Google Downgrades Visibility of HowTo and FAQ Rich Results

By | October 10, 2023

Google revealed that it will limit the websites that provide FAQ-rich results and the locations where HowTo results are displayed.

Google Downgrades Visibility of HowTo and FAQ Rich Results

Google formally declared that it is reducing the prominence of the HowTo and the FAQ rich results types.

For the majority of websites (but not all), the FAQ rich results will largely be phased out, whereas the HowTo will be entirely deleted from mobile search results.

Apparently, Google says:

“…we’re limiting How-To rich results to desktop devices and reducing the display of FAQ rich results.

Within the upcoming week, this update should be fully implemented worldwide.

Although this is an official declaration, Google recently revealed in a search dashboard notification that it will be reducing the prominence of FAQ rich results in April 2023.

Rich Results from Google

A search function called Google Rich Results prominently displays webpage content and upgraded listings, which frequently generates more visitors.

Rich results can appear as carousels, lists in a sidebar, stars, or larger images like those found in recipe cards.

These two types of rich results require more work from publishers to qualify for them because they depend on structured data to be triggered.

A specific type of structured data called “HowTo rich results” displays graphics and the procedures for carrying out an activity.

Government and health websites should use the FAQ.

Google is devaluing these two rich result kinds in order to give users “a cleaner and more consistent search experience.”

Google declared that it will only display them on government and websites with significant authority in the field of health.

They penned:

“Going ahead, only well-known, reputable government and health websites will display FAQ (from FAQPage structured data) rich results.

All other websites will no longer commonly see this rich result.

Sites’ eligibility for this treatment may determine whether it is applied automatically.

Publishers who took the time to provide FAQ material and the corresponding structured data will undoubtedly view this news as a blow and a setback.

Should the FAQ and HowTo Structured Data be Removed?

For the aim of rich results, Google disregards structured data. Other search engines might make use of it.

Therefore, if it’s a nuisance, it’s not required to eliminate the structured data.

For those who utilize a plugin or other feature that scales the application and removes the structured data, removing it should be simple.

Google suggests:

Although you have the option, it is not required to delete this structured data from your website.

Structured data that isn’t being used doesn’t hinder search, but it also doesn’t appear to have any impact on Google Search.

Reduction in HowTo Rich Results Visibility

HowTo organized data is still valuable because it won’t completely disappear. Only the search results on mobile devices will no longer have it.

On desktop devices, Google will still show HowTo rich results.

The statement clarifies:

Only desktop users will get How-To (from HowTo structured data) rich results; users of mobile devices will not see these results.

The mobile version of your website must contain the necessary markup in order for How-To rich results to appear on desktop. Keep in mind that Google crawls mobile versions of websites as the basis for indexing.

Increasing Globally

In less than a week, these adjustments will be implemented everywhere. Only a few highly detailed results will still be presented as an experiment.

Read the announcement from Google:

Changes to HowTo and FAQ rich results 

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