Google: FAQ Rich Results Now Limited To Two Per Web Page
Professional SEO consultants recently tweeted about how Google has only been showing two Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in the search results in the past few days, and many are wondering if it’s a bug. Google’s Danny Sullivan replied to the SEO consultants’ tweets, telling them that it was intentional and explaining the reasons for the change.
What Is A Frequently Asked Question?
SEO consultants use FAQ structured data to make their FAQ content eligible to appear in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). If a company’s content gets featured as FAQ content in Google’s search results, they get a massive boost in online presence as this type of content will take up more space in the SERPs.
Google introduced the FAQ structured data on 8 May 2019. According to the search engine company, an FAQ page has all the questions and answers that a customer would read if they are looking for something specific. In addition, the page would include questions and answers that only pertain to a particular topic.
For instance, an e-commerce website might have an FAQ page to inform customers about purchase options, shipping information, refunds, and return processes.
If one correctly marks up their FAQ page, they may become eligible to show up as a rich result in Google’s Search and an Action on the Google Assistant app. This means that having an FAQ page featured is likely to help websites get more visitors.
Another reason for creating the FAQ structured data display was its benefit of knocking competitors off the first SERP to page two.
SEOs Respond To The Limited FAQ Structured Data Rich Results
The initial rollout of the FAQ earned both criticism and praise among the SEO community. This is because many SEOs wondered whether this change would be beneficial or detrimental for their websites.
In the past, Google showed up to ten FAQs at a time, resulting in this type of content dominating Google’s entire first page, arguably taking up too much space.
A year later, however, the search engine company decided to solve this problem and began to reduce their FAQ rich results. Around the summer of 2020, the SEO community noticed that there were fewer FAQs than before. People then asked Google why the FAQ rich results suddenly disappeared.
At that time, Google’s John Mueller answered the question, saying that it was a part of the search engine’s natural development. He said that the company is always balancing things out between showing the FAQs everywhere and showing them for web pages where it made more sense. Therefore, they had to fine-tune the questions and pages they need to show the FAQ rich results type for.
In May 2021, another SEO asked Mueller again about the same thing, wondering why there are still many missing FAQ rich results. The person also asked if the structured data no longer returns rich results and if it still works.
Mueller responded, saying that Google is still showing the FAQ rich results, and its process never changed; the search engine company was still updating their features and its results to ensure that the rich results are useful. He also said that they do not want to overload the search results with “bling and extra functionality” as these only confuse their users.
Sullivan Announces That FAQ Rich Results Are Now Limited
Danny Sullivan announced on Twitter that Google is limiting the FAQ rich results to just two FAQs per web page instead of ten.
One SEO asked if the search engine company made these changes because other people were manipulating Google’s system. However, Sullivan said that these changes were not a response to SEOs “gaming” the FAQ rich results.
Sullivan furthered his explanation, saying that people could not “game” how many FAQs Google decides to display; rather, it is their automated systems that did this. The only thing that Google does is review the things all the time, and they determined that showing only two FAQs would be the most useful for users.
The same SEO then asked what makes an FAQ appear instead of another. He guessed that it was the relevancy of the question and answer. Sullivan replied, saying that an FAQ shows because Google’s algorithm system determined that it was useful. So, just like any other structured data, FAQs will not show up if Google thinks it isn’t useful content.
Google FAQ Rich Results Not Limited In The UK
Sullivan posted a tweet, confirming that they limited the FAQ rich results to two per web page. However, users in the UK and other countries are still seeing three or more FAQs in their search results, so it seems Google is not yet done in rolling the update.
Despite people thinking that Google is putting the FAQ Rich Results on hold or completely taking it away, the search engine company is simply making changes to their system like how they usually do.
Google’s new way of showing FAQ rich results seems much fairer than in the past, which knocked more websites from Page 1 to Page 2. So, limiting the FAQs to two gives Google the chance to implement the feature while still making it useful for their users.
However, the SEO community should not expect this change to be a permanent thing because Google constantly makes adjustments to their system.
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