Google reduces the visibility of HowTo and FAQ rich results in search

Google will be showing fewer rich results in its search results, specifically showing less FAQ rich results across the search result snippets and limiting How-To rich results to desktop devices.

Google said this update will roll out over next week globally.

FAQ changes. Google said the FAQs, FAQPage structured data, rich results will only be shown for “well-known, authoritative government and health websites.”

For all other sites, this rich result will no longer be shown regularly, Google added.

Which sites Google decides to show them for are automated and algorithmic.

Don’t remove structured data. Google said there is no reason to remove structured data from your site. Google said “Structured data that’s not being used does not cause problems for Search, but also has no visible effects in Google Search.”

HowTo changes. Google said the How-To, from HowTo structured data, rich results will only be shown for desktop users, and not for users on mobile devices.

Google added that “with mobile indexing, Google indexes the mobile version of a website as the basis for indexing: to have How-To rich results shown on desktop, the mobile version of your website must include the appropriate markup.”

Why we care. If your site is impacted by this, you may see a decline in clicks from Google Search to your site. Your Google Search Console performance reports would show the decline in clicks and your analytics traffic would show a drop in traffic from Google Search.

Google wrote, “For both of these items, you may also notice this change in the Search Console reporting for your website. In particular, this will be visible in the metrics shown for FAQ and How-To search appearances in the performance report, and in the number of impressions reported in the appropriate enhancement reports. This change does 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.”

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