Google is Removing Rich Results to Simplify the SERP

One of the main trends that could be seen in Google’s SERP over the past few years or so was the addition of numerous rich results. These refer to things like How To sections, FAQs, related queries and the like, and Google was attempting to use them to make its SERP more informative than might have been the case otherwise. In spite of the fact that this is the case, it turns out that Google is doing a bit of a U-turn in this regard.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that these rich results have slowly started to disappear from the SERP. Such a trend is notable because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up indicating that Google is trying to clean the SERP up after years of trying to add more and more features to it that hardly any users asked for.

How To and FAQ sections might soon become a thing of the past. Some are saying that this is part of Google’s wider plan to start offering AI powered answers instead, although Gary Illyes suggested that this isn’t necessarily what is going on with all things having been considered and taken into account.

According to the statements made by this top ranking Google Exec, the company isn’t trying to pave the way for more AI oriented features in the future. Rather, they are trying to return to the simplicity of the older results page, and that will surely allow users to have a much more seamless experience without nearly as many distractions.

Google has frequently been criticized for trying to prevent users from clicking away from its page. This seems like a positive step in the right direction since it will allow more traffic to be diverted to the sites themselves. Furthermore, it will probably force SEO professionals to readjust their tactics and adapt to the new normal without relying on rich results to get the hits that they need to make their sites profitable.

Read next: Google's Search Shenanigans: AI Content vs. the Real Deal
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