Rich Snippets for Ecommerce: Schema.org and GoodRelations

You may have noticed some search results seem to get a bit of extra search engine love – star ratings, prices, stock information, and even breadcrumbs.

Ever wonder what’s their secret?

These sites have taken advantage of semantic markup read by search engines that exposes additional information about page content. A set of conventional vocabulary, or “schema” has been developed and evangelized by Schema.org, and GoodRelations has added a vocabulary for ecommerce sites.

Google calls enhanced search listings “rich snippets,” which benefit websites by standing out more, which may drive more traffic. Though using semantic markup will not give you a ranking boost directly, if click through improves, rankings may also improve, as search engines want to reward sites that attract clicks.

Let’s take a closer look at the tools:

Schema.org

Schema.org is a joint initiative between Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, who have teamed up to support the vocabulary. The vocab is quite deep – a full list can be found here.

GoodRelations

GoodRelations is a set of vocabulary for product, price and company data that fills the gaps for ecommerce not covered by Schema.org. For example: product types, shipping options, payment methods, eligible countries, etc. E-tailers like Sears, Overstock and Best Buy are already taking advantage of it.

Productontology.org

Productontology extends Schema.org and GoodRelations’ standards for ecommerce markup by supporting over 300,000 product type identifiers. So long as the product tag has a corresponding Wikipedia page, it can be used. It can also be used with the Facebook Open Graph Protocol, and can translate to 100 languages.

After adding semantic markup to your HTML, be sure to preview it with Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool, and submit your site to Google for review. It could take a month for your rich snippets to appear, and Google reserves the right to display your markup in search results at all. If you find after several weeks your rich snippets are still not appearing, submit a request for Google to review.

Right now, semantic markup is highly under-utilized, so it’s a great opportunity to explore its use to have a competitive advantage over other pages in search.

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15 Responses to “Rich Snippets for Ecommerce: Schema.org and GoodRelations”

  1. Hi,
    thanks for this informative piece!
    A few additional resources for interested readers:

    1. A video explaining the long-term impact of adding structured data to your Web presence:

    http://vimeo.com/29600112

    2. Lots of examples of using GoodRelations are on the GoodRelations Wiki, see

    http://wiki.goodrelations-vocabulary.org/Main_Page

    3. The GoodRelations specification has ca. 300 examples in RDFa and Microdata, see

    http://www.heppnetz.de/ontologies/goodrelations/v1.html

    4. If you want to add GoodRelations or schema.org to your Magento, Prestashop, xtCommerce, Oxid, or Joomla/Virtuemart shop, here are free extension modules:

    http://wiki.goodrelations-vocabulary.org/Shop_extensions

    Best wishes

    Martin Hepp

    PS: Disclaimer: I am the lead developer of the GoodRelations standard.

  2. I was wondering how to get the review stars on the search engine listing. I will work on this one. Thanks

  3. Never heard of GoodRelations or Productontology before… cool stuff!

    I absolutely agree that semantic markup is underutilized right now and anyone who implements it will have a competitive advantage until everyone else catches up.

    Great post!!!

  4. Thanks Linda,

    It is really helpful, I tried it to implement on my eCommerce website, and Now it works. :)

    Thanks for sharing such information.

  5. You’re right about the underutilization — people should really implement this as it makes you stand out from the herd.

    One thing thought, I agree that adding rich snippets could result in increased click through rate on the SERPs, but Matt Cutts from Google has said they are not using CTR as a ranking factor.

    Some sites are however seeing higher-than-normal CTR in relation to their rank because of things like rich snippets.

    • You are absolutely correct. Google does not use it as a ranking factor, as mentioned in the article :)

      • To me this just sounds a little misleading “… if click through improves, rankings may also improve, as search engines want to reward sites that attract clicks.”

        But good article, I’m actually taking action right now get rich snippets integrated into a Magento site :)

        • Hi Jordan, do you disagree that search engines factor click through rate by keyword into their algorithm?

          • Well, like Jordan said, in your article, it says that “if click through improves, rankings may also improve”, but then you state in the comments that “Google does not use it as a ranking factor, as mentioned in the article. ”

            You’re saying two contradictory things; taking the stance in the article that CTR could be helpful to rankings (and not traffic) and then stating in the comments that CTR is NOT a ranking factor.

            I think that’s what Jordan’s second reply was referring to.

          • Could someone link to the reference where Matt Cutt says click through is not a ranking factor for given keywords? (It is certainly for Adwords…it would only make sense to also be in organic). Google says using rich snippets is not counted as a ranking factor, as mentioned in the article. That’s what I understood Jordan’s comment to be but on closer inspection, yes, he was pointing out click through as a ranking factor. I will correct the article if that’s the case but I’d like a reference link. Thanks :)

          • I did find this article, Matt Cutts hints that Click Through Rate Optimization is worth our time
            http://www.sitestreamseo.com/blog/google-ranking-factors-2011-top-4-signals-to-watch

  6. I have added the rich snippets now to all my product pages now. 2 questions

    1. does anyone have the exact URL for Goggle page to submit my marked up product pages now?
    2. can you add rich snippets to category pages also, since i have number of reviews listed on thise pages also?
    example. http://www.biblebible.com/cd_bible.asp

    let me know……….thanks.

    • Hi there,

      I believe she’s referring to your Google Webmaster Tools account, where you can submit your site to Google for re-indexation. The idea is that once you update your Schema.org data, you should resubmit your site for a new indexation promptly in order for that data to get picked up as quickly as possible.

  7. Linda,

    This is a good article. I’m a little confused (because I haven’t clicked through the links to read through all the info there yet, but are the extensions in GoodRelations and Product Ontology officially recognized as valid Schema.org markups by the search engines, or is this another competing microdata format that may/may not be properly indexed and displayed?
    I only ask because everyone only has so much time in the day, and I want to make sure I spend mine working on adding the supported type as much as possible and cut out the rest ;-)

    Thanks for the great article!

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