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Google Enhances Product Search Experience with Support for Product Variants Structured Data

February 22nd, 2024

In a bid to enrich the online shopping experience, Google has announced expanded support for Product structured data, ushering in enhanced product experiences within Google Search. This development builds upon previous updates, such as the introduction of shipping and returns structured data in 2023, to provide more detailed and relevant information to users browsing for products online.

The latest update, unveiled yesterday, introduces structured data support for Product variants, a move aimed at empowering merchants to showcase a wider array of product options. This addition is poised to offer shoppers more tailored and informative results, particularly when browsing through items with various sizes, colors, materials, or specifications.

Variants are prevalent across numerous product categories, from apparel and shoes to furniture and electronics. For instance, electronics such as laptops and smartphones come in diverse configurations, including varying memory sizes, screen dimensions, and processors.

With the implementation of the Schema.org ProductGroup type, merchants can now seamlessly integrate product variants into their online stores. By utilizing this structured data, products with different variations stand a chance to be featured in enhanced Google Search results, providing users with a more comprehensive view of available options.

Websites hosting variant products tend to be more intricate compared to those offering singular products. Consequently, the associated structured data becomes more sophisticated as well. One key aspect of this complexity is the need to group variants under a single “parent” product. To facilitate this grouping, Google has introduced three new properties:

  • hasVariant: Allows nesting of Product variants under their parent ProductGroup.
  • variesBy: Lists the variant-identifying properties, such as size, color, or material.
  • productGroupID: The unique identifier, also known as “parent sku,” of the ProductGroup.

As part of the expanded support for product variants, Google has released new comprehensive documentation and validations tailored for both single-page and multi-page variant websites.

For merchants keen on verifying and monitoring their product variants’ structured data, Google has integrated new validations into the Product snippets and Merchant listings reports within Search Console and Rich Results Test.

This step aims to ensure that merchants can easily adhere to the guidelines while optimizing their online presence for Google Search. Google encourages merchants to make use of these new additions and reach out with any questions or concerns through the Google Search Central Community or via social media channels.

By enhancing support for Product variants structured data, Google is committed to facilitating a more engaging and informative shopping journey for users, while empowering merchants with the tools to effectively showcase their diverse product offerings on a global scale. This initiative aligns with Google’s ongoing efforts to improve E-Commerce SEO, ensuring that merchants can optimize their product visibility and reach a broader audience of potential customers.

Product Variants Structured Data Example

{
  "@context": "https://schema.org/",
  "@type": "ProductGroup",
  "name": "Men's Casual T-Shirt",
  "description": "A comfortable and stylish casual t-shirt for men.",
  "productGroupID": "MCT12345",
  "variesBy": "color,size",
  "hasVariant": [
    {
      "@type": "Product",
      "name": "Men's Casual T-Shirt - Blue - Small",
      "sku": "MCT12345-BL-S",
      "description": "A classic blue t-shirt in small size.",
      "image": "https://example.com/images/mens-tshirt-blue-small.jpg",
      "brand": {
        "@type": "Brand",
        "name": "FashionCo"
      },
      "offers": {
        "@type": "Offer",
        "price": "19.99",
        "priceCurrency": "USD",
        "availability": "https://schema.org/InStock"
      }
    },
    {
      "@type": "Product",
      "name": "Men's Casual T-Shirt - Blue - Medium",
      "sku": "MCT12345-BL-M",
      "description": "A classic blue t-shirt in medium size.",
      "image": "https://example.com/images/mens-tshirt-blue-medium.jpg",
      "brand": {
        "@type": "Brand",
        "name": "FashionCo"
      },
      "offers": {
        "@type": "Offer",
        "price": "19.99",
        "priceCurrency": "USD",
        "availability": "https://schema.org/InStock"
      }
    },
    {
      "@type": "Product",
      "name": "Men's Casual T-Shirt - Red - Small",
      "sku": "MCT12345-R-S",
      "description": "A vibrant red t-shirt in small size.",
      "image": "https://example.com/images/mens-tshirt-red-small.jpg",
      "brand": {
        "@type": "Brand",
        "name": "FashionCo"
      },
      "offers": {
        "@type": "Offer",
        "price": "19.99",
        "priceCurrency": "USD",
        "availability": "https://schema.org/InStock"
      }
    },
    {
      "@type": "Product",
      "name": "Men's Casual T-Shirt - Red - Medium",
      "sku": "MCT12345-R-M",
      "description": "A vibrant red t-shirt in medium size.",
      "image": "https://example.com/images/mens-tshirt-red-medium.jpg",
      "brand": {
        "@type": "Brand",
        "name": "FashionCo"
      },
      "offers": {
        "@type": "Offer",
        "price": "19.99",
        "priceCurrency": "USD",
        "availability": "https://schema.org/InStock"
      }
    }
  ]
}

In this example, the ProductGroup schema is used to group variants of a “Men’s Casual T-Shirt” under one parent product. Each variant (Product) specifies its unique characteristics such as color and size, along with relevant information like SKU, description, image, brand, and price. This structured data helps Google understand the relationships between different versions of the same product, enabling more detailed and accurate search results.

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