Before we can address how to increase rankings in Google Product Search, we need to examine exactly what criteria Google Product Search uses to determine product rank. Unfortunately, Google keeps most of this information secret — so much of our information is gleaned from observational experience over the years.
Google published facts
- Include as much info about each product as you can. There are many product attributes that can be specified in the data feed, use as many as possible. In particular, the following attributes are all optional but highly recommended:
- image link (to a working, high quality, non-generic image of the product)
- MPN (manufacturer part number)
- UPC (universal product code). If your products have UPC codes, you should almost consider this required.
- product_type (preferably, use the Google Product Search taxonomy
- Configure your account accurately and thoroughly in Google Merchant Center. Specify tax/shipping options in either the data feed or the Merchant Center directly.
- Upload data feeds frequently and/or anytime that product information actually changes (no more than once a day however).
As a VersaFeed subscriber, we manage the following:
- Be price competitive.
- Use simple shipping rules. Either offer free shipping, flat rate shipping, tiered flat rate shipping, or some combination thereof. While it's simple for retailers to just charge whatever UPS or FedEx charges, it makes it near impossible for Google Product Search to accurately show a "total checkout price" to consumers.
- Use effective product titles
- Have a fast website: users will click the back button if they must wait more than a few seconds while your page loads. Fast page loads can also increase your overall SEO.
- Use Google Checkout and make it a highly visible option when customers are actually checking out. This is the simplest method to get a "Seller Rating" (more info). It also places the Google Checkout icon next to all your items on Google Product Search, which boosts visibility.
- Data feeds that have been in existence for a long time rank better than new data feeds.
- New websites rank lower than older, established websites. In fact, we suspect that Google PageRank is probably taken into account.
- The product titles, descriptions, and prices listed in your data feed should match or be extremely similar to the copy on your actual product web pages.
Retailers, for their part, should:
- Automated inventory extraction from your website
- Maximizing product attributes in the data feed
- Frequent data feed uploads with up-to-date product info
- Ensuring your merchant center account is configured properly
- Suggestions on how to improve product titles
- Monitoring your Google Merchant Center account for issues
- Strive to be price competitive
- Use Google Checkout
- Work on increasing PageRank through general SEO practices
- Use effective product titles
In the vast majority of cases, following all of these rules will insure at least moderate success on Google Product Search. However, in some cases, there is just no rhyme or reason to how Google ranks a particular product. Conspiracy theories abound, but we won't bother detailing them. Suffice to say that, unless Google fully discloses their ranking algorithm, there will always be some completely unexplainable ranking phenomenon on Google Product Search.
Request a free demo to hear how VersaFeed's optimized product data feeds will help increase your product rankings in Google Product Search.