Google Drops How-To Rich Results For Desktop Search

In August, Google announced it would do away with How-to rich results on the mobile search results. Now, Google has decided to completely do away with How-to rich results both on mobile search and also on desktop search.

Google posted on X saying, “Continuing our efforts to simplify Google’s search results, we’re extending the How-to change to desktop as well, which means this result type is deprecated.”

Google updated the original announcement to say, “Update on September 14, 2023: 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.”

Here is a before and after screenshot from Google of an FAQ rich result going away:

Search Console Changes

I hope none of you lose your rich results here but I’d expect many of us to see them disappear. That means you may see less traffic from Google Search and a drop in click-through rates in Search Console.

“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,” Google added.

As an FYI, this week, Google dropped most of the FAQ rich results from the search results page.

Here is some of the reaction:

G: “yeah now we’ll just steal your content and use AI to do HowTO results!” Folks if you didn’t see all snippets and rich results disappearing you need to open your eyes to what is happening! Your schema and use of SGE is just training Google’s LLMs & making SEO obsolete!

— Terry Van Horne (@terryvanhorne) September 14, 2023

I’ve always been tempted to use How-to schema but have never actually done so! Did it make much difference to normal sites that aren’t just churned out how to blow up a balloon-type sites?

— Matt Tomkin – Tao Digital & Vofio Media founder (@matt_tomkin) September 14, 2023

Bye, How-to 👋. Google officially deprecates the How-to results type.

If you’ve been following similar recent updates and Google’s new Search Generate Experience (SGE), this doesn’t come as a surprise.

— Crystal Ortiz 🐉 (She/Her) (@Crystal3Ortiz) September 14, 2023

It’s nice when you spend multiple sprints writing requirements and use cases / benefits for items, and then Google just says No

— Dan (@dhagey) September 14, 2023

You can keep the structured data, it just won’t do much for Google 🙂

— Expert prompt engineer with 8+ yrs experience, ama (@JohnMu) September 14, 2023

With all of that, Google:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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