Google: FAQ Schema Can Be Used On Select Questions

Google is addressing an issue with the use of FAQ schema markup and whether it can only be used on some questions and not others.

This topic was discussed during the Google Search Central SEO Business Hours Hangout recorded on January 14th.

John Mueller, Google search attorney, answers a user-submitted question about the best way to use FAQ markup on a webpage.

The person says they have a page with 15 to 20 common questions and asks if they should all be coded, or if it is okay to code the specific questions that are most important.

Google has strict guidelines when it comes to using FAQ markup and structured data in general, but does it have any kind of all-or-nothing rule?

Here’s what Mueller recommends.

Google FAQ Schema Markup Recommendations

Mueller says it’s okay to code some questions but not others.

Google’s guidelines state that FAQ schema markup should only be used in questions and answers that appear on the page.

However, there is nothing in the instructions that says it should be used everyone Frequently asked questions on the page.

This applies to all structured data, not just the FAQ schema.

For example, how-to markup should only be used when there is a visual set of how-to instructions on the page.

Review markup should only be used when there are visible customer reviews on the page – etc.

Mueller explains:

“When it comes to structured data, we want to see structured data visible on the page, but not all visual content has to be marked up with structured data.

So if you have individual pieces of content on your page that you want to provide structured data for, go ahead and do that. You don’t have to do this for every piece of your page content.

So if you have 20 frequently asked questions and you code five of them, that’s entirely up to you. You can also use data-nosnippet to completely block some of these other elements from appearing in a snippet if that’s something you want to do.”

In his answer, Mueller points to an HTML attribute called data-nosnippet, which can be used on a specific piece of text to prevent it from appearing in search results.

So it’s a good idea to just mark up some questions and answers, and you can even go further by preventing certain questions and answers from appearing in the search results. None of these tactics will get you into trouble with Google.

Hear Mueller’s full response in the video below:

Featured image: OpturaDesign / Shutterstock

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