How to get your products displayed in Google Shopping, Search and Google Images, for free
By Benedict Adam
Google has announced that products from UK data feeds uploaded to Google Merchant Center are now eligible to be displayed in results on surfaces, like Search and Google Images, for free.
Today Google announced the option to submit products for ‘surfaces’ across Google will be available in the UK and all countries where Google Merchant Center is launched.
If you’ve submitted a product feed to Google Merchant Center, products from your online shop have the potential to automatically appear in unpaid results on Google Surfaces when these launch in your country.
What is the Google surfaces program?
The Google surfaces program offers those willing to participate the potential for their product offering to be shown in unpaid listings on ‘Google Surfaces’, such as the Google Shopping tab, Google Search, Google Images, Google Maps, and Google Lens.
Below are some examples of how unpaid listings could potentially show on each Google Surface:
The Google Shopping tab
Retailers can show their products in unpaid listings on the Google Shopping tab by opting their products into surfaces across Google. This allows shoppers to see more products from more stores when they actively click the shopping tab. Paid listings will continue to appear in ad slots at the top of the Search Results Page.
Google Search (google.com)
Product attributes – including price, availability, ratings, and brand annotations – may be eligible to show as rich snippets in web results related to product queries, as per the example below:
Google Images (images.google.com)
On Google Images, you may already be familiar with seeing images labeled with the ‘Product’ annotation, signifying that the product in the image can be purchased online.
Product attributes, including price, availability, ratings and brand, can show on images. People can tap on the Google Lens feature on mobile devices to see Google Images of similar products.
How to show your products on surfaces across Google
To ensure that your products are eligible to be shown across Google surfaces, you need to have a product feed setup in Merchant Centre. Merchant Center is a free tool that allows retailers to upload their product data directly to Google.
If you have existing feeds already uploaded to the Merchant Center, your feeds are likely already opted into surfaces across Google.
You can confirm this is the case by checking the destination setting of the feed in Merchant Center:
- Sign-in to your Merchant Center account
- Select Products in the left navigation menu
- Select Feeds to see settings for your different feeds
- In the ‘Destination’ column, you should see ‘Surfaces Across Google’
In addition to the minimum set of attributes required to submit products to surfaces across Google in the Merchant Center, merchants that want their apparel and accessories products to surface in free results should also consider the following best practices.
If you can’t create product feeds in Merchant Center
Follow these best practices to optimise your products for surfaces across Google without creating any product feeds in the Merchant Center:
- Product pages with structured product markup are more likely to surface in free result types across Google surfaces
- Clearly define the exact price for each variant of every product you sell. If you can’t do this effectively with structured data markup on your product pages, then consider creating a product feed in the Merchant Center instead
Google will be providing reporting tools in Merchant Center when unpaid results on Google surfaces are launched in your country.
In the meantime, check your dashboard to see the number of products across surfaces. On your Dashboard in Merchant Center you should see a new graph with a recent jump in active products.
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