Can 'Q&A Structured Data Markup' be used on pages with multiple questions & answers?
 by Kristi Hagen

Can Q&A Structured Data Markup be used on pages with multiple questions & answers?

  • My question is in regards to structured data for Q&A. Most of our clients’ pages focus on information, and they already have good rankings for search phrases that are not questions. However, since the text in these pages does typically include at least one or two questions, would there be any issues with marking up the Q&A sections of these pages as Q&A pages?

    Our concern rises from your SEN article on structured data that says Q&A Page markup is designed to be applied to a page that is dedicated to a single question and its answer. And even though we wouldn't deliberately misuse the markup, we have concerns that it could be interpreted as such and result in ranking penalties. What are your thoughts on this issue?

Answer:

Google's guidelines are specific regarding the format of a page using Q&A markup.

It's for a single question & answer format, not multiple.

We'd also add that it should be immediate and easy to see the question and the answer when someone lands on the page. It shouldn't be hidden in the tab or somewhere down on the page.

However, we should also note that we aren't aware of penalties yet for misuse of Q&A markup, but we don't recommend testing this. We know from our 22 years of publishing SEN, that Google eventually catches on to practices that violate the spirit of their guidelines. Ensuing penalties might be delayed but when they come they can be swift, harsh, and lasting. Regardless of the threat of a future penalty, we wouldn't bet on it even resulting in the rich snippet you're working for. With that in mind, it's up to you to calculate the risk/reward ratio.

Here's the good news. Although you'll need to add content, what you can do is add new pages that address questions related to the information pages you already have. For instance, let's say your site is about SuperWidgets and everything having to do with SuperWidgets. One of the Q&A pages could answer the question: "What is a Self-Managed SuperWidget?" ... followed by a clear and concise paragraph that p...

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