Best practices for showing your products on surfaces across Google

Surfaces across Google is a Merchant Center program that allows your products to be seen by customers, at no cost to you, in unpaid product listings in places like Google Images and Google Search (availability of listing types for each Google surface varies by country. Learn more).

Google launched a new, visually rich way for customers in the US to explore apparel and accessory products surfaced on mobile on Google Search through this program and from product data crawled from across the web. The goal is to help more merchants connect with shoppers looking for these items.

Merchants that meet Google’s policy guidelines and sell products in these categories are eligible to surface their products in these visually rich results on Google Search and other surfaces across Google. We’ll continue to work to expand these types of rich experiences across different product categories.

Follow these best practices to optimize how your products appear across different parts of Google.

Best practices for showing apparel and accessories

For best results, we recommend uploading your products in a Merchant Center product feed as a first step. Merchant Center is a free tool that allows retailers to upload their product data directly to Google. Learn more about creating a product feed.

If you have existing feeds already uploaded to the Merchant Center, your feeds are likely already opted into surfaces across Google. You can confirm by checking the destination setting of the feed in the Merchant Center.

  1. Sign into your Merchant Center account.
  2. Select Products in the main left navigation menu.
  3. Select Feeds to see settings for your different feeds.
  4. In the “Destination” column, you should see “Surfaces Across Google.”

In addition to the minimum set of attributes required to submit products to surfaces across Google in the Merchant Center, merchants that want their apparel and accessories products to surface in free results should also consider the following best practices.

Use Merchant Center product data attributes to specify common differences in different product options

  • item_group_id: Use this attribute to group product variants together in your data. Follow the best practices for the item_group_id attribute to ensure your variants are submitted correctly.
  • color: Submit the primary color of your product. If your product has variants that vary by color, use the item_group_id attribute to submit each of your variants by color.
  • size: Use these attributes to specify the standardized size of your product. If your product has variants that vary by size, use the item_group_id attribute to submit each of your variants by size.
  • pattern: Use this to describe the pattern or graphic print on your product. If your product has variants that vary by pattern, use the item_group_id attribute to submit each of your variants by pattern.

Submit high-quality images

  • image_link: Submit URLs to high-resolution product images to improve your chances of capturing shopper attention. We recommend removing any UTM sizing parameters and submitting images that are at least 650x850 pixels.
  • additional_image_link: Provide up to 10 additional images per product to help shoppers see different views of your product.

Define demographic attributes

  • gender: Use this attribute to specify which gender your product is designed for, or submit “unisex” if no gender is specified. We use gender in combination with your size and age_group attributes to standardize sizing and departments that are shown to users (a t-shirt with “male” and “kids” indicated for the gender and age_group could show for “boys t-shirt”).
  • age_group: Use this attribute to indicate which demographic your product is designed for. This attribute is used in combination with gender to help ensure users see the correct size information (“womens” for “adult,” “female” and “girls” for “kids,” “female”).

Submit optional attributes

  • size_type,size_system: Use these attributes to help further specify the standardized size of your product.
  • material: Indicate the primary materials used in the main part of your product, as shoppers often search for products by material (“leather jackets”).
  • condition: Use this attribute to help shoppers understand whether your product is used or new.
  • multipack: Use this attribute to indicate if your product is multiple, identical items grouped as one product (“10 pairs white cotton socks”).

Best practices for all product categories

Comply with Google policies

  • Make sure to adhere to Google’s policies for submitting content to surfaces across Google. This will ensure your products are eligible for the program.
  • Make sure your site meets these requirements:
    • Accurate contact information. Your website must display sufficient and accurate contact information, including a telephone number and/or email.
    • Secure checkout process. Payment and transaction processing, as well as collection of any sensitive and financial personal information from the user, must be conducted over a secure processing server (SSL-protected, with a valid SSL certificate).
    • Return policy. Your site must provide a clear and conspicuous return policy to users.
    • Billing terms and conditions. Your site must provide clear and conspicuous billing terms and conditions.
    • Complete checkout process. Ensure users are able to successfully add items to the cart and fully complete the checkout process.

Help Google understand the products that you sell

Submit product feeds in Merchant Center

  • Since web crawlers may not crawl your pages as quickly as your product data changes, upload your product data to Google Merchant Center to keep your data fresh and up-to-date for all results across Google.
  • Submit your entire product inventory in your product data feed to maximize your potential for exposure in these product results.
  • Make sure to opt your products into surfaces across Google, which will specifically enable your products to be shown in free result types.
  • Submit product images with the highest quality and resolution in the image_link and additional_image_link attributes.
  • Product data in the Merchant Center can also be used to participate in advertising or other paid programs, but participation in any paid programs does not affect how your products perform in unpaid results. You don’t have to advertise your products in order to participate in unpaid results.

What to do if you don’t have product feeds in Merchant Center

Follow these best practices to optimize your products for surfaces across Google without creating any product feeds in the Merchant Center.

  • Product pages with structured product markup are more likely to surface in free result types across Google surfaces.
  • Clearly define the exact price for every variant of each product you sell. If you can’t do this effectively with structured data markup on your product pages, consider creating a product feed in the Merchant Center instead.

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