Great News: The Google Webmaster Central Blog just announced support for FAQ and How-to structured data in Search and Google Assistant.
How-to rich results
If you’re providing step-by-step instructions for completing a task, How-to structured data enables that information to be pulled through to, and displayed in, search results or Assistant.
The example used in Google’s post was about how to tie a tie…
Oh, those rich, rich previews.
You can mark up the steps, the tools needed, how long the task should take, and any images or video associated with the task. Here’s how.
Using voice commands in Google Assistant, users can interact and move through each step using your content. Here’s how to do that.
How-to rich result status reports
There’s now a report in Search Console to help keep track of How-to performance, which will flag any error, valid with warning, and valid items. Use the url inspection tool to check your pages are set up properly to work for rich results, and to diagnose why a rich result isn’t surfacing for a specific page.
In the above example, clicking the chart icon on the error for Recipes will explain the problem so you (or dev) can fix it. Then it can be re-validated and you’ll receive an immediate response about whether or not the fix has worked.
FAQPage structured data
Not to be confused with Q&A Page markup, which is designed for pages where users submit answers to a question (like a forum), FAQPage structured data is for what Google describes as official questions and answers.
As an example, on an ecommerce site, an FAQ page might answer questions about postage and packing, or refunds and returns. This information would be eligible for display directly in Google’s search results and Google Assistant if it’s marked up with FAQPage structured data. But, if you’ve got a site all about the fine art of paper folding, it might look a little something like this…
Aaallllll the origami facts. Right there in search. Here’s how to implement it.
FAQ structured data can also be used to build an FAQ Action in Google Assistant. This means that when a user asks a question that your FAQ content answers, it’s eligible to be presented as a response. Here’s how to make that happen.
The FAQ report in Search Console
As with How-to, FAQ issues can be tracked in Google’s Search Console, where the following statuses apply:
- Error: If a rich result has an error, it can’t appear in search as a rich result.
- Warning: Although it’s eligible to appear, this rich result may have non-critical errors.
- Complete: This kind of rich result is fully eligible to appear in search.
Time to jump on the structured data bandwagon?
Well, structured data, or rich results, are eye-catching results. And eye-catching results can mean more clicks.
Buttt… If users can have their questions answered in full via Google Search or Google Assistant, there’s no need for them to actually visit your website, is there? Keep it in mind: If you’re successful with structured data, it could impact your site visits!