Big change to Google's structured product data page
5 mins read

Big change to Google's structured product data page

Google has revamped its structured data product documentation by splitting one comprehensive page into three pages that are more focused on their topics. This provides an example of how to rewrite a page that is too large and turn it into multiple, thematically relevant web pages.

Structured data from Google products

Product structured data is critical for e-commerce and product review websites as it helps them qualify for rich result listings on Google's search engine results pages (SERPs). When deployed correctly, structured product data can make a significant contribution to a website's traffic and revenue.

Google's restructuring of official documentation provides a lot of insight to the e-commerce community, but also simplifies the increasingly extensive website with structured product data.

What has changed?

The most notable change to the documentation is that the entire document has been split into three pages. The original document “Product Structured Data” has been renamed “Introduction to Structured Product Data”. The word count increased from 4,808 words to just 667 words, with about 50% of the new document containing the same content. Aside from trivial changes, the revised page has a brand new section called “Deciding Which Markup To Use,” which serves as a starting point for the two new pages.

Merchants, product review site publishers, and SEOs can now read three structured product data documents:

  1. Introduction to structured product data
  2. Structured product snippet data
  3. Trader lists structured data

In addition to the above changes, there is a new blue-tinted caption field that draws attention to the Product Variant Structured Data page and replaces similar text that was hidden in the document and easily missed.

Screenshot of the callout box


Document comprehensively rewritten

There are cases where the headings of the new documentation have been rewritten to make it clear what each section is about.

The new Introduction to Structured Data page now includes a brand new section. The old section was called “Result Types” and the revised section is called “Deciding Which Markup to Use,” a more descriptive heading.

This is the new content:

“Deciding which markup to use
There are two main classes of structured product data. Follow the requirements for the type that best suits your use case:

Product snippets: For product pages where users cannot directly purchase the product. This markup provides more options for specifying rating information, such as: B. Advantages and disadvantages on an editorial product review site.

Merchant Listings: For pages where customers can purchase products from you. This markup provides more options for specifying detailed product information, such as clothing sizes, shipping details, and return policy information.

Note that there is some overlap between these two features. In general, adding the required product information properties for merchant listings means that your product pages will also be eligible for product snippets. Both functions have their own improvements. So be sure to check both when deciding which markup makes sense in the context of your site (the more properties you can add, the more improvements your site can consider).”

First new page: product excerpts

In addition to the revamped introduction to structured product data, there is now a new standalone page focused on adding structured product data to provide rich results on ratings, reviews, price and product availability.

The title element for the new page is “How to Add Product Snippet Structured Data.” Excluding some structured data examples, the new product snippet page is about 2,500 words.

Much of the content on this new site is not new. The similarities between a section of the old 6,000 word mega-page and this new standalone page suggest that they forked that section from the old documentation and turned it into its own page.

Second new page: Structured data of the dealer entry

The second new page is dedicated to structured product data, which is specific to merchant listings and is critical to displaying products in the shopping-related rich results that Google calls “Merchant Listing Experiences.”

Other than a single illustration, the dedicated merchant listing data page contains no information at all about what merchant listing experiences are and how they appear in search results. The second paragraph of the new page encourages the reader to visit the Introduction to Structured Product Data webpage to learn more about what Merchant Listing Experiences rich results look like.

It could be argued that the merchant structured data page provides context for the merchant listing experience information. But someone at Google decided that this one page had to be 100% focused on a single topic (structured data).

The new website is around 1,700 words (more or less).

Editorial decisions based on user needs

Instead of having one huge and comprehensive page on one topic, the decision was made to break the page down into individual subtopics. The result is three pages that are now more focused and are likely to not only be better for users, but also rank better.

Read the documentation

Check out the original version of the documentation:

Internet Archive: Structured product data (product, rating, offer).

Read the new documentation:

Introduction to structured product data

Structured data about the product snippet (product, rating, offer).

Structured data of the retailer entry (product, offer).

Featured image from Shutterstock/achinthamb