There’s no debate that Google Search is one of the best internet tools available. For those of us that like to search with images, Google Image Search is great as well and now it’s even better. Google has launched Google Image Search “Similar Items” which provides shopping links on mobile and the Android Search app. It also provides users with pictures of products that are related to their initial search, helping them expand their shopping horizons.
Similar Items Feature
The similar items feature will be placed below each of the images in the search results, meaning if you are looking up a certain hairstyle or looking up a celebrity’s outfit, Google’s Image Search can show you where you can purchase the products to achieve such looks. Right now the new tool can suggest similar searches for fashion accessories, like sunglasses, and soon will include clothing and home and garden items.
Another positive is the added feature of price and availability on each image search, including the similar items. This has been a request of Google users for years so we are sure many are happy to see this added!
How to Make Your Images Appear on Similar Items
If you sell any goods listed under similar items search criteria you should set up your products to show up under the similar items suggestions. To do this you will have to do two things, if you haven’t already.
- Schema.Org: You must add schema.org product metadata to all of the pages of all the products you want to include in the search. This means your products name, image, price, currency, and availability must be written within the metadata and must be available and eligible for inclusion.
- Markup Text: You will need to verify all markup information has been integrated correctly. To do this test your pages with a structured data testing tool or if your site is managed by a web team, ask them to check.
Once the markup has been added Google’s spiders will recrawl the information and add it to search in about a week. After a week’s time you can test your live search results by entering “site:yourdomain.com” into the Image Search on Google. If your products do not come up try giving Google’s spiders a little more time yet if in a few weeks there is nothing, recheck your metadata and ensure everything has been done correctly.
Beat Your Competition
The obvious thought with this new Google feature is that you can sell more of your products. The not so obvious, yet smart idea, is you can check out your competition. For example, if you sell high fashion sneakers you can look up a specific type on the Image Search. You can then look at the current similar items, see their price points, and then price your products at a comparable price, or lower, without spending hours and hours browsing different sites.
You can also look into major trends in the show market, like what celebs are wearing to this year’s summer parties. You can then use this information and enter it into your metadata to ensure that your products come up in the similar search option, meaning you may just sell more of your product because it is showing up on a popular search item.
There may be many more ways to use this feature beyond the obvious, it’s just up to your business and team members to figure out the many ways it can apply and help your business succeed.
Google’s similar item will be expanding to more platforms, like iOs, sometime during 2017. Until then you can direct your products to Android and mobile browser users, which may open the doors to a whole new set of customers.
If you find yourself running into issues you can ask them in the dedicated Structured data section of Google’s forum, or direct them to their team on Twitter, or on Google+.
If you do not want your images to show up in the similar items search, webmasters can opt-out of Google Image Search. However, this feature is creating a more shoppable web so, if you’re trying to sell more products this will help.
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