Google updated guidelines for product variants pages and rich results
If you have pages with product variant switches, it may reduce your chances to show rich results in Google Search.
Google updated the product rich results support page to add details around how these rich results can be used for product variants where each product variant has a distinct URL.
For example, if you have a product page that has a shirt in blue, green, red and yellow, that page may not be eligible to show rich results for product-rich results unless you have a specific landing page for each product variant.
What changed. Google simply clarified how rich results on product variants work by adding this single line: “This includes product variants where each product variant has a distinct URL.”
Before it said:
“Use markup for a specific product, not a category or list of products. For example, ‘shoes in our shop’ is not a specific product. Currently, product-rich results only support pages that focus on a single product. We recommend focusing on adding markup to product pages instead of pages that list products or a category of products.”
Now it says:
“Use markup for a specific product, not a category or list of products. For example, ‘shoes in our shop’ is not a specific product. Currently, product rich results only support pages that focus on a single product. This includes product variants where each product variant has a distinct URL. We recommend focusing on adding markup to product pages instead of pages that list products or a category of products.”
Page may be ineligible. The line links to this section in the help documents that say “A common consideration on e-commerce sites is how to structure URLs when a product is available in multiple sizes or colors. Each combination of product attributes is referred to as a product variant. Google supports a wide range of URL structures for product variants.”
If you choose to include multiple product variants on a single page (meaning, the variants share the same URL), be aware of the following limitations:
- The page may be ineligible for Product rich results in search results because the experience is only supported for pages holding a single product (and product variants may be treated as distinct products by Google Search).
- Experiences such as Google Shopping cannot take a user to a specific variant of a product on your site, leading to the user needing to select the variant they wish to purchase on your site before checkout. This can lead to a poor user experience if the shopper already selected the variant they wanted in Google Shopping.
If you choose to use a distinct URL per variant, Google recommends using either:
- A path segment, such as
- A query parameter, such as
Help Google understand with canonical tags. Google said on that document, to help Google understand which variant is best to show in Search, choose one of the product variant URLs as the canonical URL for the product. If you use optional query parameters to identify variants, use the URL with the query parameter omitted as the canonical URL. This can help Google better understand the relationship between product variants. For example, if the default value of the
color query parameter for a T-shirt is
/t-shirtas the canonical URL for all T-shirt variants
- For a blue shirt, use
- For a green shirt, use
Why we care. Again, this is not exactly new but it has been clarified on the product-rich results help document. Use the advice above to help ensure your product variant pages are eligible to show product-rich results in Google Search.
New on Search Engine Land