Google has removed how-to rich results
In a recent announcement, Google has made a significant update that has caught the attention of SEO professionals and website owners alike. They’ve completely removed How-To Rich Results, a feature that has been a part of Google’s search landscape for a while.
While the schema for How-To Rich Results can still be used, it no longer provides any benefits in terms of search results.
In this article, we’ll delve into the details of this update and understand the implications for your website’s SEO strategy.
Understanding how-to rich results
How-to rich results were a sought-after feature for website owners, as they allowed webpages to appear as rich results in Google’s search engine near the top and bring high-quality traffic.
This was made possible through the implementation of structured data using the how-to schema. However, it’s important to note that structured data merely made a webpage eligible for these rich results; it didn’t guarantee their appearance.
Why did Google remove it?
Apparently, the reason behind Google’s decision to remove how-to rich results is part of a broader effort to simplify search results pages. Google aims to enhance user experience by presenting cleaner and more relevant search results.
In this pursuit of simplification, they’ve decided to retire the How-To Rich Results feature.
The inclusion of desktop search results
Initially, Google removed how-to rich results only from mobile search results, limiting their visibility to desktop users. This move raised eyebrows in the SEO community, as there was no indication that Google would also remove them from desktop search results.
However, Google’s recent announcement has clarified the situation.
They’ve extended the removal of How-To Rich Results to desktop search as well. This means that the rich results will no longer be visible on either platform. The how-to rich results are officially deprecated.
Google’s official statement
Google provided the following statement regarding the removal of how-to rich results:
“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.”
Implications for SEO strategy
The removal of how-to rich results presents both challenges and opportunities for SEO professionals and website owners. Here’s what you need to consider:
- Reevaluate structured data — If you’ve been using the how-to schema for how-to rich results, it’s time to reevaluate its use. While it won’t provide rich results anymore, structured data can still be valuable for other SEO purposes.
- Focus on quality content — Google’s emphasis on simplifying search results means that high-quality content will play an even more significant role in SEO. Ensure your content is informative, engaging, and relevant to your audience.
- Diversify your SEO strategy — With how-to rich results no longer available, explore other rich result types and structured data opportunities that align with your content. Google still supports various types of rich results like recipes, FAQs, and reviews.
- Monitor performance and readjust goals — Keep a close eye on your website’s performance metrics, especially if you previously relied on how-to rich results. Adjust your strategy as needed to maintain or improve your search rankings. You may also have to adjust your benchmarks and traffic goals in light of this new development.
Google’s decision to remove how-to rich results reflects its ongoing commitment to enhancing user experience and simplifying search results. While this change may pose challenges for some, it also encourages a renewed focus on creating valuable content and adapting SEO strategies.
Stay informed, adapt to the evolving SEO landscape, and continue to provide valuable information to your audience.