Why Has Google Limited FAQ Rich Results to Two Per Page?
To successfully reach a target audience, a website must be visible to as many people in this target group as possible. If your website fails to reach your target audience, then it is essentially useless. Every individual who creates or owns a website, especially business owners and other professionals, strives to implement effective strategies that ensure their content is delivered to the target audience.
FAQ-rich results can be used as an effective tool in reaching target audiences. Recently, however, Google limited the FAQ-rich results to a maximum of two.
To ensure that your business can adapt to and benefit from FAQ-rich results, you need to understand what they entail, their advantages, why FAQ-rich results should be regulated, and the reasons why Google had to limit the results to just two.
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There are many different strategies you can implement to make your website visible to a specific target audience. One of these strategies involves taking advantage of FAQ-rich results. FAQ-rich results, essentially, are formulated from frequently asked questions converted into structured data (making this information more likely to appear during web searches). When someone searches and their query falls within the FAQs of a site, that website has a higher chance of appearing on the first page and reaching this relevant target audience (as compared to other websites that do not use this strategy).
Advantages of Using FAQ-Rich Results Strategy
The main advantage of using the FAQ strategy is increasing the website’s visibility, as it makes the information on this site easily accessible to people searching for relevant or related content. Therefore, a website that implements an FAQ strategy stands a better chance of reaching and being accessed by an audience.
Increased visibility translates to an advantage over competitors, especially if websites are being used as a marketing tool by both your business, as well as your competition. Organizations that use FAQ-rich results will attract more traffic to their webpage, which means your marketing campaigns reach more potential new customers, thereby increasing the likelihood of driving up sales. Businesses that fail to use such a strategy will be less competitive, and have a greater disadvantage of reaching new customers.
An FAQ-rich results strategy is also important to increase the probability of a webpage appearing on the first page of a web search. Most people who are seeking information on the internet will tend only to visit the sites that appear within the first page of their search. As such, organizations whose websites appear on the first page have an advantage over those on the second and subsequent pages.
Why FAQ-Rich Results Need to be Regulated
When Google introduced the FAQ-rich results, there were no regulations on the number that could be displayed on the search results page (SERP). This meant that one search could generate many FAQ-rich results.
Consequences of Unregulated FAQ-Rich Results
What happens when FAQ-rich results are left unregulated? The greatest impact is that it requires a significant amount of web space compared to ordinary searches. The additional space needed to accommodate FAQ-rich results means fewer web searches will be accommodated on the first page of search results. Most of the searches will be relegated to the second and subsequent pages leaving the first page with fewer web results. So, this begs the question, why did Google cut the FAQ results to two per page?
Top 3 Reasons Why Google Has Limited FAQ-Rich Results to Two Per Page
To Maximize the Use of Space
The position of search results on webpages is important as it determines the extent to which the content will be accessed. Web search result pages will include more content if there are no FAQ-rich results. As such, people searching for information will view more relevant results on the first page.
To Enhance Fairness
There has been debate on whether the unregulated FAQ-rich results promote unfairness. However, displaying limited FAQ-rich results is more fair than an unregulated alternative, as a single web search result page can display just two or three webpages due to the space required to display the rich results. All the other search results are displayed on the second and subsequent pages.
The few businesses whose webpage will appear on the first page of search results gain undue advantage over the competitors as they will be more visible, which translates into enhanced business. What then happens to the other websites? With a limited chance of being displayed on the first page, these other websites will find it hard to compete on equal grounds with their competitors, whose sites have dominated the first page.
By reducing the number of FAQ-rich results that can be displayed, Google allows more organizations to have their content displayed on the first page, thereby leveling the playing field for businesses and eliminating unfair competition. As such, more organizations will have an equal chance of their content being displayed on the first page. This has made it possible for competitors to compete based on the services that they provide, as opposed to the position of their web search results. Creating fairness will also eliminate instances of using underhand tactics to outdo the competitors.
The issue of unethical practices and abuse of the FAQ-rich results system is another reason why Google decided to limit the FAQ-rich results to just two per page. Before this limitation, Google could display as many as 10 FAQ-rich results per webpage. The effect was that the first two or three search results would occupy the first page, leaving no room for the competitors.
Some businesses even attempted to abuse the system, thereby eliminating a competitor’s ability from appearing on the first page of search results. They would do this by including many FAQ-rich results to, essentially, take away space for their competitors. Some of the FAQs included would not even be very important but are merely designed to occupy more space and knock the competitors from the first page making them less visible. With the new limitation on the number of FAQ-rich results, such abuse is brought to check.
Although the rolling out to limit FAQ-rich results to two per page is still a work in progress, this change promises a fairer alternative for competing businesses in the digital space. Looking to optimize your business’s marketing practices? Reach out to an SEO specialist at Zero Gravity Marketing today.
Alyssa Anderson is the Director of Content at Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM), a digital marketing agency in Madison, CT. ZGM is known for developing overarching marketing strategies and specializes in Pay-Per-Click, SEO, content marketing, social media, development, design, and eCommerce services.