Google’s John Mueller was asked if Google allows for FAQ schema markup and structured data that appears in different sections of a blog post and that are not formatted as a traditional FAQ list. The answer, John gave was yes, assuming the FAQs are visible on the page.
Non-List View FAQs
The question was “Is it okay to use the FAQ schema to markup questions and answers that appear in different sections of a blog post that aren’t formatted as a traditional FAQ list. For example, a post maybe has 10 headings for different sections a few of those are questions with answers.”
John said it is fine, he said that he “double checked the official documentation,” adding “and it looks like it’s fine.”
FAQs Must Be Visible On The Page
What matters is not necessarily where the content is, but is it visible. “The important part when it comes to FAQ snippets and structured data in general is that the content should be visible on the page. So it should really be the case that both the question and the answer is visible when someone visits that page. And not that it’s kind of like hidden away in a section of a page,” John added.
“But if they the questions and the answers are visible on the page even if they’re in different places of on the page that’s perfectly fine,” he explained.
Still Might Not Show in Google Search
John then went on to explain that sometimes even if your schema is valid and within the guidelines, Google still might not show it. John said “The other thing to keep in mind is that like all structured data, FAQ snippets are not guaranteed to be shown in the search results. Essentially you make your pages eligible to have these FAQ snippets shown but it doesn’t guarantee that they will be shown.”
How To Implement FAQs
John then gave some advise on how to implement FAQs like this on your pages. He said, first, test it out, see if it works okay on test sites. You can use the tools Google gives you in Search Console and then test it in the live results. If it works – then give it a try.
John said “So you can use a testing tool to make sure that everything is implemented properly and if the testing tool says that’s okay then probably you’re on the right track. But you will probably still have to kind of wait and see how Google actually interprets your pages and processes them to see what is actually shown in the search results. And for structured data, I think it’s the case for FAQs, but at least for some of the other types there are specific reports in Search Console as well that give you information on the structured data that was found and the structured data that was actually shown in the search results. So that you can kind of roughly gauge is is it working the way that you want it to or is it not working the way that you want it to.”
“For things like this I would recommend trying them out and making a test page on your website, kind of seeing how things end up in the search results, double checking if it’s really what you want to do and then going off to actually implement it across the rest of your website,” he added.
Here is the video embed:
Here is how Glenn Gabe summed it up:
Have FAQs but not listed all together in one place on the page? -> Via @johnmu: If you have questions with answers visible on the page, then you can use FAQ schema (even if they aren’t listed together in one area). https://t.co/z7OUc0erGS pic.twitter.com/3l8F7OxhJ7
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 9, 2022
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Google Testing New People Also Ask User Interface
Google is testing a new design, layout, and user experience for the people also ask box in the Google Search results. This interface has results side by side and stacked on top and then when you click on a result, it loads the answer in a shaded box.
This was spotted by Brodie Clark and he posted a video of it in action on Twitter. He said “Whoa, check out this new People Also Ask test I’m seeing in Google’s search results. It shows two columns for PAA results (instead of one), along with some new functionality & design included.”
Here is that GIF:
Here is a screenshot that you can enlarge:
Here is the video of it in higher resolution:
Whoa, check out this new People Also Ask test I’m seeing in Google’s search results. It shows two columns for PAA results (instead of one), along with some new functionality & design included. Would you find this useful as a user? More details & history: https://t.co/NawQryvFkd pic.twitter.com/Y7dEf3mxpJ
— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) November 22, 2022
Forum discussion at Twitter.