Q & A With Google’s John Mueller: Site Quality Can Cause the Loss of Rich Results

SEO updates

There is certainly an overwhelming number of factors that influence your website ranking on the Google search engine. From website structure to SEO, you need to focus on each aspect of your website and its quality to get a higher rank in search results.

In a recent interview, John Mueller from Google explained how site quality can affect your search rankings and whether or not Google shows rich results from a site. He answered a series of questions about a site that has lost its rich results display and explained the reason why it was taken away by  Google and whether or not it will ever return in the future.

Rich Results Removed After Site Redesign

Redesigning your website can impact your website in several ways. There is a chance you may lose your ranking and slip down a few spots but it doesn’t mean you can not make a recovery. There are more than a few anecdotal reports of site designs that go bad, turn out neutral or work out great, it doesn’t necessarily have to change your ranking. However, many websites have reported having lost their rich results with the site redesign.

These websites also checked their schema markup to check if there were technical issues but no problem was found as the markup passed all the tests.

In a situation like this, website owners are often left wondering because they can’t fix what they are not aware of.

Google’s John Mueller Discussing Rich Results

In a two-part question, it was asked, “Another customer just redesigned their website. It’s still the same CMS and content. And after that, all of our FAQ schemas stopped being displayed in Google Search results. And this is three months old now and we still are not there., even everything is passing on the rich results test and inspection tool. Why did that happen and when should I expect to see FAQ being displayed again or if it will ever be?”

While answering the question, John Mueller suggested at one point that there is a high possibility that the site is not responsible for the loss of rich results. However, he has also discussed re-evaluating the website for quality.

John Mueller answered: “I think there are two things that might have happened… It’s hard to say offhand. One is that we might have re-evaluated the quality of your website overall at about the same time that you made those changes. It’s probably more of a coincidence if that were the case. But it could be that we kind of are not that convinced about this website anymore. And if we’re not convinced about the website, then usually we don’t show any rich results. And that would include the FAQs.”


Site Quality Can Affect Rich Results Eligibility

This information gives us quite an insightful view into the connection of re-designing with the re-evaluation of site quality evaluated by edkentmedia.com. This is something that fewer people are aware of and can prove to be highly useful when it comes to diagnosing why the rich results stopped showing.

John Mueller Hack for Rich Results

He also suggested that website owners must check if the rich results are taken away by Google because of a technical issue or because Google was not sure about the quality of your website.

Mueller continued: “So one way to kind of double-check that is if you do a site query for these individual pages, do the rich results show up there or not? If they do show up there then that means technically we can recognize them but we don’t want to show them. So that’s kind of a hint that maybe from a quality point of view you need to improve things. If they don’t show up with a site query then that means more that there’s still something technical which is broken with regards to that.”

No Fixed Delay After a Redesign

John Mueller has also mentioned that after a redesign, if there are not any major changes to its design, and everything otherwise stays the same, then Google will generally crawl it like usual and website owners should not expect any disruption. As the previous website will now be gradually replaced by Google’s index by a new site.

Mueller finished his answer by saying, “So it’s not that there is a fixed delay, after the restructuring of a website, for us to start showing them again. It’s more like… maybe there was coincidentally weird timing or maybe there’s a technical issue.”

However, regarding the site query, Mueller also warned that it is not absolutely reliable.

He said, “Yeah, it’s not 100% perfect. But it works for a lot of these cases when it comes to rich results.”

The Site Query Hack

The site query does not use the regular ranking algorithm by  Google. It is still unknown what it uses but one thing is for sure that it is different from the regular search query. In this Q & A seminar, Google’s John Mueller has given his insightful advice on how website owners can find a way to know what’s wrong with a website. The important takeaway from this blog is that site quality has a lot to do with your Google search rankings and it may also be the reason why your rich results are taken away by  Google.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.