Google Search Attorney John Mueller offers three possible reasons why your FAQ Scheme markup might not generate rich snippets in search results.
This information is shared during a Google Search Central SEO office hours hangout recorded on January 28th.
A question is submitted from a site owner asking why Google doesn’t return rich results for web pages where FAQ schema markup has been implemented.
They note that Google Search Console doesn’t show any technical coding errors, and they wonder if there are non-technical reasons why the rich results aren’t showing.
The site owner is concerned that this may be an indication that Google does not trust the content on their website.
Could this be the case?
Here’s Mueller’s response, including the three reasons why Google doesn’t show rich results in SERPs.
Why doesn’t Google display FAQ for rich results in search?
Rich results for FAQs, like other types of rich results, will be shown in Google Search only if several conditions are met.
“FAQ rich results are basically the same as other types of rich results in that we have several levels that we consider before we show them in search results.”
Level one: technically correct
First, the coding of the FAQ must be implemented correctly at the technical level.
You can use Search Console to determine if there are any errors in how the markup is applied.
Like Mueller says, that’s likely not the case here, as the site owner noticed that no errors were found in Search Console.
“On the one hand, they have to be technically correct. These seem to be technically correct.”
Level 2: Compliant with policies
In addition to the markup being technically correct, it must comply with Google’s structured data policies.
When it comes to marking up an FAQ, the only major policy to follow is to make sure that the questions and answers appear on the page.
“On the one hand, they have to be consistent with our policies. I don’t think we have any kind of significant policy around FAQ rich results other than that the content has to be visible on the page.”
Third level: trustworthiness
If the markup is technically correct, and compliant with Google policies, this leaves one question: Does Google trust the content?
In this case, Mueller says, it’s possible that Google isn’t entirely convinced of the website’s quality, and therefore doesn’t trust it enough to show the FAQ in search results.
“And the third issue that sometimes arises here is that we need to be able to understand that this website is somewhat trustworthy in that respect so that we can trust that this data is correct.
And that’s sometimes something that, from a quality standpoint, we might not be satisfied with a website and then we wouldn’t show it. But these are the three steps I would like to look at.
Like, technically correct. Is it compatible with our policies? And then, if all of this is true, I’ll really think about what I can do to improve the overall quality of my website? “
In summary, the three possible reasons why Google may not display FAQ snippets in search results are:
- The coding is not implemented correctly technically.
- The way markup is used does not comply with Google policies.
- Google doesn’t see your website in high quality, and doesn’t trust it enough to show rich results.
Hear Mueller’s full response in the presentation below:
Featured image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, February 2022.