Google Shopping: God is in the Details

SMS Text

The Google Shopping vertical and me have a distinctly love hate relationship. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it rivals my relationship with Cold Stone creamery. I love what they do to my mouth, but not to my ass. Wait. That sounds bad.

Oh look, broken ice. Seriously, if you didn’t laugh, you’ll want to turn back now. It only gets better.

Google Shopping is one of those verticals that looks as appealing as video search but acts nothing like it and doesn’t always help you make a decision. Sometimes it just makes it harder by providing tons of options and information about every little detail. It’s kind of like that awesome guy from the commercial who can do surgery with a ballpoint pen but has no idea how to buy car.

But this post isn’t about the user experience. Well that part was. But the rest won’t be.

No this post is about a pattern and correlation study that the Slingshot SEO R&D department is starting.

We’ve been noticing for a while now that there appears to be some inconsistency in the identifiable factors that cause rankings in Google Products. So I’d like to take you all with me (No, we will not be taking a MAGIC school bus) on a magic school bus ride through one example (SHOCK!) and I’d like to present to you some of the key pieces I’m paying attention to. Hopefully some of you can do that voodoo you do so well and help me see the forest from the trees.

First, I’d like to take a look at the ranking of products for the search LG G2x

Gogle shopping

Let’s go down the list of the top ten and look at what should be some of the obvious factors.

Keyword in Title and on Page

6 with, 4 without. Amazon and knock this one out of the park. Exact match on both counts. But they both start their title tags with the brand name. That’s an SEO 101 no-no if I remember my Moz Guide correctly.


Most consumers will tell you they want the bargain. Google? Not so much. I know I said to look at the top ten, but for this one take a look at all 18. The top listers range from $400 to $649.99. The bottom 8 range from $379.99 to $499.00. Granted $20 may not be much relatively, but some consumers will go out of their way for a dime difference.

Popular Opinion

Most of the time I don’t really care what my friends say (Sorry guys) but when they say the magic words, “I found a store that sells lighter cufflinks.” I usually slap my friend for their egregious awesomeness and then buy the cufflinks. So how does Google feel about my people’s opinion of the products? They likey. So much so they gave it it’s own column. It lacks the usual Roman luster, but the green is a nice touch. But they’re certainly not a definitive ranking factor. In fact, they don’t seem to have that much weight, either in large amounts or in relatively small amounts. Whether you have a dozen more or a few thousand more, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of effect.


One of the things I distinctly remember about Google Shopping ranking factors was that detailed information was important. With the exception of Amazon, this appears to be spot on. Most of the top ten in this list have an exceptional amount of information about phone. It’s hearing phone compatible in case you were interested.

I would love to get your feedback and look forward to delivering more information about the Slingshot R&D study, as it progresses over the next few months, here on Search Engine Journal.

Have fun and feel free to contact anytime with questions or comments at evan at

*This is a guest post by Evan*

Evan Fishkin
Avid gamer, marketing theory junky, Head of R&D at Slingshot SEO, Indianapolis & thought leader in the world of search marketing, marketing, game mechanics &... Read Full Bio
Evan Fishkin

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  • This article is hilarious!  I was getting a little concerned about where you were going in the first paragraph haha! 

    • S Evan Fishkin

      I was a little concerned too. I had no idea how I was going to tie an ice breaker joke and Google Shopping together. Glad it worked out.

  • Amanda

    Great post Evan! I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys find out through this study.

  • Anonymous

    I really can’t figure out how their shopping rankings are determined.

    There seems to be no pattern, no standard organization and the results are often terrible.

    Many times it will have a link to “12 stores with this product.” you click on the link and there are eight.

    Thankfully, I think it’s pretty useless for consumers too. Even my products with top rankings receive very few referrals.

    • S Evan Fishkin

      Well hopefully we can come up with some answers for you Rob.

      Thanks for the comment and have fun.

  • Thomas

    I think this article wrote so well,thanks to share.  

    • S Evan Fishkin

      Thanks Thomas! I worked pretty hard to get all my ducks in a row but there are still a couple errors in there. Thanks for the ego boost and have fun.

  • Just a thought and I suspect – Adwords users are biased to have favor in shopping results.
    I used to believe that reviews and ratings are a factor but whoa!! I see a nude reviewless product (it was I guess designer handbags) outbeating a popular brand….

    • S Evan Fishkin

      I hadn’t even considered AdWords as possibly having an impact. We’ll go ahead and add this to the study parameters.

      Thanks for the added workload Sunita :P. Have fun.

  • Very good tips. Thanks. for sharing. It helps me a lot.

  • This is really great info, thanks Evan. I have been looking for external ways to get reviews on site for Google Products – UK readers can try Trustpilot, or there are different WordPress or Magento plugins you can use.  Anyone got any recommendations?  Also- that third line was hilarious! 🙂

  • I see google shopping hasn’t changed that much in the last 6 months and so the post is still completely relevant and funny.