Getting your Shopify product variants accepted into Google Rich Snippets

Jim asked me a question the other day about getting more of his products into Google, specifically the product variants:

We sell a lot of yarn and each yarn is a product with up to 100 variants. As of now, we only get one page listed for the yarn but it would be much better to get an SEO listing for each variant so if a user searches Google for a specific yarn and color, they end up on a page for the actual yarn and color. Any ideas on how to make this happen?

That’s a great question. The answer is more of a general SEO and content question but I’ll try to help.

Google considers a url as the main "thing" it indexes.

At a url Google finds all of the content (text, images, videos, etc) which they then use to build an idea about what topic(s) the url is about.

The url can include the url parameters (e.g. the ?variant=27327657030 part) but most of the time in Shopify stores don’t change the page content enough for Google to consider different url parameters as different pages.

In most cases with Shopify stores, Google only indexes and reviews that one product url. Each of the 99 other variants are just extra content for that one page.

There are a few things you can do.

1. Split each variant into its own unique product at its own url with a unique product description, content, etc.

NOT RECOMMENDED on Shopify for too many reasons to list here.

2. Add code to your theme so the ?variant=… part of url is detected and a significant portion of the product page is changed.

Google might treat each of these variants as different products and index/rank them separately. This would simulate #1 without having to go crazy creating products in the Shopify backend.

This also might let the Google listing link directly to the correct variant in Shopify (e.g. Google listing for shocking pink -> shocking pink selected)

3. Add a bunch of content to the main product talking about every variant that you can.

In Jim’s case he can describe each color of yarn, how its different, what its good for, etc.

You’ll end up with a lot of content for your product description. You’ll still only get 1 search listing for the url but by covering all of the variants in the content, there’s a stronger chance that one url will rank better for a bunch of different keywords.

I’d recommend 3rd option because it’s something you can do right now and you can do it product-by-product. Also if you decide to switch to the 2nd option later on, you can take the content you wrote for #3 and re-purpose it.

Also in the past few years, Google has preferred sites with more content on fewer pages over sites with a lot of smaller pages (e.g. 10 pages with 3,000 words is better than 100 pages of 300 words).

There might be a few other options you have but those are the ones that feel the most feasible. Hope this helps.

Eric Davis

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