Google is significantly improving the visibility of product information pages with rich media, Search placements, real-time Merchant Center uploads, and more starting this month.
Retailers will now be able to add additional product information to their product pages such as descriptions, variations, and rich media (video included) via Manufacturer Center.
All retailers will now also be able to update product data feeds to Merchant Center in real-time, and this product data information can display in Google’s Search and Image search results — even without a Google Ads campaign.
Here’s a quick look at what these updates mean and why they should have retailers excited.
“We see this update as a big win for retailers, especially those with strong product data. Google continues to focus on enhancements to their Shopping and feed-based programs and this update is no exception.”
–Evan Kirkpatrick, Vice President, Shopping & Feed Management at Elite SEM
Google Merchant Center Uploads Expand To Search
Google announced that they are expanding capabilities for retailers within Merchant Center. Product feed data will now be eligible to show directly within “surfaces” such as organic search results and Google images.
“Given all the high-quality data they have within Merchant Center, it was only a matter of time before they used this data to support other Google programs,” says Kirkpatrick.
This change applies to all online retailers – all that is needed is a product feed and a Merchant Center account.
“We think this speaks to the importance of product data and that having a high-quality feed should continue to be a priority for retailers,” explains Kirkpatrick.
“Not only will the products in the feed power Google Shopping campaigns, but they will now enhance organic and image listings. Even if Shopping campaigns are not a priority for certain retailers, this gives them added incentive to build out their feed.”
Rich Media, Additional Product Information Can Now Be Added In Manufacturer Center
Google introduced new features through the Google Manufacturer Center to help improve product information and brand visibility.
Brands can provide information such as:
• Product descriptions
• Multiple variants
• High-quality images
• Videos that display on a product’s knowledge panel
“With more rich features on Google SERPs, competition for real estate is growing more fierce. In order to get eyes on your brand and product, retailers must start taking advantage of Google’s new features in order to maintain a competitive edge. “
–Shayna Brandi, Senior Specialist, SEO at Elite SEM
“Competition for SERP real estate will be impacted with the introduction of expanded product details as well as competition for organic rankings as product data feeds can now display in results for Search and Google Images.”
You can learn more about the update from Google’s official announcement, Help influence and understand how your products appear on Google.
New Report In Google Console Enables Schema Markup Management
Google also announced a new “Products Report” available within Google Search Console that identifies issues in Schema structured data markup for products.
Website owners can now check these issues and verify that they’ve been resolved in real-time using the report by re-crawling their website.
What does it all mean for advertisers?
These updates are significant opportunities for retailers and marketers to improve their product visibility as well as manage product information and resolve schema markup errors in real-time.
“Retailers not taking advantage of the new opportunities through Merchant Center and Manufacturer Center will miss out on the opportunity to highlight their own products, ” cautions Shayna.
“Improved product features and placements hold the potential to impact the organic rankings for retail products across Google’s ecosystem.”
“This is both an opportunity and a warning call to all ecommerce websites: get your product information to Google or risk sinking to the bottom of SERPs.”
Want to learn more?
How to Upload Your Google Shopping Feed Into the Manufacturer Center