Google Rich Results Update August: Changes to HowTo and FAQ


In the kingdom of search engine optimization (SEO) and online visibility, rich results play a pivotal role in enhancing the way information is presented to users on search engines. Google, being a frontrunner in this domain, often introduces changes to its rich results presentation to ensure a more streamlined and consistent search experience for users.

This article delves into recent changes made to HowTo and FAQ rich results, highlighting the implications for website owners, the rationale behind these changes, and the strategies that need to be considered in response.

The Evolution of Rich Results

Rich results are a dynamic feature in search engines that aim to deliver more visually appealing and informative search results to users. These results go beyond the traditional text-based snippets and may include elements such as images, ratings, reviews, carousels, and more.

Structured data markup, a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying its content, plays a key role in enabling rich results. By using structured data, website owners can provide context to search engines, enabling them to display more engaging and relevant search results.

The Recent Changes

On August 8, 2023, Google announced changes to how some rich result types, particularly HowTo and FAQ rich results, are displayed in its search results. These changes aim to provide a cleaner and more consistent search experience for users. The specifics of the changes are as follows:

  1. FAQ Rich Results: Google is reducing the visibility of FAQ rich results in search results. These results, generated from FAQPage structured data, will now only be shown for well-known, authoritative government and health websites. For other websites, these rich results will no longer be displayed regularly.
  2. HowTo Rich Results: How-To rich results generated from HowTo structured data will only be shown for desktop users and will not be displayed for users on mobile devices.

Google’s rationale for these changes is to ensure that rich results remain informative, relevant, and trustworthy. This change is a response to evolving user behavior and the need for search results to adapt to varying device types and user preferences.

Impact on Website Owners

For website owners and publishers, these changes have implications for the implementation of structured data markup. FAQ structured data may need to be adjusted or removed, depending on the website’s authority and content focus. HowTo structured data should be optimized for desktop users to ensure visibility of rich results.

Website owners should also be aware of the changes in Search Console reporting. The data related to these types of rich results may see adjustments due to the changes in their visibility and display patterns.

Adapting to the Changes

Website owners who have implemented FAQ and HowTo structured data need to review their content and assess whether it aligns with the new guidelines for visibility. For FAQ rich results, non-government and non-health websites may consider revising their content strategy, while for HowTo rich results, optimizing content for desktop users becomes crucial.

In the long term, website owners should continue to prioritize structured data markup that aligns with user intent and search engine guidelines. Google’s commitment to enhancing search experience means that future changes to rich results and other search features are likely to occur.


The recent changes to HowTo and FAQ rich results underscore Google’s dedication to refining the search experience for users. While these changes may require adjustments in structured data implementation for some website owners, they ultimately contribute to a more organized and relevant presentation of information in search results.

Adapting to these changes and staying attuned to Google’s evolving guidelines will empower website owners to continue delivering valuable, user-centric content to their audiences.

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