An Ecommerce Industry Report
By Mitul Gandhi , Chief Architect & Co-Founder of seoClarity
Google Dedicates Significant SERP Real Estate to Product Search Features
Many ecommerce brands are reporting stable rankings while seeing lower organic traffic year over year.
These same companies are experiencing substantial organic growth from their Google Products shopping feeds—thanks to a more aggressive approach by Google to win back online product searchers.
According to a consumer trends report by Jungle Scout in May 2022, 61% of online shoppers in the United States start their product search on Amazon.
Google wants to lure back consumers to the search engine and away from using marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.
The research is clear: Google is putting up a fight against marketplaces and dedicating significant SERP real estate to its product search features.
1) Substantial Growth in Rankings for Google Shopping
We can see in the rankings of the product SERP features how the visibility of the top 3 rank position ebbs and flows but is generally on an upward trend.
Rankings for Google’s Shopping SERP feature on mobile devices in the last year
What we’ve found is that the Product Feature is quite significant:
40-60% of ecommerce keywords trigger a product result. Tweet
These results occupy up to 80% of the visual real estate for many formats. Tweet
Want to optimize your product feeds for more visibility in the product features?
Learn more about capturing attention in the SERP with an seoClarity Demo .
2) Products Appear Multiple Times in a Single Mobile SERP
Interestingly, a significant amount of real estate is dedicated to Google Shopping feature not once, but repeated multiple times on mobile search results.
3) Google Leverages Maps and Images to Integrate Products
Google Images + Shopping
Image searches have notoriously low CTR (<0.5% in our last CTR study ), so Google has moved to combine Shopping feeds with Images to build a path to monetization from image searches (as shown in the image below of an image search for “air jordans”).
Google Maps + Shopping
Similarly, Maps are being pulled into ecommerce searches. Google is mapping product-related searches to brick-and-mortar locations that have indicated they have an item in stock or whose websites mention them selling that product.
When Google Maps is triggered, distribution is either position 1 or center of the SERP. Tweet
Google Maps SERP feature frequency by rank position
As you can see in the SERP below, Google has even given the ability for local merchants to list stock status directly in Google Map and Local results.
4) Google is Creating a Rich Visual Experience for Users
It’s not just Google Shopping that’s impacting the state of the SERP for ecommerce: Google is leveraging all of its might to win the ecommerce search demand battle.
It’s no secret that the ecommerce SERP has become a lot more visual - taking up value real estate. What used to be a page of “10 blue links” is now filled with listings like:
Product thumbnails in web listings
Images Reign in Position #1
The occurrence of the Image Pack is increasing, too. When the Image Pack is triggered in the search results, it ranks in Position 1 more than 40% of the time for the ecommerce terms we analyzed.
Google’s Images SERP feature frequency by rank position
The size of the Image Pack has also grown substantially from a single row carousel to a multi-row gallery.
The SERP for the search “coffee tables” returns results that show images in the listings.
SERP Listings Gain 35% More Real Estate
In a substantial show of force, Google created a more visually rich SERP by increasing the height of SERP listings by 35% in the last year.
This means that any rank position in the SERP is ~35% lower than it was before.
The SERP result on the left is from October 30, 2021. The SERP result on the right shows the 35% increase as of November 5, 2022.
5) Google is Creating a Robust Ecommerce Search Experience
More recently, the SERP added guided navigation which helps consumers refine their search to something more specific. Notice the suggestions directly underneath the search bar in the image below.
Or, this SERP feature below suggests ways in which a consumer can refine their search by a specific brand, in essence keeping the user on the Google SERP to shop for their desired product.
This approach to guided navigation is similar to what you’d expect on a major ecommerce site like Amazon or Walmart.
Why is This Significant?
As was the case within our apparel industry research , organic ecommerce listings have lost significant visibility to Google’s Product listings (and other SERP Features).
Ecommerce SEOs can still win in the SERP if they expand efforts beyond tracking, optimizing, and reporting on web pages to also include product feeds.
Winning more SERP real estate is still incrementally better than doing well on just one of the two.
With seoClarity, you can track, manage, monitor, and optimize for Google Shopping and products feeds.
For the purposes of this report, we tracked +100K ecommerce-specific keywords over the past year (October 2021 - October 2022) within seoClarity.