Google, the world’s leading search engine, has recently made significant changes to its search results.
The visibility of HowTo and FAQ rich results has been limited, impacting the way users interact with search results and how businesses optimize their content for search engine visibility.
This article will delve into the details of these changes, their implications, and how businesses can adapt to maintain their online visibility.
The Impact on HowTo Rich Results
What is a HowTo Rich Result?
A HowTo rich result is a specific type of structured data that Google uses to display step-by-step instructions directly in its search results.
These results are typically accompanied by images and provide users with a quick and easy way to understand how to accomplish a specific task.
They are particularly useful for DIY projects, recipes, and other instructional content.
In this example in the search result you can know “how to tile a kitchen backsplash” directly in the search result without going to any website.
Changes on HowTo Rich Results
Google has decided to limit the visibility of HowTo rich results. Previously, these results were displayed for both desktop and mobile users.
However, with the recent changes, HowTo rich results will only be shown to desktop users. This is a significant shift considering the increasing number of users who access Google Search via mobile devices.
The decision to limit the visibility of HowTo rich results is part of Google’s ongoing efforts to provide users with a cleaner and more consistent search experience.
However, this change may impact websites that rely heavily on HowTo rich results for traffic and visibility.
The Impact on FAQ Rich Results
What is an FAQ Rich Result?
FAQ rich results are another type of structured data that Google uses to enhance its search results. These results display a list of frequently asked questions and their answers directly in the search results.
They are particularly useful for businesses that want to provide quick answers to common customer queries.
I get this search result by typing “use search console” in Google.
In the search results, I can see an FAQ provided by Neil Patel.
“What is Google Search Console” ?
“How to Use Google Search Console”
I can click on each question to display the answer to this question without having to navigate to the Neil Patel website. In this example I click on “What is Google Search Console”
Changes on FAQ Rich Results
Similar to HowTo rich results, Google has also decided to limit the visibility of FAQ rich results.
However, the changes are slightly different.
FAQ rich results will now only be shown for well-known, authoritative government and health websites.
This means that businesses outside of these sectors will no longer be able to leverage FAQ rich results for enhanced visibility in Google Search.
The Impact on Search Console Reporting
What is Search Console Reporting?
Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that helps businesses monitor and troubleshoot their website’s presence in Google Search results.
It provides valuable insights into how Google views your website and allows you to optimize your visibility in search results.
Changes in Search Console Reporting
With the changes in the visibility of HowTo and FAQ rich results, there will also be changes in Search Console reporting.
The metrics for FAQ and HowTo search appearances will be updated to reflect these changes.
This means that businesses will need to closely monitor their Search Console reports to understand the impact of these changes on their website’s visibility in Google Search.
Adapting to the Changes
Should You Remove FAQ & HowTo Structured Data?
Despite the changes, it is not recommended to remove FAQ or HowTo structured data from your website.
While Google may no longer display these types of rich results for all websites, other search engines may still use this structured data.
Furthermore, removing this data may have negative effects on user experience and other SEO efforts.
Strategies for Maximizing Visibility Post-Changes
While the changes to HowTo and FAQ rich results may seem daunting, there are strategies that businesses can employ to maximize their visibility in Google Search.
One strategy is to focus on creating high-quality, relevant content. Google’s algorithms prioritize content that provides value to users, so focusing on content quality can help improve your website’s visibility.
Another strategy is to optimize your website for other types of rich results.
While HowTo and FAQ rich results may be limited, there are many other types of rich results that businesses can leverage, such as product reviews, local business listings, and more.
The recent changes to the visibility of HowTo and FAQ rich results in Google Search represent a significant shift in the SEO landscape.
While these changes may present challenges for some businesses, they also provide an opportunity to rethink SEO strategies and focus on creating high-quality, relevant content.
By understanding these changes and adapting accordingly, businesses can continue to maximize their visibility in Google Search.