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Google’s Changes to FAQ and HowTo Results: What Website Owners Need to Know

As of September 2023, Google reduced the visibility of FAQ and HowTo information in its search results. If you haven’t seen the impact of this decision on your website’s traffic yet, here is everything digital marketers and website owners should know if considering rethinking their strategy.

FAQ Results

Google now limits the regular display of FAQ-rich results to well-known and authoritative websites, primarily in the government and health sectors. Google’s algorithm will determine which websites fall into these categories.

HowTo Results

Attempting to simplify search results, Google no longer shows HowTo rich results on desktop or mobile devices. For this reason, this search result type has significantly lost its value.

What Changes Do You Need to Make

If your site features structured data, you don’t have to proactively remove it. Though it has no visible effects in Google Search, it’s not going to cause any problems either. FAQ and HowTo Schema markup may also continue to be useful for other search engines, aiding in content indexing and rich result display in SERPs.

Impact on Website Traffic

Google doesn’t consider this global update a ranking change, so the effects of FAQ’s and HowTo’s reduced visibility remain to be fully felt. Most likely, the removal of these sections from SERPs will lead to more search results displayed on a single screen, increasing the competition for clicks. Website owners who currently employ FAQ and HowTo Schema markup should prepare for potential traffic fluctuations, which may vary based on context and the type of website you have. 

Staying up-to-date on Google’s updates and closely monitoring your website’s performance can help you effectively adapt to the evolving search result dynamics. And with 5 Horizons, you can always stay on top of digital marketing industry trends.