New Report Alert: Merchant Listings on Search Console

What’s New

All website owners can now list their products for free on Google properties by utilising the new tools in Search Console. For a while, Google has provided shoppers with rich product experiences in search results. Rich results include price, availability, review ratings, and shipping information. 

To make these experiences more accessible to website owners, eligibility for enhanced product experiences has been expanded to include websites that implement structured data.

So what does Merchant listing mean?

This was previously only something that was available to Merchant Center users. Now, through the use of product structured data, website owners can access enhanced experiences that include the Shopping Knowledge panel and Popular Products, as well as shopping experiences in Google Images and Google Lens. 

After the implementation of structured data, this is how a merchant listing experience can appear in search results

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What does that mean in Search Console?

Search Console is now home to two new reports, which replace the product structure data report, Merchant Listings and Product Snippets. These reports allow you to see errors, warnings, and valid pages for markup implemented on your site. Helpfully, Search Console is offering more straightforward reporting so that site owners can focus more easily on important issues.

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The report we’re interested in here, the Merchant listings report, includes 3 key features

  • Identifies structure data issues for free listing experiences in search results
  • Relevant to pages that sell products
  • Covers a wide range of schema.org structured data properties and types. This includes advanced cases, such as energy efficiency ratings and apparel sizing.

The Merchant listings report shows you the valid items which are eligible for Google Search’s rich results, like so:

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Examples are also provided, listing the URL and item name. There is also an opportunity to view items which can be optimised further or presented with more features. These items are still considered valid. Issues can include missing fields like brand, material, pattern, and colour. 

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There is also a section for invalid items and these issues might sometimes be classified as ‘critical’ due to an error in the structured data. Ultimately, these items can’t be used to generate rich results on Google so issues that appear under this report section should be remedied sooner rather than later. 

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Something to think about

So in summary, this new report levels the playing field a bit and allows website owners better access to enhanced product results, without needing to be part of Merchant Centre. These free product listings might appear in a variety of places; through Google Search, Images, the Shopping tab, and YouTube. 

Being able to tap into this resource can provide invaluable reach for e-commerce items. And, with the recent introduction of Search On by Google which boasts a more intuitive search, this gives even greater motivation for site owners to maximise on the Merchant listing report. 

If you need help growing your business and would like help with your SEO, we have the knowledge and resources to get you there. 

Keisha - SEO Account Manager

Keisha is a driven SEO Account Manager with a person-centred approach and a degree in Business Psychology from the University of Worcester. Keisha has extensive client service experience and excellent organisational skills.

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