Google Allows FAQ Markup for Non-FAQ Content


Google’s John Mueller answered a question about FAQ structured data which has greatly expanded the types of content to which FAQ structured data can be applied, which now includes content that is not even in FAQ format.

Structured Data FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (Frequently Asked Questions) is a type of content format that consists of answers with questions. It is intended to be a resource for site visitors who have questions.

The FAQ content can be in the form of an entire page of questions and answers or a short one-page section that consists of a question and answer format.

Publishers usually add a FAQ section to a webpage.

One benefit of using the FAQ format is that it can result in doubling or even tripling the space your search results list takes up.

This not only makes a search presence more visible, but it also knocks a competitor or two off the first page of search results.

Finally, FAQ structured data may be used in web forum content, which may result in receiving an enhanced listing in Google.


Until Mueller answered this question, these two content scenarios were the only type where FAQ structured data was known to be applicable:

  1. FAQ content format
  2. web-forums

The question asked is whether it is acceptable to use FAQ structured data outside of the traditional FAQ content format, where a section of a page is labeled FAQ and a series of questions and answers are listed.

This is a good question because the use of this type of structured data outside of the FAQ and forum settings is not addressed at all in Google. Structured Data FAQ.

Google’s guidelines specifically recommend this structured data for FAQ pages:

“A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page contains a list of questions and answers relating to a particular topic. Properly tagged FAQ pages may be eligible to have a rich result on search »

Is it OK to use FAQ structured data outside of the FAQ content format?

Here is the question that was asked:

“Is it okay to use the FAQ schema to annotate questions and answers that appear in different sections of a blog post that are not formatted like a traditional FAQ list?

For example, an article might have ten headings for different sections. Some of these questions are questions with answers. »

Google’s John Mueller replied:

“So I double-checked the official documentation, that’s where I recommend you go for those kinds of questions too, and it seems all is well.

The important part about FAQ snippets and structured data in general is that the content should be visible on the page.

So it really should be the case that the question and answer are visible when someone visits that page, not that it’s somehow hidden away in some section of a page.

But if the questions and answers are visible on the page, even if they’re in different places on the page, that’s perfectly fine.

Structured data does not guarantee enhanced ads

At this point, John Mueller could have dropped the mic and moved on to the next question, as his answer greatly expands the contexts in which FAQ structured data can be applied.

However, he went on to his answer to provide more information about structured data in general.

Mueller continued:

“The other thing to keep in mind is that, like all structured data, FAQ snippets aren’t guaranteed to show up in search results.

Essentially, you make your pages eligible to have these FAQ snippets displayed.

But this does not guarantee that they will be shown.

So you can use the test tool to make sure everything is implemented correctly.

And if the test tool says it’s no big deal, then you’re probably on the right track.

But you’ll probably still have to wait and see how Google actually interprets your pages and processes them to see what actually shows up in search results.

And for structured data, I think it’s for the FAQ, but at least for some of the other types there are also specific reports in Search Console that give you information about what structured data has been found and the structured data that was actually displayed in the search.lts so that you can kind of roughly assess, is it working the way you want it or is it not working the way you want it to be.

And for things like that, I would recommend trying them out and creating a test page on your website, seeing how things end up in search results, checking if that’s really what you want do, and then implement it into the rest of your website. »

Structured Data Quality Guidelines

What Mueller didn’t mention, but doesn’t mention, is that there are quality guidelines for structured data.

There are many rules to know in order to avoid receiving a manual action penalty.

One in particular is the rule prohibiting the use of content that is not on the webpage.

Publishers who abuse structured data by inserting content that is not visible to users may be subject to manual action.

So whatever is put in the FAQ structured data should match exactly what is on the web page itself.

Google Structured Data Quality Guidelines Precautions:

“Violation of a quality guideline can…can possibly get it marked as spam.

Do not mark content that is not visible to readers of the page. For example, if the JSON-LD markup describes a performer, the HTML body must describe that same performer.

References

Read Google’s Structured Data Documentation FAQ

Annotate your FAQ with structured data

Read Google’s Structured Data Guidelines

General Structured Data Guidelines

Watch Hangout Google Office-hours

Watch John Mueller answer the question at 05:18 minutes:



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