Ask a Marketer: What’s the Impact? How-To & FAQ Rich Results Updates

We use our expertise to answer your question.

The answer? You may experience a decrease in traffic, but you can pivot your marketing strategies to account for this change.

In August, Google changed how FAQ and How-To rich results types are displayed on search. This change decreases the visibility of search result snippets framed as a frequently asked question (FAQ) and limits How-To rich results by only serving them on desktop devices.

FAQ pages and How-To articles are often utilized from a content marketing standpoint to easily optimize for SEO. While the bad news is that this change may impact click-through rates, it shouldn’t impact your rankings since this update doesn’t impact ALL search results (just rich results). 

This update is being hidden under the guise of creating a “cleaner and more consistent search experience.” The problem? Your site may be automatically considered for this treatment if you’re not a well-known and authoritative government or health website. 

While this decrease in visibility isn’t ideal, marketers are well-aware that it’s important to remain creative with their strategies and continually find new ways to optimize. But, here are two tips to help you move forward now (and in the future):  

Tip #1: Never base your marketing strategy on one primary method.

  • Stay up-to-date with any changes Google proposes so you aren’t blind-sided, and know how to move forward and pivot when necessary. 

Tip #2: Adjust your strategy to reflect this change.

  • Continue to use FAQ and How-To pages like you have been, but experiment with new structured data types to help make up for your potential decrease in traffic from this update.

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