The goal of content is to increase the ROI of a brand, which is why Google Core updates are crucial. As each update passes, there will be losers and winners, and some companies may even try to manipulate Google’s bots to secure the first page of SERPS.
Recently, Google limited the number of FAQ-rich results to just two per page. Why so? What are the implications?
This blog will endeavor to shed light on this matter.
The Reason for Limiting FAQ Results to Two in a Page
1. To Improve User Experience
Google showed up to 10 FAQ results per page in 2019, meaning all the search results could be FAQs. In addition, there were times that all of these results came from the same website.
This was detrimental to Google’s main focus: user experience. Because of the FAQs’ structured data, Google could not meet the searcher’s intent. This necessitated a change.
2. To Strike a Balance and Provide Sensible Results
Like any other brand, Google goes through natural phases of development, and they adapt to suit the needs of its users. With the FAQ results per page, a change was inevitable.
This is what Google’s John Mueller had to say about the May 2020 update that reduced FAQ results to fewer than ten, but not down to two yet.
“With regards to FAQ markup in general, one of the things that I’ve noticed people talking about online is that we’re showing fewer of these in the search results.
And that’s something from my point of view, that’s kind of natural development, where we try to find the right balance between showing these everywhere and showing these for pages where it kind of makes more sense.”
3. Too Much Structured Data Confuses People
Since FAQs come as structured data, they can overload the search engine results. According to Mueller, speaking about the May 2021 update, these changes are designed to fine-tune user experience and provide the answers to search queries better.
He affirms, “What usually tends to happen with some of these structured data types or rich results types is that over time we try to fine-tune how often we show them just to make sure we’re not overloading the search results with all of these… extra functionality that just confuses people in the end.”
4. Two FAQ Results Per Page Are the Most Useful
Google is constantly researching consumer’s behaviors and searcher’s experiences. With this data, Google updates its system to offer its best answers that resonate with online visitors.
After days of monitoring structured data, Google concluded two FAQ results pages were the most useful. This would ensure the SERPs provide results that are aligned with the visitor’s needs.
Are Two FAQs Results Per Page Connected with SEO Gaming?
There were suggestions from some SEO experts that the FAQ update had everything to do with SEO gaming – meaning that some site owners manipulated the systems with FAQs content to secure first positions in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This could explain why you’d find five top results pages of one site in FAQ format in 2019 and early 2020.
Commenting on that issue, Google’s Danny Sullivan dismissed that claim and tweeted:
“I’ve seen several people suggest this is something we did because of SEO gaming. It’s not. SEOs couldn’t game how many we displayed. Our automated systems did that. We just review things all the time and determined showing up to two was most useful when we show at all.”
A Better and Balanced Way!
The new way of limiting the FAQ results to just two per page is balanced and fair. It allows searchers to get the right information and offers a leveled playing field among websites. However, nothing in SEO is permanent, so don’t expect this rollout to be unalterable. Be balanced in your implementation and be on the lookout.
We Can Help Optimize your Content!
If you are unsure how to optimize your website content with SEO, a great SEO marketing firm can help you! Look for a company that helps you remain at the top of Google updates and continue growing your website with the best SEO practices, strategies, and tools.