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Google’s Updated Stance on HowTo and FAQ Rich Results

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In an attempt to streamline and enhance user experience, Google has made critical updates on how some rich results will be displayed in search results. Announced on August 8, 2023, these changes focus on the visibility of FAQ and HowTo rich results. The complete rollout of these alterations is expected within a week.

Overview of the Changes

Changes to FAQ Rich Results

The spotlight of these changes is on the FAQ rich results originating from FAQPage structured data. Earlier, various websites could take advantage of this. However, with the new changes, only authoritative health and government websites will regularly showcase these rich results. If your site doesn’t fall into these categories, your FAQ rich results will vanish from regular appearances. The silver lining? Websites deemed eligible might still be considered for this premium treatment. And if you’re pondering removing the structured data, think twice. Google suggests that inactive structured data doesn’t interfere with Search, but neither does it boost visibility in Google Search.

Changes to HowTo Rich Results

Here, the principal modification is platform-based. HowTo rich results, derived from HowTo structured data, will now exclusively be for desktop users. Sorry, mobile users! But here’s a catch: With Google emphasizing mobile indexing, even if you’re eyeing desktop visibility, your mobile site must have the relevant markup. A bit paradoxical, don’t you think?

Changes in Search Console Reporting

If you’re an ardent user of Google’s Search Console, you’ll witness these changes. The modifications will be evident in metrics related to FAQ and HowTo search appearances and the number of impressions in corresponding enhancement reports. However, relief comes in the form of unaffected item counts in enhancement reports. Despite the changes, both search appearances and their reports will linger in the Search Console.

Global Rollout and Implications

The global digital community will notice these changes. Regardless of language or country, the shift will roll out in the next week. One crucial point: This is NOT a ranking change. So, if you’re stressed about your site’s position on Google, take a breath! However, do remember there’s a slight holdback experiment in the mix. So, a few users might be late to the party in witnessing these changes.

Conclusion

Google’s recent updates on HowTo and FAQ rich results underline the tech giant’s commitment to refining search experiences. As content creators, marketers, or website owners, staying updated and adapting is the name of the game.

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