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In the intricate dance of search engine optimisation, the only constant is change. Google, forever on the hunt for a superior search experience, has thrown yet another curveball. This time, they've set their sights on HowTo and FAQ rich results. But what's this change all about? Let's dive in.
First things first: What are rich results? At their core, Google Rich Results are search results on steroids. They're not just your run-of-the-mill links. Instead, they furnish users with a treasure trove of detailed information beyond the usual blue links. From captivating carousels and vibrant images to detailed ratings and more, they make the search experience more interactive and informative. These results are powered by structured data - a specific code added to a webpage, helping Google grasp the content's context.
The FAQ rich results were once the darling of websites, offering a golden chance to put forth rapid answers right in the search results. But with Google's latest manoeuvre, their visibility is set to diminish. Whilst renowned and authoritative entities like government and health websites will still enjoy their limelight, the vast majority of other sites might find their rich results appearing less frequently.
Google has made a curious move by shifting the spotlight to HowTo rich results. These results are now exclusive to desktop users. Considering the meteoric rise of mobile search, this change might leave some scratching their heads. However, here's the twist: even for these results to manifest on a desktop, the mobile version of the site must be equipped with the requisite structured data.
What's the driving force behind Google's latest reshuffling? Theories abound. For one, there's been chatter about the overabundance of these results cluttering the search landscape. A sea of rich results can, paradoxically, muddle the user experience. By making them scarcer, Google aims to ensure only the crème de la crème shines through.
Worth noting is that this isn't Google's first foray into tweaking FAQ rich results. An earlier move to curtail their visibility took place earlier this year, hinting at a longstanding plan.
For those wearing the webmaster hat, there's no need for undue alarm. Here's the first port of call: do not remove the structured data you've painstakingly added to your site. Even if it doesn't play a part in these rich results, it won't serve as an albatross around your site's search performance neck. Nevertheless, anticipate some shifts in your Search Console metrics.
The silver lining? Every shakeup is a window of opportunity. As the rich result playing field undergoes transformation, it's the perfect moment to don your thinking cap, innovate, and conjure novel strategies to cater to your audience.
The world of SEO is akin to shifting sands, with Google often playing the role of the mischievous wind. This latest change to FAQ and HowTo rich results is just a chapter in the grand tome of search. The mantra? Adapt, understand, and always, always place your audience centre stage.
Here's to evolving and thriving in the SEO landscape!
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