Have Google’s algorithm updates left you scrambling to figure out your SEO strategy? You’re not alone. One major shift we need to understand is with featured snippets, particularly the FAQs that rank in Google’s “People Also Ask” section.
Why are these important? How can we adapt? Let’s dive into these questions, look at real data about these SERP changes, and help you optimize your SEO strategy. Stay with me, and we’ll turn this Google update into an opportunity.
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What are Featured Snippets and FAQ Rich Results?
Featured snippets are those special boxes you see at the top of Google’s search results, designed to give users quick answers. A subset of these snippets is the FAQ rich results, where Google displays a series of commonly asked questions and their answers.
The significance of these FAQ snippets to creators and businesses is that they can improve content visibility in the SERPs, driving organic traffic to your website. They also serve to engage user curiosity, and by answering one question the right way you can win engagement of a confident reader.
Are FAQs Still Important for SEO after Google's Latest Update?
Recent trends have signaled an unexpected nosedive in FAQ rich snippets’ prominence. This decline started showing up around April on mobile, then continued in May on desktop, according to data from STAT.
The effects of this update have impacted all industry verticals, so no marketing enthusiast should ignore it! But while people scrolling search results might be less likely to see your FAQs (or anyone else’s) in search results now, FAQs are still a really important piece of your marketing.
Though there will be fewer opportunities for a FAQ of your’s to show up in the “People Also Ask” section, FAQs still:
- Help people find the answers they’re looking for
- Cut down on one-off support inquiries that could come your way
- Signal to search engine crawlers what your web content is all about
- Help content writers structure and organize informational content
The Growing Importance of Images in SERPs
At the same time FAQs are getting less space in Google SERPs, there has been a coinciding uptick in the appearance of images appearing in search results. This trend reaffirms the importance of weaving relevant and well-optimized images into your content. And as shown in the FAQ content cycle above, a purposeful content strategy that includes questions and images will help you tackle your website and social media content strategy simultaneously.
FAQs vs. Google's Search Generative Experience
This brings us to the concept of Google’s SGE (Search Generative Experience). SGE uses AI to provide more comprehensive responses to search queries. It is my speculation that the decline in FAQ rich snippets may be a move towards embracing SGE more fully. This could mean significant shifts in the landscape for content creators and their SEO tactics. And, it probably explains why Images are getting the extra SERP real estate in the meantime!
By the way, if you want to give SGE or other Google AI features a try, check out Google’s latest experiments in Labs
What are your thoughts on these changes? Have you noticed any impacts on your own SEO strategies? I’d love to hear your insights.
My tips for anyone reading this are to remember that FAQs are meant to help people get the answers to the questions they may have, and to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and expertise to provide the answers. Do not treat FAQs as any less important to have in your content marketing than you did before these Google algorithm updates.
Also, if you’re looking to work these updates in or need guidance for your SEO strategy, consider booking a coaching call with me.
The world of SEO waits for no one. Let’s continue to learn, adapt, and evolve.