Google changes image search to feature rich products

Posted by Rebecca Appleton on 19 Apr, 2017
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If you sell online or rely on Google Shopping to help generate ecommerce conversions, the latest change to Google image search is set to have some very interesting repercussions.

The search engine has confirmed the addition of ‘Similar items’ for mobile search and the Android Search app.

Similar items means that shoppers using a mobile device will be able to find products for sale similar to those shown in images they engage with.

Similar items at the moment only identifies products from lifestyle images and will show the user matching items. It can currently recognize handbags, sunglasses and shoes, and this will be extended to also cover apparel and homes and gardens images and products in the next few months.

In practical terms, this new tool means that a user looking at a photo of a blogger for example on Google Images will get a Similar items suggestion. This will make it easy for them to purchase the featured handbag or sunglasses being displayed in the image.

Changes to Google image search

Image source: Google

Google says the ability to access price and product availability information was one of its top Image Search requests from search users. It reports millions of impressions and clicks for products featured in the Similar Items carousel since launching.

For retailers, the roll out of Similar Items is an interesting concept and provides a new means of driving qualified traffic to product pages. It offers an additional means of monetizing images indexed in Image Search – in a manner similar to the way Promoted Pins can be used to drive sales from Pinterest image uploads.

How to get your products included in the Similar items carousel

Similar items uses machine vision technology and is powered by the Schema.org markup.

To ensure your items are eligible for inclusion, you must implement Schema.org product metadata on qualifying products (handbags, sunglasses and shoes).

  1. The product metadata should be implemented on each relevant product page and include an image reference, a price, currency, availability and product name.
  2. The product pages should be tested using the Structured Data Testing Tool to verify the product metadata is implemented correctly
  3. To see images, go to Google Image search from a mobile device or Android app and use the search query site:yourdomain.com.

The Similar items feature should become available on other devices and platforms later in the year. Read the full Google post here: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/04/similar-items-rich-products-feature-on.html

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