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Product Variants Structed Data Workaround Conflicts with Organic Search Rich Snippet Policy

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

There's a policy conflict between the AdWords and the [Organic] Search teams' policies regarding structured data markup (e.g. rich snippets) and I'm wondering if anyone has any input on how to proceed.

 

As we're all aware, the AdW team has a landing page policy that dictates they prefer that when product variants are sharing a landing page, you send each variant's URL with parameters that pre-select the variant for the user. This is not required.

 

Now, when a product variant has a price difference from other variants in the item_group_id, and you don't send a landing page URL with pre-selected variant, you will receive an error "Temporary item disapprovals due to incorrect prices."

 

The workaround to this error is to setup structured data via microdata, JSON, or RDFa within the landing page to show the the variant information. 

 

According to AdW team, the structured data markup on the landing page with variants should be setup in a way that shows multiple "http://schema.org/Product" calls (microdata) or @type Product (JSON-LD) calls. One for each variant.

 

Now here's the problem - everything so far is fine until you notice that the Search team's policy dictates that you must only the use markup for a single, specific product. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/products

 

The Search team's crawler may interpret the multiple Product calls on this page as being a category page. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/intro-structured-data#multiple-entities-on-the-same...

 

I'm conflicted as to how to proceed on this. I'm essentially forced to make a decision whether to advertise on AdW (disapproval goes away) or have rich snippets properly show on Organic results (structured data might be indexed and displayed on SERP).

 

Does anyone have any insights to share?

 

Thank you!

 

*Edit: I would like to clarify that sending pre-selected variants via URL parameters is NOT the only way that variants can work within landing page policy. The workaround with microdata is absolutely OK. This post is regarding discussion of the issues that this workaround causes with the Search team's policy for this structured data to be allowed in rich snippets.

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Product Variants Structed Data Workaround Conflicts with Organic Search Rich Snippet Policy

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

those are three completely different product-groupings on a page:
(a) aggregate: e.g. marketplaces with identical items from different merchants;
(b) category: e.g. the same merchant with related items;
(c) variants: e.g. the same merchant with the same product in different colors;

the microdata references from google-search relate to
(a) aggregates and (b) categories -- not (c) variants.

one way to be in compliance with all three, and especially variants,
is to have the server-side-script change both the displayed variant
and the item's microdata -- so that a single (variant) item is shown
on a landing-page with the microdata for that exact, single, physical,
(variant) item-offer.

Re: Product Variants Structed Data Workaround Conflicts with Organic Search Rich Snippet Policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for sharing.

Can you clarify the proposed solution?

Do you mean dynamically updating the microdata based on the variant chosen?

Re: Product Variants Structed Data Workaround Conflicts with Organic Search Rich Snippet Policy

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome.

yes.

 

dynamically update the microdata --

and the displayed data -- based on

the variant selected (or submitted).

 

 

Re: Product Variants Structed Data Workaround Conflicts with Organic Search Rich Snippet Policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Do you think the crawlers are sophisticated enough to run through the drop-down options and then re-check the source code for changes to the microdata?

Sounds pretty far-fetched, but if they support this, that'd be great.

Re: Product Variants Structed Data Workaround Conflicts with Organic Search Rich Snippet Policy

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star
It does not work like that.

What you should do is for each product variant submit a unique URL to Google Merchant.

For example orignal

http://www.example.com/mypage.php

Submit a variant example

http://www.example.com/mypage.php?variant=2

With the second link you can define the option to the second one (preselect) which than based on this query change all the data as required. Different microdata, different visual price etc...

I suggest asking your developer for info on how to accomplish this.

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Re: Product Variants Structed Data Workaround Conflicts with Organic Search Rich Snippet Policy

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

no. not at all.

rather, when the server-side code is implemented,
to properly respond to a user's variant selection --
simply call the same similar server-side code,
by submitting link url parameters to google.

Re: Product Variants Structed Data Workaround Conflicts with Organic Search Rich Snippet Policy

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

@Celebird @Emmanuel F

 

I'm aware of the pre-selected variants and the URL parameters.

 

My original post specifically mentions that this is not a possibility, and there is a policy mis-match between the two teams.

 

So far we've gone nowhere.

 

Can we prune these posts so we don't waste readers' time?

Re: Product Variants Structed Data Workaround Conflicts with Organic Search Rich Snippet Policy

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor
google may be contacted directly here --
https://support.google.com/merchants/contactflow

Re: Product Variants Structed Data Workaround Conflicts with Organic Search Rich Snippet Policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
My question is a great one for community input. What works / what doesn't / what could work / etc. Regurgitating policies may often work, but not this time.

Back on topic - I'm going to proceed with the workaround and not worry about organic rich snippets. It's a shame that the two policies are conflicting, but organic will have to take a back seat on this one.