Google’s John Mueller answered a question about seasonal product ranking difficulties, mentioning how they suspected structured data might be the reason. John responded with actionable suggestions on how to index and rank seasonal product pages.
Seasonal Product Pages
The person asking the question was telling how their e-commerce client sells seasonal products, such as baked goods specific to various holidays.
They shared how Google’s structured data requirements resulted in a yellow warning in Google’s Structured Data Test, warning of missing recommended structured data fields.
The SEO person suggested this is preventing seasonal product pages from ranking.
Google’s John Mueller explains how to rank seasonal content
The problem was summed up as follows:
“In other words, the page can be crawled but not submitted, indexed, or ranked.”
John Mueller first confirmed that incomplete structured data would not prevent the seasonal product page from ranking.
He said that even if the HTML code was broken, it would not be an influencing factor against the indexing of the page.
“The page can definitely be indexed, even if some of the structured data markup is wrong.
The page can be indexed even if the HTML code itself is completely broken. »
How to rank seasonal products on Google
Mueller then focused on providing helpful suggestions on how to rank seasonal products on Google.
“The other part, I think, is something that’s useful to look at specifically for e-commerce sites, in that it’s very useful for us to understand what you consider important on a site. website.
This means that when we visit a website, if you show us as prominently as possible what you think is essential here, then it is easier for the user to grasp it.
From a practical point of view, this means that when we look at something like the home page of a website or whatever the most important page of the website is, like… let us know what you consider as important and link to it prominently.
So for something like a St. Patrick’s Day cake it’s something where when you look at their homepage you should be able to see that it’s actually a seasonal thing and that’s really important to you and that there are direct links from the home page to that specific product.
Mueller went on to say that when he looked at the specific site that was the subject of the question, he saw that the seasonal page was not clearly linked from the homepage or even the next level.
“That means to us, when we look at this website as a whole, even though we see this specific product being mentioned in a sitemap file, it looks like a random product that just popped up on the e-commerce site.
We don’t realize that it’s actually something that’s really important to you and that you’d like to see featured prominently in search results.
So what I would do in cases like this, where you have a particularly time-limited event, is make sure you’re really visibly linked to that from the homepage.
That you also include some of the … in the homepage so that even if we’re just re-indexing and reprocessing your homepage, we already know there’s information we can retrieve.
So if you have a St. Patrick’s Day cake for example, and you mention it on your homepage, and we’re only updating your homepage for some reason, then if someone searches Saint Patrick’s Day cake, at least we’ll know your homepage might be relevant to this query.
And ideally, if it’s linking directly from their homepage, we can also choose that product and see, well, that’s a really important product for that website.
And we can probably process it a little faster than we could with another random product that you update on a website.
So basically with internal linking you can tell us a lot of information about what interests you on a website.
And for a large page, our algorithms will try to follow that.
It’s not that they’re going to pass judgment on their own. It’s more that they look at your site and realize oh, this person says this is really important.
So we’re going to give it a bit more weight.
And what you consider important is entirely up to you. Maybe it’s something seasonal. It may be something that you sell very well. … All this depends only on you.
But please make it as clear as possible when we look at your website, especially your home page, especially the most important pages of the site, what you want to be treated in the forefront when it comes to search .
Tell Google what’s important
The main takeaway here is that it’s important to keep in mind how your site tells Google what’s important.
This means that some pages are not as important as others. Not all pages can generally have the same importance. Some pages, especially seasonal content, need to be highlighted so that Google can understand that this page is important.
How to Rank Seasonal Ecommerce Products
Watch John Mueller answer the question at minute 31:43