When the FAQ Schema came to be it was a great time for SEO (search engine optimization). However, this excitement has now become a source of frustration for many, if not all, members of this particular fraternity. This is because the guidelines for implementing the schema are way too broad for their liking. Having broad guidelines implies that they would apply to just about any page out there. In recent times the uptake of this feature has skyrocketed. The increase has been rather steady and this is rather apparent to a lot of members in the SEO industry. The question that needs to be asked over here is how long this trend would continue.
How is Google going to police this feature? How is it going to make sure that the results do not end up stinking?
What is the solution from Google?
Google has come up with a solution in this regard. It has stated that from now on a maximum of 3 FAQ Schema results would be appearing on the first page. It is expected that this would answer a few questions in this regard. However, it is important to know several things in this regard as that would help avoid confusion.
It was Peter Mindenhall who first came up with this proposal of showing a maximum of 3 such results. It happened because of a question by Andy Simpson. However, a first-page filter has now been added to this as well and that too has played a major role in this particular regard. If you take a look at historical data from SEMrush you would see that there have never been more than 3 FAQ results on the first page ever. This should make you think that this feature might have been there all along. In a standard SERP (search engine results page) you would normally have 10 organic results.
A lot in this case also depends on how much the FAQ schema is being used by the category in question. If the category is not using the same there would be no FAQs (frequently asked questions) in the SERP. However, it would be wrong to assume that this happens only in the regular SERPs where you show the top 10 results on the first page. This could also happen in pages where the settings are determined in such a way that you get 100 results on the first page.
However, you also need to keep in mind that there is nothing set in stone in this particular regard. For example, in some edge cases, you would see that results may not be showing even if it appears on the first page. Thus, in a nutshell, it can be said that if you are not ranking on the first page there is no chance that the SERP treatment would be afforded to you. For most of the people searching on Google, this means a top 10 situation. It could be that you are ranking in the top 10.
At the same time, you are using the FAQ Schema as well. In some such situations, there could be fewer than 3 results before you with said treatment. In such cases, if your result does not appear there could be a problem that is not related. Now, there are several reasons why this could happen. They may be enumerated as below:
- It could be that Google has opted to filter you out because the query match is not as relevant as it would want it to be. This is concerning the content on your page.
- It could be because you may have breached the guidelines for implementation in some way or the other. It could be that your content is highly promotional.
- There could be some technical problems with your implementation. If you want to troubleshoot such problems use the Structured Data Testing Tool and the Rich Results Test from Google
How far would this trend go?
Based on data from the likes of Moz, there is little likelihood that this trend would go on at the same pace as the actual implementation of the FAQ Schema. You need to keep in mind in this context that for each query only a maximum of 3 results can be shown.
As far as the actual implementation of this markup is concerned this will continue rising in all likelihood. However, if your page does not rank in the top 10 position for a query that generates traffic this would be a waste of time. If that is the situation that you are in you need to first focus on getting better ranking for your page. Once you have done that there is some chance that you may be able to explore how to make the Schema work for you.
However, you need to keep in mind that using this Schema does not guarantee that you would get the kind of results that you are looking for.
There are many experts out there who are still not completely convinced by the markup. They do not like the fact that many sites that did not have an FAQ section earlier now having one just so that they can get the SERP treatment. They are however at ease knowing the fact that this phenomenon would not be taking over SERPs any time soon.
They also do not blame publishers because they know that they are going to take any advantage to get more space in the context of the search results. This is especially so when it means that doing so gets you the top spot over there. Experts also expect that thanks to the reviews update the combination of FAQ Schema and reviews snippets would disappear from the SERPs.