Google FAQ Vs. Q&A Schema Markup Explained

Google FAQ vs. Q&A Schema

Update: July 15, 2019

Google added this testing tool to validate FAQ schema, which is now no longer “pending” and available for use.

Per Google’s Developers’ site, “A Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page contains a list of questions and answers pertaining to a particular topic. Properly marked up FAQ pages may be eligible to have a rich result on Search and Markup Action for the Google Assistant, which can help your site reach the right users.”

In other words, the FAQ’s can show up in the SERPs. Here’s an example:

faq schema sem services

In the above example, the website, description, and a few questions and answers appear together. There are certain recommended guidelines from Google to increase the odds of your FAQ page ranking.

Once again, only use FAQPage markup if your page has a list of questions with answers. Some examples include:

  1. An FAQ page written by your site, which doesn’t have the ability for users to submit answers.
  2. A product support page that lists FAQs, again without the ability for users to submit answers

This website is a good option if you need a JSON-LD schema markup generator (choose FAQ page from the dropdown).

February 1, 2019

Google recently published new content guidelines for Q&A page schema markup to clarify that the markup is for pages where the “….focus of the page is a single question and its answers” rather than a page with multiple questions and answers, like an FAQ page.” As a result, it has left digital marketers with some questions.

Google Content Guidelines QA Page

Google has confirmed that it has been testing a new form of search results snippets for several months, which affects the manner in which search results appear to users. These new search snippets are in the form of FAQs and Q&A, as well as How-Tos. But you can read the full content guidelines here.

QAPage

From Google Developers:

Q&A Pages are web pages that contain data in a question and answer format, which is one question followed by zero or more answers to the question. For content that represents a question and its answers, you can mark up your data with the schema.org QAPage, Question, and Answer types.

Properly marked up pages are eligible to have a rich result displayed on the search results page. This rich treatment helps your site reach the right users on Search.

Google Search uses the properties of the QAPage as described below.

QAPage markup

Question

The Question type defines the question that this page answers, and includes the answers, if any, to that question. Exactly one Question type is expected on the page, nested under the mainEntity property of the schema.org/QAPage. There should only be one Question type definition per page.

The full definition of Question is provided on schema.org.

Question Markup

Answer

The Answer type defines the suggested and accepted answers to the Question on this page. Define Answers inside the Question, as values for the suggestedAnswer and acceptedAnswer properties.

The properties of the Answer type used within a question is shown in the table below.

The full definition of Answer is provided on schema.org.

Answer QA Markup

Official Statement from Google

This is a screenshot from a recent Google event in Singapore:

 Google FAQ QA SERPS

Statement via a Google Spokesperson to Search Engine Land:

“We’re always looking for new ways to provide the most relevant, useful results for our users. We’ve recently introduced new ways to help users understand whether responses on a given Q&A or forum site could have the best answer for their question. By bringing a preview of these answers onto Search, we’re helping our users more quickly identify which source is most likely to have the information they’re looking for. We’re currently working with partners to experiment with ways to surface similar previews for FAQ and How-to content.”

This new snippet feature creates a preview of what the searcher can expect to see on a webpage prior to visiting the page. Schema markup should allow SEO’s and web developers the ability to have their website be eligible for this feature.

Google is planning to open an interest form to allow publishers and webmasters to participate in the FAQ and How-to schema markup formats shown in the above screenshot.

What the Experts are Saying

SEO’s and digital marketers alike are actively tweeting on the subject. Barry Schwartz of SEORountable had this to say along with an article with more info:

John Mueller chimed in on Twitter as well explaining that QAPage markup can’t be used for FAQ content which is an important distinction:

How You Can Get Started

You can review the Schema.org website, and find a lot of this markup available already, including HowTo markupQA page markup, and FAQ markup. But Google hasn’t fully rolled out this feature yet. You will also want to check out this great, free tool provided by Google to test your structured data.

8 replies
  1. Bryan Wisotsky
    Bryan Wisotsky says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to let you know I updated this post today, and that the FAQ schema markup is now active. I recommend using the JSON-LD generator to create the markup for your website.

    Thanks!

    Bryan

    Reply
  2. Scott Sala
    Scott Sala says:

    So I still have confusion over whether you can use FAQ schema for a list of 5 FAQ within a long product page. Because that page is NOT a FAQ page. It’s a product page. Wondering what you know about this – you reference it in your July 15 update. Will identifying the overall page as “@type”: “FAQPage” limit the true purpose of the page vs “@type”: “Product” – or can you use both?

    Reply
    • Bryan Wisotsky
      Bryan Wisotsky says:

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for your comment! A FAQPage is a WebPage presenting one or more “Frequently asked questions”. And every web page is implicitly assumed to be declared to be of type WebPage. So in that respect, yes, it’s ok for a non-FAQ page to have the markup. And we actually added it to this page and it was validated to have functioning FAQPage schema.

      Thanks,

      Bryan

      Reply
  3. Jeffrey Sooey
    Jeffrey Sooey says:

    I used the schema for some questions on a page and google didn’t accept them… I’m wondering if that’s because the text on my question and answer markup was different than what was actually viewable on the page itself. Is this a rule from google?

    Reply
  4. Matt Roberts
    Matt Roberts says:

    I’m so annoyed.

    I’m working on adding FAQ Schema to my site here: https://www.adinfusion.com/philadelphia-seo/ I have added the faq within the body ( i took them out of an accordion widget because i thought maybe that was stopping it from working somehow…

    The markup was generated from the same tool you use in this post. I validated it with Google’s structured data testing tool…which shows it as FAQPage and 0 errors.

    But when I try and validate it on Search Console the card for FAQ does not appear… WTFFFF

    Reply
    • Bryan Wisotsky
      Bryan Wisotsky says:

      Hi Matt,

      Yes, these things can be tricky sometimes. When I ran the page below in the Structured Data Tool, it didn’t detect the FAQ schema. I would recommend trying again, or seeing if your developer can assist.

      Thanks,

      Bryan Wisotsky

      Reply

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