Google Updates Product Structured Data Guidance
Google Search Central has updated its Products Structured Data documentation to clarify which product-related pages are eligible for structured data.
Product Structured Data
Structured data is a way to convey information about a web page to search engines.
It is not meant to be seen by users visiting a web page.
Search engines use structured data to better understand webpages. It also allows search engines to display the information presented in structured data in an attractive and practical way, which can result in more traffic for web pages.
That’s why it’s so important to implement markup as prescribed by Google, specifically for structured product data.
Google displays multiple results for specific Google search products as well as Google images.
Rich results for products show information such as price, customer ratings, and availability.
The guidelines published for product-rich results, like all of Google’s guidelines for using structured data, are strict on what types of pages can be used with structured data.
The basic criterion for structured product data is that it can only appear on pages that are about a product.
Structured Data For Product Variants
Products are usually sold with many variations, including size, model and color.
Retailers typically publish product pages that contain multiple variations of the same product on the same web page. This makes it easy for potential buyers to view, compare and select variations of the same product.
But what about websites that publish multiple web pages for different variations of the same product? Is it okay to use the same structured data (with minor variations) for each web page?
Or do you choose a page as representative for the product and use structured data on that one page?
Google Search Central has updated the guidelines for structured product data to clarify how to use structured data for product variants.
The guidance for using structured data for each particular product remains the same. Rich results still support structured data for pages dedicated to a web page.
What has changed is that Google clarified that web pages that focus on variations on a product can qualify for rich results and can benefit from having their own structured data.
To qualify for a rich result, the product variation page must be published at a “unique URL.”
The guidance on structured product data states:
“Use markup for a specific product, not a category or list of products. For example, “shoes in our store” is not a specific product. Currently, product -rich results only support pages that are focused on a single product. ”
It then displays the updated guide immediately after the previous sentence:
“This includes product variants where each product variant has a unique URL.”
What’s the Big Deal?
Google’s updated guidelines eliminate any confusion when adding structured data to product pages featuring the same product but in different variations.
For example, a merchant might have a web page about a shoe and then multiple separate web pages for different colors of that shoe.
Web pages for different shoe colors can have their own structured product data and will qualify for Google’s rich results based on those variations.
Of course, this doesn’t change any search-related guide warnings against making cookie-cutter pages essentially the same page with small variations.
Read Google’s Guidelines on Product Structured Data
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