• author: Google Search Central

6 Tips for Using Google Merchant Center to Improve Your Presence in Search Results

As an e-commerce business, you want your products to show up in Google search results. One way to do this is by using Google Merchant Center. Google Merchant Center is a tool that lets you share data about your e-commerce business with Google. In this article, we'll go through six tips on how to get the most out of Merchant Center for your presence in search results.

1. Use Structured Feeds

The most common use for Merchant Center is to upload product data via structured feeds. Feeds are designed to be read by computers, so data is extracted more reliably than Googlebot crawling your site and extracting data from web page markup. It's recommended to embed structured data in web pages, as well as provide a feed to Merchant Center. Google may cross-check feed data against your website. If you have physical stores, you can also share inventory location data with Google. This can then be used by Google when answering queries for products near me.

2. Check Product Pricing Accuracy

Google may incorrectly extract pricing data from your product pages, which can result in showing your original price instead of your discounted price in search results. To check if Google is extracting price data accurately, quickly test a sample of results. You can search for a product page and check the price displayed if rich results are displayed with a site: URL query. To provide accurate product information, such as list price, discounts, and net price, it's recommended to add structured data to your web pages and provide Merchant Center with structured feeds of your product data.

3. Minimize Inconsistencies in Pricing and Availability Data

Merchant Center feeds can be updated consistently, up to once an hour. This can reduce the lag time between the product data changing on your website and Google being aware of it. However, these delays can result in Merchant Center and search indexes lagging behind site changes, such as when a product goes out of stock. Merchant Center also allows you to download all pricing data in bulk. To reduce lag, you can request Merchant Center to process your feeds more frequently and enable automated item updates in Merchant Center.

4. Ensure Rich Results Treatment

Rich results are displayed at Google's discretion, but rely on Google having rich product data. To check if your product pages are receiving rich results presentation treatment, you can use a site: URL query to search for a specific web page. If not found, the page may not be indexed. To get the special rich products presentation format, it's recommended to provide both structured data in your product pages and a product feed to Merchant Center.

5. Ensure Locality Data Processing

If you have physical stores, ensure that your products are being found when users add phrases such as near me to the queries. Register your physical store locations in your Google business profile, and then provide a local inventory feed to Merchant Center. You might also like to check out Pointy from Google, which connects to your in-store point of sale system and automatically informs Google of inventory data from your physical store.

6. Opt into Surfaces Across Google

To be eligible for the Shopping tab, provide product data feeds via Merchant Center and opt into Surfaces Across Google. Structured data and product pages alone are not sufficient to be included in the Shopping tab search results. The easiest way to see if your products are present is to go to the Shopping tab and search for them.

In conclusion, by following these six tips, you'll be able to use Google Merchant Center effectively to improve your presence in search results. Remember, it's crucial to provide accurate product data for both structured data in your product pages and in a product feed to Merchant Center. By doing so, you'll be able to ensure that your products show up in Google search results and the Shopping tab.

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