Google has always been a bit of a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma—or in simpler terms, a code ninja forever changing its search algorithm. Just when you thought you had cracked the SEO code, Google goes ahead and releases another update. This time, the tech giant has taken aim at FAQ and HowTo rich results in search. Buckle up as we dive deep into what these changes mean for you and your website.
Google: The Forever Changing Landscape
Before you start planning a protest outside Google headquarters (virtually, of course), it’s crucial to remember that the search giant is perpetually optimizing its algorithms. Why? To provide users with the most relevant and efficient search results. So while it may be frustrating for website owners, it’s all in the spirit of making the World Wide Web a better place.
The What and Why of The Update
- FAQ Rich Results: Previously, these handy snippets popped up for various websites, giving users quick answers to common questions. Now, these will be exclusively reserved for authoritative government and health websites.
- HowTo Rich Results: These used to be your go-to results for fixing a leaky faucet or whipping up a quick soufflé. However, they will now only appear for desktop users.
Google stated that these changes aim to provide a “cleaner and more consistent search experience.” And let’s be honest, cleaner is almost always better—unless you’re talking about your teenager’s room. In that case, a little mess adds character.
Potential Impact on Website Traffic
If FAQ and HowTo content form the bread and butter of your SEO strategy, expect to feel the pinch. Your website’s traffic and click-through rates might take a nosedive faster than a cat spotting a cucumber. Keep a close eye on your Google Search Console reports; they will be your guiding star during this transition.
Structured What Now?
For those of you still wondering what “structured data” even means, imagine it as the DNA of a webpage. It’s what allows Google to understand the content on your site and present it in a user-friendly format. You don’t need to remove it, even if it’s not showing up in search results. Think of it as your appendix; it’s there, but you’re not sure why.
Given the mobile-first indexing strategy of Google, make sure your mobile site includes the proper HowTo markup. This is critical for ensuring that your HowTo content is still visible on desktop searches. Yep, it’s a mobile world, but desktops are still hanging around like that awkward guy at the party who doesn’t know when to leave.
Reporting and Metrics
You might see a decline in metrics on your Google Search Console, but remember, numbers don’t define you—unless you’re a math teacher, then they kind of do. The point is, these changes don’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong; they just mean Google is doing something different.
The Global Perspective
This update is rolling out universally, transcending languages and borders. It’s like the Coca-Cola of updates—everywhere you go, there it is. However, Google did mention a small “holdback experiment,” so some users may not see these changes right away.
Google’s new update on FAQ and HowTo rich results is less a cataclysmic event and more a nudge in a new direction. It’s like when your GPS suddenly tells you to take a different route. Initially, it’s confusing, but ultimately, it may lead you to greener pastures—or at least, less congested digital highways.
So, while you may need to recalibrate your SEO strategy, remember that change is the only constant in the world of search. Adapt, evolve, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll crack Google’s ever-mysterious code.
Keep your eyes on the horizon and your fingers on the keyboard. The next update is probably just around the corner, and who knows? It might just be in your favor.
As your personal Google gurus and proud Google Premier Partner, Canesta is your inside connection to the ever-changing world of SEO. Think of us as your algorithmic weather forecasters—always here to clue you in on whether to expect a drizzle of updates or a downpour of new features.