Changes to Google’s FAQ Rich Results

31 Aug, 2023 Google Features, Technical

As a leader in the search engine realm, Google often introduces changes that impact how websites are displayed in search results. For this reason, it is essential to understand and keep up with the ongoing changes to optimize SEO results for your website fully. You may have previously searched for something and encountered dropdown features under a site showing frequently asked questions or how-to steps related to your search. The latest Google updates include a change to the presentation of FAQ and How To rich results in search results. In this blog, we will dive into these changes and how they may affect search engine optimization.

The Change At Hand

According to Google, this change aims to provide users with a cleaner and more consistent search experience. To achieve this, Google is altering how certain rich result types appear in the search results. In particular, it is reducing the visibility of FAQ and How To rich results on desktop devices.

How Will This Impact Site Owners?

These changes are centered around the utilization of FAQ and How To data. This means that FAQ rich results will be displayed for established authoritative government and health websites rather than every site. Regular websites will no longer feature this specific rich result type. Instead, Google will determine eligibility, which could potentially preclude many sites from appearing in FAQ rich results.

This could impact a site in various ways, particularly if your site usually pops up due to FAQ rich data results. This could also alter the traffic that some sites may have received in the past due to this feature being linked to their website.

Similarly, the change in How To rich results affects sites’ ability to target mobile users. How To results generated from How To structured data will be visible only to desktop users. To ensure visibility on the desktop, the mobile version of your site must contain the appropriate markup. This underscores the importance of mobile-friendly websites and accurate structured data implementation because these features will be used by How To rich results and desktop visibility.

Moving Forward With These Changes

Websites that may have previously benefited from FAQ-rich results could be affected by these changes. It is important to adapt to the changes and new display rules. Sites that are not government or health websites may want to look at their structured data approaches to optimize visibility for their sites. With How To rich results being restricted to desktop users, it is crucial to also focus on the desktop versions of your websites and ensure that the mobile version of your site includes the necessary markup for Google mobile indexing.

Google and other search engines are constantly changing, reinventing, and updating their platforms. It is important to stay informed through resources like Google’s Search Central and consistently adapt your strategy. Being informed about Google’s updates and changes will allow you to stay ahead of the curve and make necessary pivots to continue thriving online.