Google FAQ Rich Results (Almost) Limited to Two Per Page

Google FAQ Rich Results (Almost) Limited to Two Per Page

Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that search results showing FAQ structured data are now limited to only two results. Danny also confirmed that it was not done to curb abuse of the structured data rich results by SEOs and explained the reasons why they did this.

Google FAQ Rich Results Not Limited in the UK

Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted that they have limited FAQ rich results to two per web page.

But that is not the case in the UK.

Here is what an FAQ rich result looks like in the UK:

Screenshot of a UK Rich Result with 3 FAQs

FAQ Rich Result with 3 FAQs

FAQ Rich Results in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) structured data is a way to become eligible to show FAQ content in Google’s SERPs. The benefit of this type of display is that it makes a website’s position take up more space in the search results.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

This kind of rich results was announced by Google on May 8, 2019.

“An FAQ page provides a list of frequently asked questions and answers on a particular topic.

For example, an FAQ page on an e-commerce website might provide answers on shipping destinations, purchase options, return policies, and refund processes.

By using FAQPage structured data, you can make your content eligible to display these questions and answers to display directly on Google Search and the Assistant, helping users to quickly find answers to frequently asked questions.”

Another reason why the FAQ structured data display was coveted was because it knocked a competitor or two off the first page of the search results onto page two.

SEO Response to FAQ Structured Data Rich Results

The initial rollout generated both praise and criticism, depending on whether the SEO was benefiting from FAQs in the SERPs or if a competitor was benefiting.

Google showed up to ten FAQs at a time, which could create the situation where two or three web pages could dominate the entire first page of the search results.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

One SEO (@brodieseo) tweeted a screenshot of how much the FAQs dominated the search results:

Lily Ray (@lilyraynyc)  posted a screenshot of the FAQ rich results dominating the SERPs.

Here’s that screenshot with highlights that I added to show just how much space these rich results took up:

Screenshot of FAQ Rich Results in 2019

Screenshot of FAQ Rich Results in 2019

She later tweeted her mixed feelings about the new FAQ rich results:

“I feel a little awkward complaining about organic results taking up too much space.”

August 2020: Google Reduced FAQ Rich Results

Then around a year later in the summer of 2020 the search marketing community noticed that there were less FAQ structured data rich results showing in the SERPs.

Google’s John Mueller answered a question about the seeming disappearance of FAQ rich results.

Mueller said:

“With regards to FAQ markup in general, one of the things that I’ve noticed people talking about online is that we’re showing fewer of these in the search results.

And that’s something from my point of view, that’s kind of natural development, where we try to find the right balance between showing these everywhere and showing these for pages where it kind of makes more sense.

…So we have to kind of fine tune which ones, which queries, which pages we would be showing the FAQ rich results type for.”

May 2021: FAQ Rich Results Still Missing

In another Google office hours hangout in May 2021 someone else asked Mueller what was going on with the FAQ Rich Results.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

The person asking the question wanted to know if the structured data no longer returned rich results, asking, “Does it work?

John Mueller answered that Google was still showing the FAQ rich results and that it’s undergoing the normal process of updating the various features and results to make sure that the rich results are useful.

Mueller said:

“What usually tends to happen with some of these structured data types or rich results types is that over time we try to fine tune how often we show them just to make sure we’re not
overloading the search results with all of these… bling and extra functionality that just confuses people in the end.”

Google Announces FAQ Rich Results are Limited

What changed is that Google’s Danny Sullivan announced on Twitter that Google is limiting FAQ rich results to just two FAQs per web page instead of the previous ten FAQ entries per web page.

Someone asked if it was in response to SEOs “gaming” Google:

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Danny Sullivan responded that no, it’s not a response to anyone gaming the FAQ rich results.

Danny tweeted:

Danny expanded on his explanation:

Are FAQ Rich Results Limited Only in the USA?

At this writing it’s unknown if the rich results for FAQ structured data is limited to the USA or if there is a mistake in the rollout of this update to how FAQs are displayed in the SERPs.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

It was beginning to feel that the FAQ Rich Results had gone away or had been put on hold. This new way of displaying FAQ rich results seems more fair than the initial way which tended to knock more sites off the front page of the search results.

Limiting web pages to just two FAQs in the rich results seems like a fair way to implement this feature while still being useful to users.

But don’t expect this implementation to be permanent because everything about search is in a state of constant change.

Citations

2019 Google
New in structured data: FAQ and How-to

2019 Google
FAQ on Search and the Google Assistant

SEJ September 2019
Is FAQ Structured Data Dominating Google Search?

SEJ August 2020
Why Google Might Show Less FAQ Rich Results

SEJ May 2021
Google on What’s Going on With FAQ Rich Results

local_offerevent_note June 20, 2021

account_box ezikiel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *