Unlike FAQ Schema rich results, How-To Schema rich results didn’t launch across both mobile and desktop. This appears to have now changed based on what I’m seeing using a VPN across different countries, browsers and screen sizes.
When the testing of How-To Schema rich results on desktop was happening across 3 separate instances, there was several different formats at play. This is similar to the mobile treatment, where Google may pick 1 of 5 different variations.
In the case of the 3 separate desktop How-To Schema rich result variations (which may return in the future), one of those was picked as the launch variation. Here’s what all desktop How-To variations look like:
The difference between the test variations and the launch version relates to prominence. The 2 other variations (which haven’t been seen since being tested) either have an image thumbnail or an additional link for steps.
With the desktop How-To Schema variation that launched, this variation contains less aspects that really contrast with other standard web search listings. I suspect this is to combat users of the markup going overboard with usage, or adding the markup unnecessarily.
If you’re wanting to see how often the desktop How-To treatment is showing for pages with the markup, you can use filtering within Google Search Console. Here’s what your filter settings should look like (Search Appearance and device type in particular):
At the time of writing this post, Google hasn’t updated their guidelines relating to the desktop How-To Schema treatment. But based on my experience with Google tests and full rollouts, this feels like a pretty clear rollout to me.
Try doing a search for any of the examples mentioned in this post and you should see the How-To Schema treatment on desktop. I’d expect to see some new variations of the treatment over time, so keep an eye out and let me know if you see something new.
At the time of writing this post, I noticed that the treatment was showing on desktop and mobile, but yet to appear on tablet. This is unlike FAQ schema, which has the ability to have the rich result treatment appear on all devices.
Interesting quirk re how-to schema rich results now showing on desktop for all users: it's not responsive. Unlike faq schema rich results, the treatment is only appearing on mobile & desktop (not tablet). A bit of insight into G's testing/rollout approach. https://t.co/e1XHGatZIr pic.twitter.com/8FhloQlcBb— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) November 3, 2020