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Thanks to universal search, more product search terms on Google, especially when they include words such as 'buy' or 'cheap' are now returning shopping results, often above the organic results. 

In this example for a search for 'buy Sony Vaio' on Google UK shown below, shopping results take the top spot, ahead of those from Sony. With such a prominent position in the SERPS at stake, getting your products listed there is clearly a good idea, so how does Google determine which products appear there?

Google shopping results

Tom Critchlow of Distilled provides some excellent tips in a guest post on SEOmoz today, here are some of his suggestions:

The way into Google's product search results is through Google Base, and Tom has been looking at some of the ranking factors:

Title

Having keywords in your title tag is an important ranking factor.

Data-stuffing

In the product submission form you have the option of entering information about your product in around ten fields, and you can also enter customised fields. Most are optional (including colour, weight and size) but, according to Tom, adding more data helps you rank higher, as well as for a variety of product searches, which certainly makes sense.

Google Base

Keeping product data up to date

A ranking factor recommended by Google; updating product information with latest prices, availability etc is crucial.

Getting reviews

Having some positive reviews for your site is one of the strongest ranking factors, and Tom lists some of the sites that Google takes its reviews from in the US and UK.

Unsurprisingly, and as Andrew Girdwood predicted in a post on this blog a year ago, Google is using the carrot of product search rankings as a way to push Google Checkout. According to Tom:

In my experience and research Google Checkout reviews seem to count for more than reviews left on 3rd party sites. This does seem to make sense since these reviews are presumably more trusted by Google (since it controls the spam filtering and authentication) than 3rd party reviews. That said, it does mean you have to have Google Checkout enabled to profit from them!

For more detail and tips, see Tom's post, as well as Google's own advice on improving your products' ranking; for instance, it advises adding images to product feeds to increase the likelihood of shoppers clicking on your items.

Graham Charlton

Published 20 April, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (9)

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James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hello,

Interesting comment about Google Checkout; Google recently announced it was upping its merchant charges and stopping the PPC benefit - this suggests it doesn't intend to pursue its head-to-head with PayPal because it is making the proposation less favourable.

Google products is a worthwhile service to tap into as part of your web marketing; e-inbusiness offers a windows service that automates data feeds to shopping services like Google Products - happy to explain more if anyone is interested.

thanks

james

over 7 years ago

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Richard Hartigan

Particpation in Google Base is becoming increasingly important for online retailers as increasingly results take precedence over natural listings.

Google has also experimented with the Product PlusBox, an expansion of Adwords results to feature products from listed in Base for a given advertiser.

Expert knowledge of Google Base is fairly thin on the ground at the moment but this promises to change as our trusted SEO's take more interest in the Google OneBox results. There have already been some effects from participation in Google News and previously from prior incarnations of Google Coop. 

This is sure to become an increasinly crowded space as advertisers recognise  the benefits of appearing in these results. Therefore optimisation is key.

over 7 years ago

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SEO Services Florida Techgrowth

Good Post, I have also added image to my product rss feed and achieved better results.

about 7 years ago

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MMA Shirts

Good post.  These kind of things are still very coplex to the small business owner.  I'd like to find a 1-stop shop feed service that also helped me rank high.  Any suggestions?

almost 7 years ago

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Promart Supplements

Factors from most to least important (in my opinion):

Title (short or long?), Description (short or long?), Image (keyphrase in image name?), Reviews, Price

I'm not sure on the following possible factors:

EAN, MPN, Static keyword rich URL, PR, Trust Rank, No. of products, Age of Feed, How often feed is updated, CTR, conversion rate of product, custom attributes, auto or manual upload, tax/shipping info, company info

Can anyone add to this list? Or give feedback on their experiences please?

Thanks,

Martin

over 6 years ago

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onetop

Google proudcts have become very competitive. Few people click on the link to see the detailed listing. If you are not on top three, your chance of being discovered is slim

over 6 years ago

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Conley

Awesome! New post! You've undoubtly been working on your writing skills. Good show :) Thank you so much for the originality of well - you!

about 4 years ago

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Whitman

Link exchange is nothing else but it is only placing the
other person's webpage link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do similar for you.

almost 4 years ago

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Hyman

Ahaa, its nice dialogue regarding this article at this place at this weblog, I have read all
that, so at this time me also commenting at this
place.

almost 4 years ago

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