Google has decided to change the results in FAQ and How-To rich results, showing them less often in the search results.

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

Overview of the Change

After these changes, the primary use of FAQ and How-To structured data for site owners will be affected.

Going forward, FAQ (from FAQ Page structured data) rich results will only be shown for well-known, authoritative government and health websites. For all other sites this rich result will no longer be shown regularly. Sites may automatically be considered for this treatment depending on their eligibility.

There is no need to proactively remove the structured data, as structured data that’s not being used does not cause any problems; moreover, it has no visible effects in Google Search.

How-To (from How To structured data) rich results will only be shown for desktop users and not for users on mobile devices. However, to show How-To rich results on the desktop, Google uses the mobile version of a website as the basis for indexing. So, the mobile version of your website must include the appropriate markup.

Changes in Search Console Reporting

These changes will also appear in Search Console reporting for both of the items.

“In particular, this will be visible in the metrics shown for FAQ and How-To search appearances in the performance report and the number of impressions reported in the appropriate enhancement reports. This change does not affect the number of items reported in the enhancement reports. The search appearances, and the reports will remain in Search Console for the time being.”