Trending December 2023 # Google Expands Eligibility For Product Rich Results # Suggested January 2024 # Top 18 Popular

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Google expanded eligibility for Merchant Listing search experiences and product snippets through the use of structured data. This change affects merchants, product review sites and product information aggregator sites.

Merchant Center feeds are no longer necessary to be eligible for product rich results.

There are also two new reports in Google search console.

Google’s announcement stated:

“Initially, product snippets in Google search results were primarily powered by Product structured data, and merchant listing experiences were primarily powered by product details supplied via a Google Merchant Center feed.

Now merchants can be eligible for merchant listing experiences by providing product data on web pages without a Google Merchant Center account.

This improved eligibility has in part been made possible by recent extensions to product-related properties and types in chúng tôi for areas such as apparel sizing and energy efficiency ratings.”

Enhanced Product Experiences in Search

Enhanced experiences, sometimes referred to as rich results, are search features that can show images and provide more information than a regular search snippet.

When merchants use the appropriate structured data they will become eligible to have their products displayed for sale directly from the search results.

Google highlighted two product related search experiences:

Popular Products

Product Snippet

The popular products search experience displays images of the products right in the search results.

Google published an example of a popular products in search:

The other kind of rich result that has expanded eligibility is called a product snippet.

Example of a Product Snippet

New Search Console Reports

The new reports that are viewable within Search Console are:

Merchant listings report

Merchants that sell products should use the merchant listing report. This report shows structured data issues related to the free listing experiences.

Product snippets report

Sites that publish product reviews or don’t sell products but use product structured data should use this report.

This report shows structured data problems related to product snippets in search.

The product snippets report absorbs the old product structured data report. The data from the old report is now available within this new report.

Free Product Listing Experiences Documentation

Google updated the documentation for the Free Listing Experiences.

The updated documentation now features more information related to how merchants can qualify for free listing rich results through the use of product structured data.

Cited Resources:

Google’s announcement of expanded merchant listings eligibility

Google Product structured data documentation

Featured image by Shutterstock/Ljupco Smokovski

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Google Results For Probiotics Are Totally Unreliable

They’re not Goop-level pseudoscience, but most probiotics lack solid scientific evidence in their favor. Supplement brands claim that daily use can ease digestive issues and reduce the risk of colon cancer, among others on a lengthy list of dubious benefits. As shoppers clamor for probiotics to ease stomach woes, the market is predicted to grow by 7.5 percent and reach more than $76 billion by 2024. Yet when consumers seek clarifying information online, the results for probiotics are largely promotional—and they can potentially mislead consumers.

Most interested Googlers encounter information on probiotics exclusively from commercial sources and news outlets, according to a recent Frontiers in Medicine study. These sites often fail to paint a complete picture, so when looking to buy the latest pill or kombucha drink, consumers may miss vital information on side effects and overall efficacy.

“Many websites allude to benefits of probiotics in diseases for which there is not much high-level scientific evidence, other than in mice,” says Brighton and Sussex Medical School Professor Pietro Ghezzi.

Unreliable online results

Probiotics are live microorganisms purported to aid digestion and overall health. We already have digestive systems bustling with approximately 100 trillion bacteria–outnumbering the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy–that break down food, prevent disease, and achieve a healthy gut balance. Though they require further research, probiotics could potentially alleviate symptoms of conditions like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as remedy gut health generally.

But when people are searching for reliable info on whether probiotics really could help them, they’re not finding reputable research.

Ghezzi’s team tested Google’s top-ranking websites for scientific rigor against the Cochrane Library, a systematic medical review database, and deemed initial results as largely unreliable. They note that Google engineers the search results to prioritize websites with complete and scientifically accurate information, particularly online health portals. The search engine’s algorithm prioritizes primary sources and “very high quality” information, according to a September 2023 announcement. Still, this isn’t reflected in actual results.

“The fact that there is such a large amount of commercially oriented information is problematic for consumers who are searching for honest answers,” Ghezzi says.

No two guts are the same

In reality, our guts may resist probiotics entirely. The gastrointestinal tract can block probiotics from colonizing among natural microbes, a September 2023 study found. And despite the common use of probiotics to remedy antibiotic-driven stomach troubles, probiotics could even delay digestive system recovery; after the gut accepts probiotics, the GI tract’s mucous membrane seems to take longer to heal.

Probiotic resistance depends on the individual, due to a combination of their unique genetics, immune system, and picky digestive system microbes. Some bacteria, for example, secrete antimicrobial peptides–basically natural antibiotics–that could either accept or reject popular probiotic strains, depending on the person. Therefore, the ubiquitous supplements on store shelves likely don’t work for everyone.

Scientists don’t fully understand this complex variability, though it’s clear that effective probiotics must be tailored to the individual. In the future, the field of synthetic biology aims to do just that: using cutting-edge tools like CRISPR-Cas, researchers hope to engineer improved probiotic strains.

Google Replaces Title Tags With Site Names For Homepage Results

Google appears to have stopped showing title tags for mobile search results for the entire website such as in searches for the name of a website which generally show the home page.

This feature does not work for subdomains.

According to Google’s Search Central documentation for site names:

What’s being shown in mobile searches is just the generic name for a website.

For example, a mobile search for Search Engine Journal shows a search engine results page (SERP) with the generic name of the website, Search Engine Journal.

The title tag for the above home page is:

Non-branded searches for keywords appear to still show the title tags.

Brand name + keyword searches also appear to still show the title tags.

Why Is Google Using Site Names?

Google is using site names in order to make it easier for users to identify the specific website in the search results.

Google’s official announcement explained:

“Today, Search is introducing site names on mobile search results to make it easier to identify the website that’s associated with each result…”

This new feature is available in the English, French, Japanese, and German languages and will begin showing up in other languages over the next few months.

New Feature Doesn’t Always Work

But a search using the compound word domain name HubSpot shows the old version search result with the title tags.

Search Result for Keyword Phrase “HubSpot”

But a search for Hub Spot (with a space between the two words) does work and shows the site name.

Search Result for Keyword Phrase: “Hub Spot”

A search for compound word name “Wordfence” and “word fence” returns the same site name search.

Search Result for keywords “Wordfence” & “Word Fence”

So it appears that Google isn’t consistently returning site name results for HubSpot but is doing it correctly for many other sites.

Structured Data for New Site Names Feature

Google is recommending the use of the WebSite structured data type.

Previously the WebSite structured data site was considered pointless because obviously Google knows a website is a website and it didn’t need structured data to understand that Google was indexing a website.

But that’s changed because Google is now using the WebSite structured data type, specifically the “name” property, to understand what the site name of a website is.

Google published an example of the WebSite structured data with the “name” property in use:

{ “@type” : “WebSite”, “name” : “Example”, }

The above structured data must be shown on the home page.

Google’s Search Central page for site name recommends the following for placement of the WebSite structured data:

“The WebSite structured data must be on the homepage of the site.

By homepage, we mean the domain-level root URI.

What if a Site Has an Alternate Name?

What’s useful about the WebSite structured data is that it offers the opportunity to tell Google what the alternate name of the website is.

Google explains how to do it:

“If you want to provide an alternate version of your site name (for example, an acronym or shorter name), you can do this by adding the alternateName property.

This is optional.”

The structured data for adding an optional name looks like this:

JSON Structured Data for Optional Name

{ “@type” : “WebSite”, “name” : “Example Company”, “alternateName” : “EC”, }

Google Uses More Than Structured Data

The Google documentation on site names explains that Google is using on-page, off-page and meta data information in addition to structured data to determine what a webpage site name is.

This is what Google uses to understand the site name:

WebSite structured data

Title tag

Headings (H1, H2, etc.)

Open Graph Protocol meta data, specifically the og:site_name

Something to take note of is that og:site_name property is an optional but recommended Open Graph property.

The Open Graph notation generally looks like this in the HTML code:

Google Site Names

The new site names feature in Google search looks attractive on mobile devices.

It makes sense to have less clutter in the SERPs for home page brand name searches. although I can see some complaining about the absence of title tag influence in these kinds of searches.

Citations Read the Official Announcement

Introducing site names on Google Search

Read the Search Central Documentation

Provide a site name to Google Search

Featured image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero

Make Your Product Famous (For Almost Nothing)

Getting help

Fleet’s not the only one who knows that having a great product is the real key to getting it placed in movies and on TV. Sarah Shaw learned that lesson firsthand. The former handbag designer’s own product lines hit pay dirt when one of her handbags was featured in the movie Legally Blonde.

Shaw’s product not only made it into the movie, but was also used in the promotional poster. Before she knew it, Shaw’s purse was carried by retailers, including Nordstrom, which promoted it with a copy of the movie poster as a free gift.

For Shaw, the placement was a big deal, even though she had worked in the movie industry before. Today, as the owner of the small business consulting firm Entreprenette, she offers a free product-placement service to any small business owners who want to sign up. The service, Instantly Famous, feeds product-placement requests from showbiz types to the regular folks who are struggling to break down Hollywood’s door.

Shaw offered Business News Daily readers some tips on how to handle product placement on their own:

The easiest products to get into movies or on TV are clothing, accessories and shoes. An actor wearing your product is also going to get you a bigger bang when you approach the press or stores. The second easiest is a prop or set dressing item.

Contact the production office to find out who the costume designer, property master, or set dresser (according to your needs) is, then send them your catalogs or line sheets with a note saying you’d like to show them your line and can offer them wholesale or even donate the products.

Find a list of current or upcoming shows by ordering Production Weekly for $75 per month. It has all the necessary contact information for each show, so you can pick the appropriate ones for your particular collection.

If they choose to use your product, be sure to deliver on time; if not, you may find yourself blacklisted.

If you do get a placement, follow up to see if you can get a photo. They won’t always be able to get you one, so ask once and then wait. When the film or TV show is released, use that moment to get PR for yourself by creating a one-sheet that features the product, the celebrity and the show. Send it to all press outlets and the stores you sell to, and watch the money roll in!

Social-famous products

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok offer the space to interact with audiences of all ages and create engaging content to market your products.

Because of platform algorithms, there isn’t one particular key to going viral. However, there are strategies you can use to increase product awareness on social media and user engagement in company content.


Due to the large volume of users on each social media platform, a post can quickly go viral, meaning it has spread quickly to a massive audience and gained thousands of views or more.

3. Use influencer marketing.

One of the most effective ways to increase product awareness is through influencer marketing. There are various types of influencers, ranging from a nano-influencer who has 10,000 followers or fewer to a mega-influencer who has a million or more followers.

Most influencers, also known as content creators, have a niche audience that can be extremely useful to brands that want to get their products out to a specific market. In exchange for some form of payment agreed on between both parties, the influencer will create content that promotes the brand’s product, links to their social media pages or website, and gives an honest review.

Sponsored content can reach thousands of people within hours, which makes influencer marketing one of the smartest strategies for product awareness.

Jeanette Mulvey and Jennifer Vishnevsky contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites?

Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2023 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2023, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 1, 2023

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2023 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

Seo For Ecommerce Product Pages: 20 Do’s & Don’ts

Ecommerce is expected to grab even more of the retail pie, with a projected growth of nearly $11 trillion between 2023 and 2025.

An increasing number of ecommerce sites want a piece of this pie, making it critical that your search strategy delivers.

10 Do’s Of Ecommerce Product Page SEO

Here are 10 steps to take and 10 to avoid for a successful SEO strategy.

1. Fine-Tune Your Keyword Strategy

Keyword research is the foundation for product page optimization.

When conducting keyword research, always use product-focused topics that users are searching for. Don’t fixate on volume. Instead, think about relevancy and what will actually convert.

Product pages have transactional intent, so make sure your landing pages are optimized for searchers ready to buy.

Someone looking for a specific product like “Series S60l & Expression E52 paintbrush” strongly indicates they are ready to purchase it due to the detailed nature of their search.

Make it easy for them to take that next important step.

2. Optimize Titles And Meta Descriptions

Title tags and meta descriptions are very important in product page optimization.

Make sure you include details such as:

The brand of the product, including your proprietary brand.

The name of the product.

The model number.

Other important information (e.g., dimensions).

3. Mark Up Product Pages With Structured Data

All product pages should have product schema and review schema, which can:

Improve your CTR and drive more sales.

4. Add Clear And Helpful FAQs

High-quality content that meets the users’ needs is key to ranking high in SERPs.

If users do not find your content useful, your bounce rates will be high, and customers may decide not to buy from you.

Most category and product pages are light on optimized content and do not have an FAQ section that is marked up with FAQ structured data.

Instead, they tend to rely on user-generated content (UGC), which is a mistake.

Suppose I have a question about a product and do not want to talk to a chatbot or call customer service.

If the brand in question has built an FAQ section with answers to questions that users commonly ask, I can easily find the information I’m looking for, and so can other customers.

That, in turn, helps the brand sell more products.

5. Always Write Unique Product And Meta Descriptions

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen an ecommerce site use the same product description for all products. This is a huge opportunity lost.

6. Share Real Testimonials And Customer Reviews

Product pages with customer reviews see conversion lifts of 52.2% more than their review-free counterparts, so this should be a no-brainer.

Genuine testimonials from customers, who have tried your product, speak volumes to in-market consumers trying to figure out whether or not to buy from you.

That’s why it’s so important to let customers share their experiences with your products and how they’ve helped solve problems.

Reviews help build trust – especially if you have an endorsement from a carefully vetted celebrity or famous influencer.

They also provide the fresh, unique content Google craves. Just be sure to mark them up with the review schema.

7. Test Landing Pages To Find The Best

Tools like Optimizely and Google Optimize provide an intuitive way to test even the slightest variations within product pages, which you should absolutely do to figure out the ideal configuration.

Changing the location of your call to action, for example, could drive more conversions.

Test your page layout options to see how they can best support sales.

8. Use High-Quality Video And Imagery

One of the drawbacks of shopping online is you cannot physically touch or test the product you are considering.

High-quality images and videos can fill that gap by providing end users with the information they need to feel confident in their purchases.

Recently, my search for a cordless drill led me to the Home Depot site. The company’s site ranks very high for this term, and its landing page is filled with powerful content that includes:

Videos that answer common questions.

Q&A with other customers.

The imagery of what a particular kit includes.

This was a great user experience because I wanted to know how many batteries came with the drill and if it came with a bag.

9. Minimize Page Load Times

Your product pages must be optimized for mobile. More and more consumers are conducting their online searches this way.

Fast-loading webpages will get your content in front of your target audience more quickly and provide a better user experience.

That, in turn, helps increase sales, revenue, and pages per session. Plus, it gives you a leg up on the competition.

It also decreases your bounce rates.

Aim for three seconds or less.

10. Audit Your Product Pages For Technical Issues

Product pages can often be duplicated because of faceted URLs, which can cause a lot of headaches for SEO, such as:

Duplicate content.

Wasted crawl budget.

Split link equity.

To avoid these issues, audit your pages to see which technical and content elements need to be optimized, if any.

Problems to watch for include:

Duplicate title tags and meta descriptions.

Slow page load times.

Broken links.

Thin content.

404 pages.

302 redirects.

Missing structured data.

10 Don’ts Of Ecommerce Product Page SEO 1. Don’t Use Product Descriptions From The Manufacturer’s Website

This is one of the most common mistakes I see in optimizing product pages.

Many manufacturer descriptions are not compelling, lack all the information a customer needs – and are not optimized for search.

It’s worth taking the time to write more informative and engaging descriptions. The more detailed information, the better. This may very well be the difference between being found and being invisible.

Also, remember that you do not want duplicate content, which will hurt your SEO efforts.

2. Don’t Kill Your Seasonal Pages Once Peak Is Past

This is a common mistake I see brands make.

While removing seasonal pages after the peak period may seem sensible, doing this will leave you with the same uphill battle every year, once again, trying to regain the authority your site needs to rank for seasonal terms.

And by the time you do this each year, it will likely be too late.

If you have a seasonal product page that has built up rankings, traffic, and sales over time, do not eliminate it.

Amazon is a great example of how to do this well. They have a dedicated Black Friday URL that only gains authority over time.

Amazon can then update the page as the peak Black Friday season approaches.

3. Don’t Use Automated Optimization

Dynamically populated product pages with the product’s name as the title tag, followed by brand and nothing else, is not a best practice.

Also, using automated descriptions and changing just a few variables could negatively impact your CTR.

Instead, include important information in the titles that you cannot automate. This can help your site rank for targeted keywords.

All titles and meta descriptions should be unique.

4. Don’t Pull Out-of-Stock Pages

Sometimes products go out of stock, especially when supply chains are stressed.

But if the product is temporarily unavailable, you should keep the URL live, especially if the page has rankings and traffic.

As with seasonal pages, this can seem counterintuitive.

In fact, a more profitable strategy is to keep these pages live and provide links to other relevant products until the item is back in stock.

5. Don’t Use The Wrong Type Of Structured Data – Or None At All

Structured data (i.e., reviews and product data) can help your site rank in the rich results and drive more traffic and sales. Having product data can help your site rank for rich snippets.

Many brands use the wrong type of structured data or do not implement any structured data. Both hurt your site rank.

6. Don’t Use Weak Calls To Action – Or Omit Them Entirely

Oftentimes, many brands do not have strong calls to action (CTA), but clean and easy CTAs are a must-have for any site.

Remember that the main job of your product page is to drive revenue and sales.

If it takes users too long to find how to purchase your products, they will instead visit your competitors’ sites. Make it easy and convincing for them to buy from you.

7. Don’t Optimize For CEO Keywords And Keywords With No Volume

Often, when a CEO asks an SEO specialist, “Why are we not ranking for XYZ keyword?” The answer is that XYZ has no search volume.

Think like a customer, do your research, and use data to inform your decisions about which keywords to use.

For example, if I’m optimizing for “lego spice girls back in stock,” it won’t be worth it because users are not really searching for this term.

Once I rank for it, I won’t get many sales because of the low volume.

8. Don’t Miss Opportunities For Internal Linking And Backlinks

Links still matter for ecommerce.

Often, brands build links to their homepages and category pages but forget about product pages.

But these pages can rank, especially for long-tail keywords that have high purchase intent and can dramatically increase revenue and sales.

That’s why you should always support product pages with internal links and even paid social to improve visibility and performance.

9. Don’t Charge The Wrong Price

Not having the right pricing strategy can cause consumers not to buy your products and possibly not to trust your brand.

This is especially true when prices spike on products high in demand, as we experienced during the baby food shortage.

We all know the laws of supply and demand, but paying 20% more for baby formula is crazy. Luckily, states are cracking down on price gouging.

10. Don’t Forget Mobile Optimization

To appreciate just how important it is to optimize for mobile shopping, consider that more than 60% of online shoppers in the U.S. shop via mobile devices. And more than one-third are mobile-only shoppers.

Not having a mobile-friendly product page can cause users to not even consider buying products from your site.

Wrapping Up

By sharpening your SEO strategy, you’re also burnishing your brand.

Giving consumers the best information there is on a product (and quickly), a compelling reason to buy, answers to their anticipated FAQs, and genuine third-party thumbs-up, you’re giving them reasons to return to your site.

Brand building is a long-term commitment. Even when it doesn’t immediately lead to a buy, it’s an assurance to customers that they can trust you.

And being vigilant about your SEO is an important way to build that trust.

More Resources:

Featured Image: ImYanis/Shutterstock

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