If you are among many to worry about Google removing the FAQ snippets without warning, you are in the right place. These FAQ or frequently asked questions rich results help for 10% and 31% growth on desktop and mobile click-through rates. They also help the web page go up two or three spaces on the SERP. But for many like you, they suddenly disappear because Google removes them, sending no warning on the Google Search Console. 

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In Google SEO Office-hours hangout, John Mueller, webmaster trend analyst at Google on July 23, 2021, answered why Google removed FAQ snippets from the site. He said that Google does not guarantee any rich results, and hence there is no need to provide any warning per se for result type search. But when sites use the right markup, they become eligible to show on the SERP. So check out FAQ-rich results, the right markup, and what else Mueller said about Google removing them.

Q&A VS FAQ pages

Before knowing about FAQ-rich results, it is important to know about the difference between Q&A or question and answers and FAQs or frequently answered question pages. Q&A pages like Quora for users, StakeFlow for developers, and others are more dynamic as they have multiple answers for a single question. And even readers can vote on which offers the best and correct answer.

FAQ pages are essential for business or product websites as they answer repeated questions asked by customers.  They save a lot of time and effort for the support teams to answer the same questions repeatedly.  Many sites use it for promoting purposes by building brand awareness and comparing the product with other competitors. Also, as Mueller said, correct marking up of FAQs will help make them show on the SERP. 

What makes FAQs Rich Results desirable for Google?

Knowing now about FAQ pages is, and before knowing FAQs Rich Results, it is essential to know what rich results are. For any search, Google displays the traditional ten blue links or the first ten web pages. But now Google is showing rich results, which are more than a link on the SERP. It is because they have more information that directly links to the answers in the search query. The user can now get a quick answer conveniently without searching for the answer going into the site. But for the detailed answer, they need to do thorough research through the web pages.

Having known FAQs and rich results of Google, it is time to know what FAQ rich results are. They are the FAQs links in the web page shown by Google as links on the SERP page. Since it is convenient for the users to click, it is desirable by all. It also helps to rank the pages two or three spaces above in the search results. But as Mueller said in the recent Google SEO Office-hours hangout, only correctly marked FAQ rich results will show high on SERP. 

How to do FAQ markup for increasing the visibility of sites

  • Google shows links of FAQ-rich results only if their pages have the correct coded structured data. Hence to become eligible for FAQ-rich results, it is essential to have the following Google guidelines.
  • The FAQ page markup should have a list of questions and answers without the option for users to add their answers.
  • Should not use the FAQ markup for advertising purposes and should never be violent, sexually explicit, profane, promote illegal or dangerous activities or contain hate language
  • There should not be repeated same questions and answers
  • All the FAQ markup content should be accessible in the source HTML by the users
  • Should have the documentations that include mainEntity, which is a range of question elements that have the list of answered questions
  • Question type schema that identifies the single answered question and all of it should be within the main entity

Hence having the above documentation and properties, it is easy to markup the FAQ page using JSOM-LD or Microdata to help the web page go two or three notches up on the Google search results. 

Mueller's answer to Google removing FAQ rich results

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Many get pained and feel punished if Google removes FAQ-rich results even without informing in the search console after taking a lot of effort and time. So, in the July 2021 Google SEO Office-hours hangout, Mueller answers in detail the question that includes.

  • He confirms at the outset that Google does not guarantee any rich results 
  • Hence, he says that there is no alert for all types of rich results in search but confirms that if there is correct markup, they become eligible to show up 
  • Google shows many such rich results for websites and may even scale them back or scale up overtime
  • But he says that they may turn them off never to show up again
  • He says that Google has three different levels for it that include proper technical implementation, compliance of policies, and website quality that changes overtime more particularly regarding Google updates
  • It is only the algorithms that enact and engage in understanding the policies, and hence there is no alert message for removing the FAQ rich results
  • Google removes the rich results of websites that do not fit into the new core updates their algorithms find not relevant for specific queries
  • In some rare options, there are chances for the manual team to take action if there is something so bad regarding the FAQ's page structured data, and in such cases, there will be a notification sent on the search console

The above facts and Mueller's views will surely help you understand why Google removes FAQ-rich search results. In a nutshell, you need to update your site to comply with the core Google updates and implement excellent structured data to improve the quality for Google to show your FAQ-rich results on top of SERP.

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