Google deprecates How-to rich results

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 19 Sep, 2023
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How-to results, removed from mobile last month, have now also gone from desktop.

How_to rich results.

Image: AnnH on Pexels

Google has announced the deprecation of the “How-to type of rich result.

In August, How-to results were removed from mobile, with Google saying they would only appear on desktop. There was no indication the result type would be completely removed. In an update to this announcement, Google said last week that as of 13 September they were no longer being shown on desktop either.

Reporting for it in Search Console and support in the Rich results test will be dropped as a result of the deprecation.

Here’s Google’s update in full:

“Update on September 14, 2023: Continuing our efforts to simplify Google's search results, we're extending the How-to change to desktop as well. As of September 13, Google Search no longer shows How-to rich results on desktop, which means this result type is now deprecated.”

This change will be visible in the metrics for the How-to search appearance in the performance report, and in the number of impressions reported in the How-to enhancement reports. Since How-to results no longer appear in Google Search, we will be dropping the How-to search appearance, rich result report, and support in the Rich results test in 30 days. To allow time for adjusting your API calls, support for How-to in the Search Console API will be removed in 180 days.”

In their August notification Google also announced that FAQ results would only be shown for “well-known, authoritative government and health websites”.

It seems this change has now started to take effect, with users on Twitter reporting large drops in how often FAQ results are being shown.

Here's what RankRanger's tracking shows:

RankRanger tracking.

Source: RankRanger

If you optimised for How-to or FAQ rich results, you’ll no longer have the traffic driven by this type of result. So it’s worth keeping an eye on your Search Console data for drops or fluctuations in traffic.

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