Fix bugs from the new Google Search Console: Either “offers”, “review” or “aggregateRating” must be specified.

In the last few weeks at the end of February 2019, Google made a number of changes to Search Console. These changes range from cross-domain analytics to new enhancements. Most of these changes do not have much impact on users. Adding product extensions, however, is a major headache for most store owners and affects almost every ecommerce website.

If you’ve recently found a lot of bugs or warnings in the Google Search Console, do not worry, it’s not just your website. The product report was added to the search console at the end of February, and there were plenty of warnings and bugs: Either “Offers,” “Review,” or “AggregateRating” should be specified. The Products report is located in the “Improvements” section of Google Search Console.

My article explains the importance and implications of the bugs and warnings and provides an update for WooCommerce users.

The new bugs in the Google Search Console

The most frustrating part of the errors and warnings is that Google’s problem and solution is not explained very clearly. The More Info button for each alert directs users to the same page, and the information provided is not very user-friendly.

Looking at the details in the search console, the following error appears:

Either “Offers,” “Review,” 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”
and more.

These errors and warnings relate to the product labeling and schema for individual products on your 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 through the product. Mostly only product names, images, prices and sometimes reviews are displayed in the search results.

Google recently recommends e-commerce sites to use all sorts of product markup as it can increase clickthrough rate.

These include the following markups: Offers, Review, or AggregateRating. If a product does not contain structured content for one of the three specified schemas, the error messages will be displayed because Google classifies them as a reason to buy.

Impact on your website

The search console extension does not mean that Google has changed the ranking algorithm. It is just a new report. Google has not changed its standards, which is necessary for product labeling or not.

The bugs will probably not hurt your ranking. However, there may be fewer accesses. If this is the case, the bugs should be resolved as soon as possible.

What kind of WooCommerce shops should be considered

If you have a website that uses WooCommerce as the shop system, you should specify the following scheme by default: Name, Description, URL, Item Number, Availability, Image, Quotes, AggregateRating, Price, Verification, and more. This means that every product on your site should be excluded from this bug. The error messages are usually not from your product pages.

If you look closely at the flawed products, you will probably find that all flaws relate to different products in your archive or the category pages. This is because WooCommerce gives each product in the categories the name “Name”. After Google has read the name tag, it is considered a new product that now lacks quotes, ratings, and / or aggregate ratings. This results in the output of the error messages in the Search Console.

Google says that archive and category pages should not include this award. According to Google, there are only two types of pages that typically use markups: a product page for a single product or a “Shopping Aggregator page” that only talks to different sellers about a single product. WooCommerce adds schema markup to the schema to a page that is not intended for a single product.

How can the errors be fixed?

If you were to receive either the “Offers”, “Review” or “AggregateRating” errors on your WooCommerce category pages, there is 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, add it to your child theme):

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We tested this code on several WooCommerce websites and fixed the error messages in the Google Search Console. The code removes the markup that WooCommerce places in the category pages and in the shop. It may take a while for the error messages in the search console to be deleted. If you’re not familiar with code-embedding, you should contact a developer to add the feature.

After inserting the functions into the code, check your source code to make sure the list of product templates is gone.

Note that this code does not correct all warnings that appear in the Search Console report, but most should be fixed. WooCommerce will fix these issues at the next update, and these missing fields will not hurt your search ranking in the meantime.

What is achieved with this fix?

There should be no disadvantages from using this code snippet. There are no problems with the functionality of the shop. Removing markers on the category pages can not affect the search ranking on the category pages. So you do not have to worry about negative SEO effects.

If you need professional help to remove the “Either”, “Review” or “AggregateRating” from your WooCommerce site, just contact us directly.

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