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Google Search Limits FAQ and How-To Results

Google Search Limits FAQ and How-To Results

Sarah Hardacre
Google announced a number of major changes to how it handles How-to and FAQ rich results in its search. By reducing the visibility of FAQ rich results and limiting How-To rich results, Google hopes to create a “cleaner and more consistent experience.”

How-to rich results were first removed from mobile device search results only. In early September, How-to rich results also disappeared from desktop search results, completing the deprecation of the result type completely. The Google Search developers site has removed all support documentation.

Websites have 30 days to update their API calls before Google will drop the How-to search appearance, rich result report, and support in the rich results tests.

Only certain government and health websites will have FAQ rich results. Those websites have no action to take and will be automatically considered for eligibility, although there are no details on the eligibility criteria.

These updates will be visible immediately in the Search Console reporting. In particular, the metrics for appearances in the performance reports and the number of impressions in the enhancement reports will reflect the changes in Search. For the time being, the reports themselves will not change.

These changes were rolled out globally, in all languages, and in all countries. However, Google is carrying out a small holdback experiment, so some users may not see the changes right away. Although the changes take effect immediately, there is no need for websites to update or remove their structured data. Google Search will simply disregard the data.

The FAQ rich results is a feature that allows websites to use an FAQ schema markup to structure frequently asked questions and help the website reach the right users. Websites must put the data in a standard format and classify the page content to be visible on the search results.

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