Google Changes Visibility of HowTo and FAQ Rich Results

Google has announced the limitation of certain types of sites displaying FAQ-rich results and the placement of HowTo results.

In an official statement, Google intended to reduce the prominence of two types of rich results, namely HowTo and FAQ.

As part of this initiative, FAQ-rich results will gradually be phased out for most websites, though some exceptions may apply. Additionally, the HowTo rich results will no longer appear in search results on mobile devices.

Overview of the changes

Site proprietors will observe notable implications for their usage of FAQ and How-To structured data due to these modifications.

In the coming times, rich results from FAQ (derived from FAQPage structured data) will exclusively feature on esteemed government and health websites known for their authority. Regular display of this rich result will cease for all other websites. Eligibility criteria will automatically consider certain sites for this altered presentation.

Preemptive action is unnecessary if you choose to eliminate this structured data from your website. The presence of unused structured data doesn’t yield complications for Search outcomes, yet it also lacks discernible impacts on Google Search visibility.

Google announced that it would reduce the visibility of FAQ and HowTo rich results in its search results. Specifically, FAQ-rich results will only be shown for well-known, authoritative government and health websites, and HowTo-rich results will only be shown for desktop devices. This change will take effect over the next week.

The reason for these changes is to provide a cleaner and more consistent search experience for users. FAQ rich results can be cluttered and overwhelming, especially when irrelevant to the user’s search query. HowTo rich results are also not as useful on mobile devices, as users often prefer to watch videos or read text instructions instead of interacting with a carousel of steps.

Google says these changes will not affect the visibility of FAQ and HowTo rich results for sites already eligible to show them. However, some sites may see a decrease in click-through rates due to these changes.

Changes to FAQ and HowTo rich results in Search Console reporting

Google is making some changes to the way FAQ and HowTo rich results are reported in Search Console. These changes will be visible in the following metrics:

  • FAQ and How-To Search appearances in the performance report
  • The number of impressions reported in the appropriate enhancement reports

These changes will not affect the number of items reported in the enhancement reports. The search appearances and the reports will remain in Search Console for the time being.

This update is rolling out globally, in all languages and countries, over the next week. It should not be considered a ranking change and won’t be listed in the Search status dashboard. Note that there will be a small holdback experiment, so some users may not immediately see these changes.

What does this mean for you?

If you have a website that currently shows FAQ or HowTo rich results, you may see a decrease in the number of impressions and clicks for these results. This is because Google reduces the visibility of these rich results for most websites.

However, if your website is a well-known, authoritative government or health website, you will still be eligible to show FAQ rich results. And if your website is only designed for desktop devices, you will still be eligible to show HowTo rich results.

You can monitor the impact of these changes in the Search Console by looking at the metrics mentioned above. If you see a significant decrease in impressions or clicks, you may want to consider optimizing your website for other types of rich results, such as featured snippets or local business listings.

These changes are rolling out globally within a week. A small number of rich results will still be shown as an experiment.


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