FAQPage Schema may be driving more traffic to sites, not decreasing it

A common concern by search engine optimizers is losing search visits after adding FAQPage or HowTo Schema.org structured data to their pages. Distilled is reporting that they saw more traffic after implementing it on several sites.

Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex created Schema.org structured data vocabulary as a way for webmasters to disambiguate page data for crawlers. It’s their version of Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa) that they have more control and influence over.

Google has made the most use of Schema.org by going well beyond its fundamental purpose of better understanding page content. They regularly use it to display rich results.

The FAQPage type is a good example of how Google converts Schema.org structured data into a rich result. It’s also something that has many SEOs concerned. They’re worried that their sites might lose traffic based on how it’s displayed in the SERPs.

Fortunately, it was discovered recently that SEOs can optimize answers with links and styles. They are also finding out that the FAQ rich results may also increase traffic, not decrease it.

Link support in FAQPage answers is a feature

SEOs on Twitter started to notice that styles and links were appearing in Google’s FAQ rich results. Dave DiGregorio even noticed that you could include emojis.

FAQ example
FAQ rich result example using emojis.

It ends up that the ability to add links to answers using FAQPage, and having them appear in search results, is actually by design. Google’s FAQPage reference page specifies that the Answer text property can contain the following HTML elements:

Lily Ray also discovered that you can track how often searchers click on links in FAQ answers if you add UTM tracking codes to the links.

Distilled ODN FAQPage study reveals an increase in search visits

Distilled conducted an FAQPage study with several sites using its Optimization Delivery Network (ODN). They reported that they saw uplifts in traffic to commercial pages ranging from 3% to 8%. They didn’t include any links or styling in their answers but still experienced an increase in traffic. They theorized that the uplift in traffic primarily came from an increase in organic clicks as a result of [their] listings taking up more real estate in the SERP.

Contrary to many SEOs’ concerns, implementing FAQPage may increase search visits. SEOs can also more fully optimize the performance of their answers by styling and adding links to them.

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Jon is the founder and Managing Editor of Coywolf. He has over 25 years of experience in web development, SaaS, internet strategy, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. Follow @henshaw