Google Downgrades Visibility of HowTo and FAQ Rich Results

Google is reducing the visibility of its ‘How To’ and ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQ) rich results. These changes are aimed at improving the user experience.

Google has officially announced that it is lowering the visibility of two forms of its rich results: How-To and FAQs. This change is intended to provide users with a cleaner and more consistent search experience.

Google has announced that it will reduce the visibility of ‘How To’ and ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ rich results.

This update is scheduled to be completed by the end of next week.

To summarize the statement, after next week:

– FAQ rich results will be limited to only government or health sites

– How to make rich results will only be visible on the desktop search results.

It seems natural that this will lead to severe organic traffic loss for some sites

FAQ Rich Results:

FAQ rich results will be phased out for most websites. However, it will still be shown for high-authority health websites and government websites. Google has stated that this rich result will not be shown regularly, but sites may automatically receive this treatment depending on their eligibility.

HowTo Rich Results:

HowTo rich results will be removed entirely from search results on mobile devices. They will still be available on desktop devices. Google has announced that this change will be completed globally within the next week.

Implications for Publishers:

This news could be perceived as a blow to publishers who spend time adding FAQ content and accompanying structured data. However, removing structured data from your site is unnecessary because other search engines can use it. Google, as before, can reactivate them with a change of decision.

Google’s move is essential to make the search experience more user-friendly, and publishers may want to adapt to these changes and optimize their content according to Google’s new policies.

It is also possible to read Google’s move as a cleanup operation before the Productive Search Experience. The overlap of both the Productive Search Experience and this rich results limitation operation simultaneously could have caused more problems.

This will lead to a decrease in organic traffic. Sampling on some large sites shows that URLs with FAQ rich snippets have a much higher click-through rate (CTR) than those without – up to 2x in some cases!

As a result of this decision, starting next week, traffic will be lost with such snippets. Some believe that Google is taking this step in preparation for AI answers. Others argue that it doesn’t provide user value or that Google wants more ad clicks. However, not all FAQ rich snippets provide high-quality content. It is thought that Google could solve this problem.


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