On August 8, 2023, Google announced changes to the treatment of FAQ and How-To rich results globally, in all languages. These changes will be rolling out globally over the next week. These changes have raised questions among marketers who utilize FAQ and How-To schema to enhance the visibility of their content. Let’s delve into these changes and discuss how this might impact marketers’ strategies moving forward.
Google unveiled plans to modify the display of rich results in search this week, reducing the visibility of FAQ-rich results and limiting How-To rich results. Moving forward, FAQ-rich results will only be shown for “well-known, authoritative, government and health websites”. The How-To rich results will now only be displayed on desktop searches.
The Value of FAQs as Quality Content
As marketers, we understand the importance of delivering high-quality content that’s helpful to our customers. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have long been a staple of a strong digital experience, providing quick and concise answers to common queries, as well as providing relevant helpful content to long-tailed user searches. While Google’s update might limit the prominence of FAQ-rich results, the value of well-crafted FAQ content remains undeniable.
A Shift in Visibility, but Not in Importance
Despite Google’s alteration in displaying FAQ-rich results, the content you provide in FAQs is likely to continue playing a crucial role in addressing consumers’ questions. Even if these results don’t appear in the same format, consumers are still likely to search for answers, and your comprehensive FAQs can be the solution they’re looking for. This is highlighted by Google’s experimentation with Search Generative Experience, which relies on high-quality, authoritative content to provide answers to users, and may well be the future of search results, possibly displacing rich results.
Continuing to Craft High-Quality FAQ Content
We encourage marketers to stay committed to generating and updating FAQ content on their websites. While Google may not report on the impact of FAQ-rich results as before, the intrinsic value of delivering helpful content to your audience remains a top priority. Consumers (and search engines) appreciate clear, authoritative content that meets the search intent in the moment. This underscores the fundamental role of FAQ content in maintaining a positive Digital Experience.
Building Entities in Knowledge Graph
While Google may no longer be using schema on FAQs to directly build rich results, using structured data to ensure Google (and other search engines) understand your business and connected entities is critical in building your knowledge graph. Ensuring this information is complete enables Google to leverage your data to generate quality search results.
Navigating the Lack of Reporting
With the changes Google is implementing, the visibility into the effectiveness of FAQ-rich results might become less transparent. Google Search Console reporting won’t show the direct influence of this content on search visibility as it did in the past. However, this shouldn’t deter marketers from creating content that enhances customer experiences.
Quality Content: A Constant Priority
Ultimately, any content that adds value and assists consumers in finding answers is regarded as quality content. The changes to FAQ and How-To rich results should not alter the principle that well-constructed content is a cornerstone of effective marketing. This encompasses not only FAQ content but any piece of information that nurtures a positive relationship between your brand and your audience.
In conclusion, Google’s adjustments to FAQ and How-To schema may shift the way the search results are presented, but the value of providing quality content to customers remains unchanged. Keep generating valuable FAQ content, even if it doesn’t appear in rich results as before. Voice search experiences require FAQs, chatbot experiences require FAQs, and a complete knowledge graph to power the search generative experience leverages FAQs. Remember, a brand that addresses its customers’ needs with precision and care is one that leaves a lasting impression.