In the last few weeks at the end of February 2019, Google made a number of changes to Search Console. Most of these changes have little impact on users. Here are some of the implications of Google Search Console for users who use online stores. Adding product extensions, however, is a major headache for most store owners and affects almost every Ecommerce website.
Many users recently received a large number of error messages or warnings from Google in Google Search Console. The product report was added to Search Console at the end of February, and there were plenty of warnings and errors with the following message:
Either “offers”, “review”, or “aggregateRating” should be specified
The Products report is in the “Improvements” section of the Google Search Console.
I explain the meaning and implications of the errors and warnings and explain how WooCommerce users can fix the problem.
# 1 The new bugs in the Google Search Console
For most WooCommerce shop owners, it’s frustrating to get tons of errors and warnings. Google also explains the problem and the solution is not sufficiently understandable. The “Learn more” button for each alert directs users to the same page, and the information they find is not very user-friendly.
Looking at the details in Search Console, the following error appears:
Either “Offers”, “Check” or “AggregateRating” should be specified.
This error is likely to affect a large number of your products in the shop.
You’ll see a lot of alerts in Google Search Console, including:
missing field “Brand”
missing field “SKU”
missing field “Offers”
These errors and warnings are related to the product labeling and schema for individual products on your store site. If certain schemes are not specified, extensive results in the search can not be displayed next to your products.
Rich results (formerly called “rich snippets”) are additional information that can be viewed about products. In most cases, only the product name, images, prices and sometimes reviews are displayed in the search results.
Google recently recommended E-Commerce sites to use all available product markups as this may increase clickthrough rates.
The following markups should be mentioned in particular: “Offers”, “Review” or “AggregateRating”. As soon as a product in your store does not display structured content for one of the three specified schemas, the error messages will be displayed.
# 2 Impact on your website
Google’s extensions in the Search Console do not change the ranking algorithm. It is just a new report.
Therefore the mistakes will not hurt your ranking in the short term. What you have to expect in any case, that is a smaller number of accesses to your items in the shop. If you notice that, the bugs should be fixed as soon as possible. In the longer term, however, a lower clickthrough rate will also change the rankings in search engine results.
# 3 What WooCommerce Shops should consider:
If you have a website that uses WooCommerce as a shop system, you should specify the following scheme by default:
If you keep that in mind, every product on your site should be excluded from this bug. The error messages are usually not from your product pages.
Take a closer look at the flawed products and you’ll find that all bugs relate to different products in your archive or on the category pages. WooCommerce gives each product in the categories the name “Name”. Once Google has read the name tag, it’s considered a new product that is now missing quotes, ratings, and / or aggregate ratings. This procedure results in the output of error messages in the Search Console.
Google says that all archive pages and category pages should not include this award. According to Google, there are only two types of pages that normally use markup:
A product page for a single product or
a “Shopping Aggregator page”.
However, WooCommerce also adds schema markup to the schema to pages that are not dedicated to a single product.However, WooCommerce also adds schema markup to the schema to pages that are not dedicated to a single product.
How can the errors be fixed?
If you’re getting a “Offers,” “Review,” or “AggregateRating” error on your WooCommerce category pages, there’s a very simple solution:
Remove the markup of the product schema from the shop and product category pages.
To do this, add the following code to the functions.php file of your theme (or better, the child theme). In any case, make a backup / backup of your file or site beforehand so that you can restore the previous state if something goes wrong: