Shopify + rich snippets (Structured Data)

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Tourist
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Last year, early in December we added the code to our Shopify web-store template to make use of structured data and essentially "rich snippets". Originally we wanted only the rating to be seen in search results (http://schema.org/AggregateRating) but after some research we decided to add product offer (http://schema.org/Offer) data as well.

So the code was added and Google Structured Data Testing Tool could see our micro-data. I was aware that it would take some time to become visible in Google search results. I was checking its status via Webmaster Tools but it took about a month to show something under Search Appearance > Structured Data (before that it was only the message "We do not detect any structured data on your site").

However Google still doesn't show any rich snippets if you search for products from our web-store. A few days ago Webmaster Tools reported that there were three errors with our structured data:

It's quite strange, because the data our template code provides is sufficient and Google testing tools don't show any errors on those pages.
Anybody know what this "Missing: Name" is all about? What are the chances that this is actually preventing Google from showing rich snippets for our products at all?

PS. I Googled around for this error and got nothing... Any help/tips would be appreciated!

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Tourist
52 0 2

Hi Hutchia.  Well, I'll try to address your questions one by one.  First, the structured data numbers that are you are seeing in your Webmaster Tools account are off.  Many others have likewise reported the same problem recently--their structured data numbers decreasing significantly and even going from thousands to zero.  It seems to just be a bug in their reporting system.  Many of the same people saw their numbers eventually return to normal after a little while.  So as long as the markups are in your page's HTML, I wouldn't be too concerned with what Webmaster Tools is reporting.  Again, the numbers will probably correct soon.

The "missing name" error message that you are seeing could be caused by a couple of different things.  I'd have to see the actual pages that are generating these errors and check out the markup in order to see what the issue is.  But Google does have some very specific guidelines when it comes to structured data and displaying rich snippets, so missing information or incorrect markup structure could definitely prevent them from displaying your rich snippets.  Google also recently reduced the number of rich snippets that they are displaying in search results.  But if you can provide me with a URL or two of pages that are generating these error messages, I can check them out for you.

David D. www.touchpointdigitalmarketing.com
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Tourist
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Hey David, thanks for your input!

I noticed that GWT (Google Webmaster Tools) is reporting different numbers. We added all site aliases to our GWT account: main domain with and without WWW prefix, plus we also bought alternative domain (which simply redirects to the main one). So there are 4 "sites" in the dashboard and all of them show different stats. On the alternative domain GWT still can't seem to pick up our structured data. But I guess it's just a matter of time until Google collects it all...

So, here are two URLs of the pages reported for containing "Missing: Name" error:

http://www.hutchla.com/products/greatness-ii-t-shirt-white
http://www.hutchla.com/products/juice-crew-hoodie-black

PS. Store name is actually Hutch LA, not Hutchia ;)

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Tourist
52 0 2

Oops, sorry, Hutch LA.  I like the site and your logo, by the way.  Well, I checked out those two pages and to be honest, it's kind of unusual how the markups are structured.  Your page is using both RDFa and schema.org microdata for your products, and it's not a good idea to use both for the same item.  In fact, you shouldn't, because it might cause issues when search engines parse the information.

The other unusual thing I see is that the "main" schema on your page is Offer, not Product.  For your particular situation, your pages really should be using the Product schema as your primary markup and nesting the description, image, Offer, Aggregate Rating, and other markups within the Product schema.  By using both RDFa and schema microdata, and by the markups not really being structured properly, you're not really benefiting fully from the markups.  It's also why you're getting those error messages in your Webmaster Tools account.  So I would definitely recommend changing the structure and just using schema.org microdata for your markups, as it's the format that Google recommends.

I hope that helps.  Let me know if you have any other questions.

David D. www.touchpointdigitalmarketing.com
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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
5826 0 251

Hi David,

That's so helpful! Thank you so much!

I find it hard to understand why rich snippets end up not being used in search results, despite this tool reporting that everything is fine. Maybe I am doing it wrong too.

Could you have a look at this code of mine: https://github.com/Shopify/skeleton-theme/blob/master/templates/product.liquid and give me your earnest critique, if you have the time, whenever you have the time?

Caroline from http://11heavens.com ∴ mllegeorgesand AT gmail DOT com
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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
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That code of mine is used in this fake shop. I am sorry I threw Liquid code at you, I should have provided a live example.

Caroline from http://11heavens.com ∴ mllegeorgesand AT gmail DOT com
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Tourist
52 0 2

Hi Caroline.  Well, your product markup looks OK, but interestingly, your site is also generating both RDFa and schema.org microdata markups.  So I would recommend tweaking your template and removing those RDFa markups.  As a suggestion to help "amp up" your markups, I'd recommend that you also add breadcrumb markups to your page and aggregate rating and review markups* once you start generating product reviews on your site.  And to help make your product markups even more specific, you could also use the "sameAs" property, such as like this:

       <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">;                                                                                                                                                    <link itemprop="sameAs" href="http://www.grenson.co.uk/en_us/shop/fred-7776"; />                                                                                                     <span itemprop="name">.....

That's just a random example of one of their shoe products, but by using the "sameAs" property in your product markup, you can really get specific and let search engines know exactly what product you're selling.

(*Just a word about review and rating markups:  Google does not want website owners to mark up ratings and reviews that were obtained on third-party sites.  They only want you to mark up those that were obtained directly by you from customers.  I mention this because I know that a lot of ecommerce sites use third-party services to generate reviews, then post and mark them up on their own site, which creates duplicate content.  Another issue is when the reviews are posted to a site using scripts, which prevents Google from seeing the actual review content.  Google wants you to only mark up content they both they and your users can see.)

I hope this helps.

David D. www.touchpointdigitalmarketing.com
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Tourist
52 0 2

Hmm, not sure why my markup example got formatted that way and an extra character got added, but it should look like this:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product"> ;
  <link itemprop="sameAs" href="http://www.grenson.co.uk/en_us/shop/fred-7776"; />
  <span itemprop="name">.....

David D. www.touchpointdigitalmarketing.com
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Tourist
52 0 2

Ok, I give up.  lol  Ignore the two added ; marks in the code.

David D. www.touchpointdigitalmarketing.com
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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
5826 0 251

Hi David,

your site is also generating both RDFa and schema.org microdata markups.

I am not aware of RDF markup being present. Can you elaborate on that?

Google does not want website owners to mark up ratings and reviews that were obtained on third-party sites.

We have a free app for reviews that add reviews on the product page and a review submission form using JavaScript. We could store the rating of the product in a metafield — if I am not mistaken we may actually be doing that already — and so we could add the rating in the HTML, not with JavaScript, even if that means using an invisible element like a meta tag. Would that work? Can we show an overall rating to Google using a meta tag, and Google will use it?

Hmm, not sure why my markup example got formatted that way and an extra character got added

I am so sorry about this, it's a very annoying bug when adding code here that contains URLs.

Caroline from http://11heavens.com ∴ mllegeorgesand AT gmail DOT com
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