Google is always trying new things and testing different layouts to see what they can do to increase the clickthrough rates on the content they show. These changes don’t just affect ads. Some changes are designed to make Google Search more useful for consumers. Recently, SEO researchers have noticed changes to what is displayed when someone searches for a product on Google.
When someone searches for certain things on a Google, there are times when information appears in the righthand sidebar. Google has introduced a special sidebar card for product searches. When someone searches for certain products, they will get a product card with buttons for “Details,” “Reviews,” and “Scores.”
The default screen of the card shows some of the prices for the product from retailers who paid for search ads. When someone clicks on one of these buttons, an overlay appears on top of the search results and displays the selected information for the product.
For “Details,” the overlay shows basic information about the product. This information will include a short description, a review score, the release date, and relevant features. There will also be some metrics that can be used to compare the item to similar products.
The aggregate review score is shown on the “Details” overlay, but the user can get more details if they click on the “Reviews” button. This overlay showcases a breakdown of the number of reviews and which scores they were given. This way, a searcher can tell the difference from a product where the score is from mostly great reviews with a few poor ones and an item where most of the reviews stated the product was average. There is also a search function for reviews, which means that it’s possible to get answers to questions you have about a product that may have been discussed in a review.
While the card in the side rail shows “Sponsored” results, clicking on the “Stores” button will bring up an overlay with a list of locations that have the item listed in their products. This list will include local vendors who have the thing in stock. For local retailers, the listing will have a location pin that can be clicked to bring up a Google Map to the location. The lists also mention any current special offers or other relevant details.
Like the “Reviews” section, there are filtering options for “Stores” that can help searchers find exactly what they are looking for. There are filters for used/refurbished models of the product, a filter for showing the top-rated retailers, and a filter for stores that offer free shipping. Businesses that aren’t already listing their products on Google can get started by going to the Google Merchant Center.
The new product buttons on desktop searches are another case where Google is modifying its desktop search to match mobile search. When mobile searches are looking for a specific product, they get a similar product card. Though the layout on desktop is different from the one mobile, the overall effect is to provide desktop searchers with the same level of convenience that mobile searchers receive.
This update can make product listings on Google more valuable than ever. Business owners need to make sure their listings are up to date. Retailers should also use the product search to make sure their prices are competitive to what other retailers are charging.
For more recent news about Google, read this article on a recent change involving Google and YouTube text ads.