Google Sunsets Event Rich Results – What Does It Mean?

What Google's Helpful Content Update Means for SEO

Table of Contents

SEO companies began discussing a change in Google’s event rich results back in October 2023. The speculation ever since has been that Google would ultimately sunset the feature. Well, it appears as though they have finally done so. As of March 4, event rich results are no longer part of the desktop search experience in Google.

What does it mean for SEO? It more or less means that Google no longer displays events and details like time, date, location, and ticket pricing. This is all information that might have previously been triggered by a search for “concerts near me this weekend” or “tech trade shows in 2024”.

A Helpful Feature for Local SEO

If you have ever made use of event rich results, you likely know that it was a helpful feature for local SEO purposes. Imagine a local SEO company working with a bar or restaurant that featured live entertainment on the weekends. Capitalizing on event rich results could lead to higher traffic generated by consumers looking to enjoy some music during the upcoming weekend.

Event rich results were also ideal for event promoters, marketers, local sports teams, and even schools and nonprofits. The feature represented an easy and effective way to get critical event information into the hands of potential guests with little more than a quick local search. At any rate, the feature is no more.

Event Information Is Still Relevant

At this point, we should note that event information is still relevant to search engines. In fact, Google uses it in other ways. Dropping the feature relates mainly to desktop searches. But the data is still relevant to users running search queries through Google Assistant. The information is still relevant in Android mobile searches as well.

All of this is to say that SEO developers should continue to utilize event information as they always have. It is just no longer important to track the information in Google Search Console. Clients should be made aware that the feature has been taken out of desktop search so that they don’t start wondering why they aren’t seeing it for their events.

Possible Motivations for the Decision

Google did not go out of its way to let any of us know about its decision to drop event rich results. Likewise, now that they have actually done so, they haven’t offered any rationale for the decision. But if we look at how Google has been trending in recent years, we can come up with some educated guesses.

One possible motivation is a desire to streamline search results. Google is always trying to figure out what users want so they can respond accordingly. And recently, users have been indicating a desire for simplified search results with as little clutter as possible. Getting rid of event rich results could be part of that simplification effort.

The Rise of AI

Another possibility (and a strong one at that) is the rise of generative AI as a search tool. AI-based search is less about links and factoids. It is more about conversations between searcher and search tool. Google and its competitors are developing new ways to use search engines. They are also developing new ways to find local events. With AI being the undercurrent in both, it seems logical to stop using legacy tools at some point.

Regardless of Google’s motivations, the fact is that event rich results have finally been sunsetted for good. Event details are still important for mobile search and Google Assistant, but they no longer matter to desktop search. SEO companies should adjust their practices accordingly.

Like this article? Please share it