Google announced free listings in Google Shopping results in April 2020. The US was the first to benefit from the new approach with the update rolling out globally across the remainder of 2020, businesses and marketers are now left thinking… How do I increase my products’ visibility in the Shopping tab? For its first eight years, advertisers paid Google to show their products as sponsored listings, now that retailers don’t have to advertise to benefit from the Google Shopping tab, there are optimisations that you can make to your product pages and feed to ensure that your businesses capitalises on the visibility and revenue that organic shopping listings can provide.

What do free listings look like?


An updated ‘Ads’ label is being used for sponsored product listings, these will be displayed across the top of the Shopping tab. Larger tiles for free organic shopping listings are being used below where results will be exclusively organic. 

On desktop, free listings don’t differ too much from sponsored ones. Google is using several different ways of displaying free listings depending on the product category. Fashion listings are being described as using the biggest tile, increasing SERP market share for retailers in this area.

Eligibility for free Google Shopping listings

To become eligible to list your products for free on the Google Shopping tab,  you must follow Google’s policies and have structured data markup implemented across the product pages of your website. 

Handy tip! You can use Google’s Rich Result Test to check if you have structured data and identify areas of improvement or broken schema. 

You will also need to opt into free listings through Google Merchant Centre to show your products in the Shopping tab. The organic listings use product page content (provided that it’s marked up using schema!) or an approved feed that you may already have set up if you’re running paid Shopping ads on Google Ads.


How to optimise organic Google Shopping listings

If you have an SEO strategy in place for your website, then the optimisations that you will need to complete across product pages will be similar to your current SEO efforts if your current SEO strategy already addresses optimising product pages though the H1, product title, descriptions and image attributes. Ensuring that the product schema mark-up is correctly implemented, will not only help with text results in SERP, but also Google Shopping Listings. 

Here are the specific aspects of your product pages that should be optimised for free listings on Google Shopping:

1. Product title

Identify target keywords for each of your products through keyword research and incorporate your chosen keyword in your product title. Do this naturally and do not keyword stuff, Google aims to serve users with the best experience possible, so bear that in mind. 

2. Product description

  Continue to incorporate your target keyword in your product description, this should ideally be around 300 words but keep it a concise, good reflection of your product that is engaging to read.  

3. Product details/specifications

  Product details may seem obvious, but it is so important to include information on material, fit, colour and anything else you feel is a USP or key detail about your product. Including details can lend themselves nicely to longer tail or more specific searches and increase the number of impressions you receive on your products.  

4. Product identifier (GTIN, MPN etc.)

  Google always aims to give shoppers the best and most relevant information, unsurprisingly, they even have their own ways of categorising product information. How a product identifies itself online and off-line is an important part of this so make sure you provide a unique identifier (Google prefers GTIN!) for each of your products.  Google released an announcement on February 26th outlining why identifiers are important for providing better product information for users.  

5. Product image

  Product images are a necessity, especially for more visual products or items of clothing. Remember to include a variety of flat lays, model or lifestyle shots of your product on the product page, ensuring that the images are high quality and are appropriately sized so not to slow down the page speed of your product page.   

6. Product category

  In the back end of your website, pick the most relevant product category or type, for example: ‘men’s outerwear’ or ‘women’s t-shirts’. This will help Google serve your products to the correct audiences in SERP and increase the number of impressions your product gets.   

7. In or out of stock?

  The availability of your product is a big factor in whether or not Google will serve your products to users. Product availability should be indicated in the schema markup of your product page and within your product feed.    

8. Product schema

  Use the ProductSchema and continue to use Google’s Rich Results Test to ensure there are no errors with this. You can reflect sales or offers on your products using schema and incorporate review ratings. Warnings may be shown if you have not satisfied some ‘optional’ fields within the structured data, pay no mind to these if you cannot/do not wish to provide this information.   

Do you need help maximising your visibility in Google Shopping tab? 

We can help you optimise your product pages and product feed and answer any questions you may have on productschema.

Get in touch and speak to a member of our team today.