Google Diminishes the Visibility of HowTo and FAQ Rich Results in Search

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Google Diminishes the Visibility of HowTo and FAQ Rich Results in Search

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    As per the latest Google update, FAQ-rich results will essentially be phased out for most (but not all) websites, while the HowTo will be completely removed from search results on mobile devices.

    The rich results visibility of HowTo & FAQ has been pivotal for websites on both mobile and desktop devices. Google announced that it is discontinuing the visibility of HowTo & FAQ on mobile devices. However, it will continue to show on desktops. This change is aligned with optimizing the mobile search experience. It suggests more focus on “mobile bots” for crawling and enhancing all activities conducted on mobile phones.

    Google Rich Results

    Google Rich Results are the features that boost the appearance of webpage content and improve listings, which often drive more traffic. It can be in the form of carousels, with larger image displays like in recipe cards, listed in a sidebar, or with stars, reviews, or knowledge panels of a firm or person. Their primary goal is to provide relevant information to the users with the help of FAQs, HowTo and other snippets.  

    These rich results broadly depend on structured data to function. It’s this data that allows specific parts of a snippet to qualify as a rich result.

    HowTo & FAQs rich results popped up for all categories and websites to provide instant/quick responses to the questions, but Google said they will now only be reserved for government and health websites.

    Google’s on the HowTo & FAQ Structured Data

    It’s big news that Google is reducing the visibility of HowTo and FAQ rich results in search, which were one of the crucial driving factors of traffic to websites. Now, the prominent question is, ‘What to do?’

    HowTo & FAQ Structured Data: Should You Keep It or Remove?

    While Google is downplaying HowTo & FAQ structured data, other search engines may find it useful and valuable.

    That said, it’s probably best to keep the structured data if removing is becoming a hassle.

    Removing it should be easy for those who use a plugin or other functionality that facilitates the implementation and removal of the structured data.

    Whether you choose to keep or discard structured data, your ultimate focus and efforts should be towards creating high-quality content.

    What Google advises about HowTo & FAQ Structured Data

    Why did Google Make This Change?

    The main goal behind these changes is to improve the consistency of search results. Google found that rich results from the non-authoritative sites were not providing that desired value.

    HowTo Rich Results Now Limited to Desktop

    HowTo rich results will no longer be shown on mobile devices. On desktops, while they will still appear, they’re influenced by changes in the FAQs markup. Rich results generated from the HowTo schema markup will only appear on desktops. These changes are aimed at  improving mobile search results and experience.

    Requirements Rich Results on Desktops

    Websites can add How-To structure data to meet the requirements of rich results on desktop devices. This ensures the content’s visibility and interactivity in desktop search results. However, it is equally essential to have the appropriate markup on mobile pages for a seamless experience across devices. 

    Search Console Data & Metrics

    You will see a drop in metrics on your Google Search Console of FAQ and How-To rich results impressions and clicks. In enhancement reports, however, the number of valid items will remain unchanged. Google clarified that this update should not be counted as a ranking change.


    These changes will be rolling out in a week. During the initial period, the results will be shown as an experiment. Websites using FAQPage and HowTo structured data could see a drop in rich results shown to search users to focus on high-quality content on the site. As a result, they may rely on other features of SERP.

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    Google No Longer continues the Visibility of HowTo and FAQ Rich Results in Search

    Google Diminishes the Visibility of HowTo and FAQ Rich Results in Search