Google Revamps How-to and FAQ Rich Results: A Major Shift for Website Proprietors

by | Sep 16, 2023

Google has made big changes to its search results, specifically targeting How-to and FAQ rich results. These changes, announced on August 8th, have caused a stir in the digital world, leaving website owners and SEO professionals scrambling to understand the potential impact. This article will delve into the details of these changes and explore their implications for search rankings and website traffic.

Before, How-to rich results only appeared on desktop search results. However, Google has now completely removed them from both desktop and mobile platforms. The purpose of this change is to simplify search results and improve user experience. Tracking tools have shown a significant decrease in the frequency of FAQ rich results since these changes were implemented.

The visibility of How-to and FAQ results started to decline on September 13th. From that date onwards, How-to rich results disappeared from desktop, affecting the metrics for the How-to search appearance in the performance report. These changes also directly affect the number of impressions reported in the How-to enhancement reports. Website owners must closely monitor these changes, as they can have a big impact on website traffic.

Furthermore, Google has fully deprecated the How-to result type, which means that How-to results will no longer appear in Google Search. This change significantly alters the search landscape, requiring website owners and SEO professionals to adapt their strategies accordingly.

Support for How-to in the Search Console API will also be discontinued within 180 days. This leaves website owners with the task of finding alternative ways to track and monitor How-to rich results. The reporting for How-to rich results in Google Search Console will soon be removed, so website owners must prepare for these upcoming changes.

In addition to the changes in How-to rich results, FAQ rich results will now only be displayed for well-known, authoritative government, and health websites. This change aims to ensure that users receive accurate and reliable information. Website owners must now establish their authority and expertise to maintain visibility in FAQ rich results.

For How-to rich results to appear on desktop, the mobile versions of websites must include the appropriate markup. This requirement ensures that users receive consistent and relevant information across different devices. Website owners should thoroughly review their mobile versions to ensure optimization for How-to rich results.

These changes have significant implications for website owners who heavily rely on How-to and FAQ rich results to drive traffic. If How-to rich results were a critical source of traffic for a website, their removal from Google Search could lead to a decline in website traffic and potential loss of revenue. Website owners must explore alternative strategies to attract organic traffic and adapt to the evolving search landscape.

It is important to note that Google’s efforts to simplify search results have also affected the visibility and appearance of FAQ rich results. As mentioned earlier, FAQ rich results will now only be shown for authoritative government and health websites. This change highlights the prioritization of accurate and trustworthy information for users.

In conclusion, Google’s recent changes to How-to and FAQ rich results have significant implications for website owners and SEO professionals. The removal of How-to rich results from both desktop and mobile platforms, combined with the reduced visibility of FAQ rich results, requires a quick adaptation of strategies and website optimization. Staying updated on these changes and exploring alternative methods to drive organic traffic in the ever-evolving search landscape will be crucial for success.