Rich results (often referred to as Rich Snippets) present a big opportunity to improve CTR. When it comes to rich results in E-commerce SEO, there are probably a few different types that spring to mind if you’re familiar with that space.
Typical rich results types for E-commerce sites (detailed in Google’s documentation) stem from Product Structured Data, including details such as product pricing, availability, and review ratings.
Many SEO professionals are however unaware that there are an additional five rich snippet types for E-commerce pages, which don’t necessarily require the use of Product Structured Data or any Structured Data for that matter.
Within my guide, I’ll be detailing each of the five rich result types that I’ve discovered, the primary inputs used for generation, along with other important details that are good to keep in mind with each.
Table of contents
Anatomy of a Standard E-commerce Rich Result
When it comes to E-commerce rich results, there are several components to a web page snippet that are important to be aware of.
In particular, a familiar rich snippet in the E-comm space for many SEO professionals will be seeing a star rating, the number of reviews that the rating was calculated from, the price (or a range), along with whether it’s currently in stock.
Here’s an example of what this tends to look like for websites that use Product Structured Data and are using all of the valid fields mentioned:
The above example shows four different components that can make up an E-cmm rich result. My guide will go a step further by naming an additional five sections, along with how each is triggered.
The additional set of rich results includes: Price Drop, Approx. Price Range, Delivery Price, Return Policy, and Pros & Cons. Each function in its own unique way. Here’s my explanation of each.
With the previous set of rich results that can appear for E-comm sites, this data has historically been provided to Google via Structured Data.
The new set of rich results, which I’ll be covering in detail within the sections to come, primarily use product feeds submitted through Merchant Center, and in one specific case, the HTML extracted from the page.
With that said, as with many areas of how SEO is progressing, there aren’t always clear-cut answers. For instance, just because most results seem to use product feeds, that doesn’t mean Structured Data can’t also be of influence.
It’s also important to note that the majority of the new rich results that I’m about to discuss are currently only active in US search results. So if you want to preview them and you’re outside of the US, you’ll need to use a VPN.
Now that we’ve got some of the fundamental differences between the previous set of E-comm rich results and the new types, let’s get into each of the five little-known rich result types that I’ve discovered.
New Rich Result Types
1. Price Drop Rich Results
Primary method: Structured Data
Google’s Price Drop Rich Result has been active in search results in the US for the longest out of the five types I’ll be covering. I’ve written about Price Drop in more detail in the past, which I would recommend reading up on.
Price Drop is identifiable through the word “typically” being included in the snippet within brackets. This is to show what the price of the product has been historically (another word for the “normal” price).
Once your page is eligible to show with Price Drop, it’s now with Google to decide whether the page has the Price Drop Search Appearance through monitoring the price of the product over time.
Note: it is my experience that Price Drop shows quite rarely for product pages. It’s not something you can force your page to have, Google will show it for the page when the time is right when there has been a noteworthy drop in pricing. Andrea Volpini of WordLift also mentioned to me that Google supports SalePrice, which could also be a factor at play.
2. Approx. Price Range Rich Results
Primary method: HTML
Google’s approximate price ranges are one that can easily be confused as price ranges that are enabled through Structured Data. But on inspection of the page shown below, you’ll find no relevant markup.
The key to identifying when a page is yielding an Approx. Price Range Rich Result is through the word “approx.” being included at the beginning. The word “approx.” isn’t included anywhere in the HTML of the page, Google is adding it.
In my experience, most of the pages that have the Approx. Price Range treatment are for “top product” type lists for specific years. These pages often include products presented in a table, alongside the price of each product.
This rich result type is again one that site owners have little control over. Specifically developed for non-product pages (that use Structured Data for price ranges), this rich result isn’t currently detailed in Google’s documentation and will only appear if Google deems the treatment to be relevant.
3. Delivery Price Rich Results
Primary method: Merchant Center product feeds
Google’s Delivery Price Rich Result is a new entry into my list of rich result types. They’re also a rich result type that I have already started to cause issues with site owners since launch.
If you’re noticing the word “delivery” with a figure assigned to it within the snippet, and that data isn’t located within the Product Structured Data, then you’re likely dealing with the new Delivery Price Rich Result.
The data that populates the delivery component of the snippet is based on Merchant Center product feeds in most cases. And interestingly, this data has a lot of flexibility to change based on searcher location.
For instance, the pricing can be less if located within close proximity, or more if located further away. And even showing in a different currency (as shown above) if Google can see that the searcher is based in a different country.
If you’re having issues with this specific rich result, like I have more recently with a client of mine, or similar to what Mike King of iPullRank has experienced, then you’ll need to look to the data being fed to Merchant Center. But again, this is a completely brand-new launch by Google, so issues are expected.
4. Returns Policy Rich Results
Primary method: Merchant Center product feeds
Google’s Returns Policy Rich Results are one that is currently in a heavy testing phase, but has the capacity to show quite broadly for various E-comm pages.
It’s my experience that Returns Policy Rich Results show primarily for category pages on sites. And in many cases, it can be the only rich result that appears alongside a result in Google’s SERPs.
The data source for Return Policies is again within product feeds that are submitted in Merchant Center. The above page only uses Breadcrumb Schema (which isn’t related to this situation) and the HTML doesn’t specify the returns policy.
This rich result type is one that can only be controlled via the information that is submitted within your product feeds. If your page is showing incorrect returns policy information, this is a more deep-rooted issue that will need to be addressed at the source by tweaking your feed settings.
5. Pros & Cons Rich Results
Primary method: Structured Data & Algorithmically
When it comes to Pros & Cons Rich Results, this rich result type has historically been one that solely functioned algorithmically by Google. Pros and cons detailed on a page would be picked up in the HTML, then placed within the snippet.
It was only recently that Google announced that pros and cons data could now be controlled by using Structured Data. This now meant that sites could directly control how this data was presented in SERPs, rather than leaving it to Google to figure out the most relevant parts.
Because Pros & Cons Rich Results (with Structured Data being the input) are still quite new, there are very few examples of the treatment being live in Google’s search results. The best example I could locate is shown above.
The above page has the highlighted information being presented in Google’s SERPs by using specific markup, not through the HTML, which would be the algorithmic method that many sites are currently using.
Pros & Cons Rich Results are a rich result that SEO professionals can have a good amount of control over when developing review content for products. I believe there are still many in the industry that aren’t aware of the ability to have direct control over this rich result.
It is my experience that there are still many SEO professionals that aren’t aware that Google can generate rich results for E-commerce pages through various methods, outside of standard approaches.
My guide has covered the top five rich result types that have gone under the radar for many in recent times, which I will be looking to expand upon as new types become available (e.g. Seller Rating could be a new addition soon).
Here are the primary takeaways from my post:
- Standard E-comm rich results include aspects such as: review rating, review count, price, and availability.
- New E-comm rich results include: Price Drop, Approx. Price Range, Delivery Price, Returns Policy, and Pros & Cons.
- Fundamental differences among the standard types and the new variations covered in my post are focused around data source, seeing the expansion of more reliance on product feeds and HTML.
- All of the rich results covered in my post are currently active in at least some capacity within US search results. E-comm features in Google’s SERPs take longer to expand globally, but I would expect some of the rich results mentioned to be available more broadly soon.
- While I’ve detailed the primary data source for each rich result type, things aren’t generally so clear cut within the SEO space, especially with E-commerce. Various factors can be at play to power the data that’s presented in Google’s SERPs.