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Google limits FAQ Page and How To Rich Results: Here’s what you need to know

Last week (8 August, 2023), Google announced changes to how FAQPage and HowTo rich results are shown in search results.

Google said, “To provide a cleaner and more consistent search experience, we’re changing how some rich results types are shown in Google’s search results. In particular, we’re reducing the visibility of FAQ rich results, and limiting How-To rich results to desktop devices.”

What does this mean?

Firstly, FAQ rich results will only be shown for “well-known, authoritative government and health websites.”

As a reminder, here’s an example of a FAQ rich result before and after the changes.

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Secondly, HowTo rich results will no longer be shown on mobile devices, but they will remain in place for desktop users.

As a reminder here’s an example of a HowTo rich result

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What about People Also Ask snippets?

It might be easy to mistake FAQ rich results with Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) snippet, or you may wonder how the changes affect PAA.  Rest assured these are different SERP features and there are no changes for PAA.

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Google Search advocate, John Mueller, shared his thoughts on using structured data for PAA

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Should you remove structured data?

Despite John disregarding the use of structured data for PAA I’m not too convinced that the data has no impact. I’d recommend keeping your structured data in place for the following reasons:

  1. Every little helps – why not feed search engines as much detail as possible.
  2. The data will not cause any harm.
  3. Other search engines such as Bing may still use the data.
  4. Google has said “While you can drop this structured data from your site, there’s no need to proactively remove it”

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