Google is updating documentation on structured data for education questions and answers

Google has updated the Structured Data for Education documentation with new content guidelines and a warning about manual actions for sites that don’t meet the new requirements.

Education questions and answers carousel in search results

Google added documentation for new structured data that helped ensure relevant pages are eligible to display in the Education Q&A carousel.

The Education Carousel Q&A is an advanced search list available in the following search types:

  • Google search results
  • [Google Assistant]
  • [Google lens]

Two very different types of pages are eligible for this enhanced search feature.

  1. flashcard pages
  2. Individual question and answer pages

Google outlined the two types of pages that are eligible for educational carousel display in search:

Flashcard pages use quiz markup. Question and answer pages use structured QAPage data.

content guidelines

Google’s new content guidelines for educational questions and answers warn that non-compliant pages are subject to manual action, which is a penalty that prevents a website from appearing in Google search results.

There are three points to consider:

  1. Publishers of educational Q&A sites are encouraged to refer to Google’s content guidelines for Q&A sites.

These guidelines state that markup for QAPage structure data can only be use on pages where users can answer questions. A valid example of a use case is a web forum.

It is recommend that websites that do not offer users a way to answer questions but only present a question and an answer use the FAQ page structured data.

  1. The site must present educational content in the form of questions and answers, and the answer answers the question.
  2. Answers must be precise and correct. The policy states that if an (unspecified) amount of content is found to be inaccurate, Google will make any content unsuitable for display in the Education Q&A carousel.

Focus on accuracy

Education is a sensitive topic, so it makes sense for Google to add extra rigour to the quality of the information it displays in its Education Questions and Answers carousel.

Google emphasises accurate and useful information that could be part of the ongoing process to improve search results.

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