Google is the world’s leading search engine. However, in the US and Europe, Amazon’s alternative can affect its eCommerce-related queries. The two companies are battling against each other in a war to secure the best engineers.

To improve its eCommerce-related queries experience, Google recently added a shoppable filter on the left-hand side of its SERP.

Shoppable Filter on the Desktop SERP

Shoppable filter – Making organic results Less Visible

As many Google SERP features were released in previous years, this feature could be argued as being “anti-organic”. We located the feature on the “shiny charizard” search query in our analysis. One of our clients experienced a significant decrease in their URL impressions and clicks because of this new SERP characteristic.

As we know, Google always tries to improve its searchers’ journey to make them stay with the search engine.

The “shiny charizard” query SERP on mobile now presents the following structure, demonstrating how the SERP aims to satisfy multiple different intents.

  1. Image Pack
  2. People Also Ask
  3. Organic search result
  4. Shopping results (from Merchant Center)
  5. Things to Know panel (on the right side of the desktop SERP)
  6. Organic search result
  7. Organic search result
  8. Shopping results (from Merchant Center)

We didn’t see any ads on this SERP, but as we know, Google pushes ads anywhere it can. For example, when filtering the results by the “On Sale” filter, you can find the ads (sponsored results).

Extended View of Shoppable Filter on the Mobile SERP

It’s also interesting to see what happens after applying one of the “Seller” options, such as eBay.

“shiny charizard” SERP after applying the “Seller” filter for eBay

When scrolling the SERP, you first see the results feed from eBay, and then results from other websites.

An intriguing thing spotted here is the difference in filter options. You can also stack multiple filters to get more accurate results for your intent.

Analysing the SERP elements

We see different examples of how this new filter functionality looks. Let’s analyse the SERP elements, how we can get them, and consider them for our technical SEO perspective improvements.

As we know from the first patents of Google by Sergey Brin, and the approach now taken by Google engineers, semantic SEO plays an important role in its SERP results.

Current optimizations require us to create a comprehensive Product Schema for PDPs (Product Detail Pages), so Google can get as much information as possible.

Here are some Product Scheme properties — you can find more information about them on the Schema website’s Product Schema page.

  • Brand: One of the types of filters Google shows its users is the product brand. For more general products, it may list the different brands of the item.
  • Offers: This filter shows the product price range and feeds the “Price” filter type.
  • ShippingDetails: Uses the “shippingdetails” property for the “offers” nested in the Product Schema, to indicate the product’s shipping details.
  • hasMerchantReturnPolicy: Uses the “hasMerchantReturnPolicy” for the “offers” property nested in the Product Schema, for showing the product’s return policies.

You also might see the colour filter type for some products, indicated by the “colour” property.

Additionally, we must consider that using only the Product Schema does not affect the SERP Rich Results (product snippet).

Product Schema also falls under the “Merchant Listing Experiment” Google tries to give its searchers. For instance, the “Product” label on the first image in the Image Pack of the first screenshot is a “Merchant Listing Experiment”.

Merchant Center prominence

Alongside all the tutorials online for optimizing Product Schema, Google’s own document gives us good initial insight.

Providing both structured data on web pages and a Merchant Center feed will maximize your eligibility to experiences and help Google correctly understand and verify your data

Whenever we see a new feature from Google that makes websites’ organic traffic less, one thing we must consider doing is feeding Google as much data as possible, to get the most out of these features.

Websites can lose their organic traffic (and impressions) because of these features, but by understanding this and actively monitoring our SERPs, we can identify areas and means to mitigate the loss for product searches where Google is choosing to heavily aggregate away from the 10 blue links.