FAQ structured data from their sites since, as Google states, “structured data that’s not being used does not cause problems for Search, but also has no visible effects in Google Search”.
You’ll also want to consider that other search engines may still use this structured data, so it’s best to just leave it alone.
Updates to HowTo Rich Results
Previously, HowTo structured data was being shown on both mobile and desktop. In its original announcement, Google stated HowTo rich results would no longer be shown on mobile, just desktop. However, as of September 14, 2023, Google stated that Search will no longer show How-To rich results on desktop as well.
Although FAQ and How-To rich results provided boosts in organic traffic for many sites over the years, Google is making it clear that they want to keep the SERP as clean and consistent as possible. This also serves as a valuable reminder that we should never expect new SERP features to stay around forever, because at any point Google could decide to limit or take these features away entirely.
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