Research on the search results of 150,000 apparel related keywords reveals that Google shows SERP features 95% of the time, reflecting opportunities available for online merchants who are keen to sell more through Google.
The results suggest that search ranking today has evolved beyond the traditional organic-focused SEO needs to evolve to keep up with today’s reality.
seoClarity listed the different SERP features encountered, ordered by popularity in the SERPs:
- “Products Carousel 120,772
- People Also Ask 57,925
- FAQs 17,119
- Local 8,563
- Images 2,451
- Free Product Listings 877″
150,000 Apparel-related Keywords
The research, which was done by AI-driven SEO and content optimization platform seoClarity, focused on apparel related search queries.
While it was already understood that the organic search results with the ten blue links is essentially a thing of the past, they were still surprised to see the extent to which the organic search results essentially disappeared beneath different search features.
They discovered that 95% of the keywords resulted in a SERP feature in the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Of those SERP features, 85% were Popular Products search feature.
The Popular Products feature was shown in the top three of the search results 48% of the time.
According to seoClarity the dominance of Popular Products in the SERPs was most apparent in the mobile search results.
“…in mobile, 75% of the queries’ SERPs included 4 or more occurrences within the Popular Products packs in the same SERP.”
About Popular Products
The Google Popular Products search feature was introduced in 2020 in order to show popular products for clothing.
Being listed in these kinds of search results is free.
Because Popular Products was initially rolled out for apparel-related searches it’s not surprising that research of apparel-related search queries results in a high percentage of Popular Products search features, because this is what Google had announced would happen.
I reached out to seoClarity and asked if these kinds of results are also comparable in other verticals and they confirmed that they are seeing similar SERP features across other keyword categories as well.
Google search has always undergone change.
Yet the idea of ten blue links as representative of what search results should look like continues. This is evident in the exclamations of outrage when search results are anything but ten blue links.
Images are shown in search results for recipes.
Search results for the cast of a TV show or a movie are displayed with images of the actors.
When searching for products on Amazon or any other online store the search results are ordered with images.
So it makes sense for Google to also employ the paradigm of images in search results for shopping related search queries, particularly for those related to apparel.
According to Google’s 2020 announcement of the new Popular Products feature:
“When you’re shopping online for something to wear, like a down jacket for winter or dress shoes to match a new outfit, it can be useful to see style options across lots of different stores.
But with the number of options online, it isn’t always easy to know what’s out there, find inspiration, compare your choices and decide what and where to buy.
Search has always let you find links to different products and stores, but starting today and rolling out this week in English in the U.S., you’ll begin to see clothes, shoes and accessories from across the web in one place on Search on your mobile device, so you can easily browse lots of different stores and brands at once.”
The goal of SERP features is to provide search results in an engaging way that helps users according to the intent of their search.
seoClarity’s research drives the message home that search has evolved and because of that SEO must evolve with it.
SEO Must Evolve
In order for SEO to remain effective it’s necessary to think of all the search features that are available for a given search query and make sure that the site is optimized to rank for those kinds of SERPs.
“If you aren’t optimizing for Google Shopping, your organic search traffic and visibility is stifled.”
This new way of displaying search results quite possibly affects apparel related search queries at a higher rate than they do for search queries in other verticals.
Those situations may be indicative of a search feature such as the Popular Products search feature dominating the top of the search results.
Of greatest importance is that all businesses that sell products should consider reviewing participating in Google’s free listings program.
Google’s Merchant Center has published documentation on how to get products listed in these top of page search results, where it advises:
“Free listings allow customers to see product results from your store across Google, such as on the Shopping tab, YouTube, Google Search (.com), Google Images, and Google Lens.
Just as we don’t charge websites to be part of the Google Search index in order to organize and display relevant information, participating retailers are also eligible to have their product information organized and displayed for free across Google.”
The takeaway from this research is that for some verticals, SEO is no longer just about ranking in the old fashioned top ten search results with ten blue links.
Search results for shopping related queries are now more image-rich in order to help shoppers to find the products they are searching for.
The most important takeaway from the seoClarity research is that SEO is needed now more than ever to help businesses more effectively surface their pages and products.
Read the original research:
Google Dominates Apparel Search Results
An analysis of ~150,000 apparel-related keyword
Featured image by Shutterstock/Billion Photos