In a bid to streamline its search results pages and provide a more user-friendly experience, Google has made a significant announcement. They have officially deprecated the How-To rich results feature. This means that while the schema for How-To rich results can still be employed, it will no longer confer any advantages in search results.
The Rationale Behind the Decision
Google’s decision to remove How-To rich results is rooted in its broader strategy of simplifying search results pages. By doing away with this feature, Google aims to present users with cleaner, more straightforward search results.
Understanding How-To Rich Results
How-To rich results relied on the utilization of structured data in the form of the HowTo Schema. Websites implementing this schema could potentially qualify for rich results in search. However, it’s important to note that structured data merely makes a webpage eligible for rich results; it doesn’t guarantee their appearance.
In the case of How-To rich results, any websites still utilizing the How-To markup will no longer benefit from it in search results.
Previously, this structured data feature was available in all languages and countries where Google Search operated. It was initially removed from mobile search, limiting its visibility primarily to desktop users. However, up until recently, there was no indication that Google intended to remove How-To rich results entirely from desktop search results.
The Latest Development
Now, Google has made it official: How-To rich results are deprecated and have been completely removed from the desktop version of search results pages. This change affects webmasters and content creators who previously relied on this feature to enhance the visibility of their how-to content.
“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 conclusion, Google’s decision to remove How-To rich results aligns with its ongoing efforts to simplify the search experience. While this may require adjustments for some website owners, it reflects Google’s commitment to optimizing search results for the benefit of users.
Read Google’s official announcement:
Changes to HowTo and FAQ rich results