Google addresses a concern regarding the use of FAQ schema markup and whether it can be used only some questions and not others.
This topic is discussed during the Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout recorded on January 14.
Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller answers a user-submitted question about how to best use FAQ markup on a webpage.
The person says they have a page with 15 to 20 FAQs and asks if all should be marked up, or if it’s acceptable to markup select questions that are most important.
Google has firm guidelines when it comes to the use of FAQ markup, and structured data in general, but does it have any kind of all-or-nothing rule?
Here’s what Mueller advises.
Google FAQ Schema Markup Recommendations
Mueller says it’s acceptable to markup some questions but not others.
Google’s guidelines state that FAQ schema markup must only be used on questions and answers that are visible on a page.
However, there’s nothing in the guidelines that state it has to be used on all Q&A’s on a page.
This goes for all structured data, not just FAQ schema.
For example, how-to markup should only be used when there’s a visible set of how-to instructions on a page.
Review markup should only be used when there are visible customer reviews on a page — and so on.
“When it comes to structured data, we want to see the structured data visible on the page, but not all visible content has to be marked up with structured data.
So if you have individual pieces of content on your page that you want to give structured data for, then go ahead and do that. You don’t have to do that for every piece of content on your page.
So if you have 20 FAQs and you mark up five of them, that’s totally up to you. You can even use the data-nosnippet to kind of completely block some of these other items from appearing in a snippet if that’s something that you’d like to do.”
In his response, Mueller refers to an HTML attribute called data-nosnippet, which can be used on a specific piece of text to prevent it from appearing in search results.
So it’s fine to markup only some Q&As, and you can even go a step further by blocking specific questions and answers from appearing in search results. Neither of those tactics will get you into trouble with Google.
Hear Mueller’s full response in the video below:
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