Google Previews Q&A, FAQ, and How-Tos as New Schema Markup

Here at Pure SEO Auckland, we’ve heard that Google has been trialling new varieties of search result snippets for a few months now. Frequently Asked Questions, Questions & Answers, and How-Tos will allow webmasters to display their content to searchers in new ways, and provide more information to searchers on what they are likely to find from a result – before they even click on it.

What Is Schema Markup?

Schema.org Markup – usually just referred to as Schema – is a library of tags you can add to your HTML. Schema enhances the link that a search engine delivers when your webpage is referenced as a result.

This could be star ratings for recipes, publication dates for articles, or other user-focussed information that exists to customise search results – the goal is to deliver information that can be easily understood at a glance.

Schema is an ongoing collaboration between Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Yandex, to encourage webmasters in providing data a search engine can use when translating content for a more user-friendly experience.

FAQ, Q&A, and How-Tos on the Search Results

The new formats which Google showcased are fairly straight-forward:

Q&A brings up variations on the searched question and their respective answers for users to browse. FAQ brings up related, frequently asked questions – most likely when a user asks something of a specific brand or product. Finally, How-To displays collapsible step-by-step guides for a user when they ask for instructions.

Google has already integrated new methods for displaying the most relevant answers in forum threads or other discussions to match a search query, including the most upvoted area on a site it has been drawn from. It seems like the plan is to surface information in a similar manner for FAQ and How-To content.

Getting Ahead of the Game

It’s worth mentioning that the Schema.org website already has this new markup available. Google plans to open an interest form to webmasters soon, to give them a chance to properly implement the markup formats, but the opportunity to integrate them into your HTML ahead of time is already here!

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Sam Mannell

Sam Mannell has been a writer for the Pure SEO content team since August '18, and is now Lead Editor. He quickly found his place in the company as resident Dungeon Master and coffee expert. Sam holds a BA from University of Auckland, where he double-majored in Linguistics and English.

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