Google’s John Mueller discusses product price as a ranking factor and explains whether it can impact the positions of ecommerce stores in search results.
This topic came up during the Google SEO office-hours hangout recorded on October 8.
It’s a poignant topic considering the rising cost of goods these days.
Many companies are finding themselves in the position of having to raise prices due to increased operational costs, scarcity of parts and materials, and other reasons that are out of their control.
Let’s say two businesses are selling the same product online, but one of them has to drastically increase the price because of extenuating circumstances.
Suddenly the product they were selling $100 is selling for $500. However, the other business is still selling it for $100.
Assuming all else is equal in terms of SEO, could the price gap have an impact on rankings?
It’s easy to think Google may want to direct searchers toward the lower price.
According to Mueller, that assumption would be wrong.
Here’s what he has to say.
Google’s John Mueller on Price As a Ranking Factor
It’s no secret that Google can recognize the prices of products on sales pages.
There’s structured data created for that purpose, and you’ll often see prices listed directly in search results.
Although Google can understand how much a product costs, it does not use that information to rank the product page.
“Purely from a web search point of view, no, it’s not the case that we would try to recognize the price on a page and use that as a ranking factor.
So it’s not the case that we would say we’ll take the cheaper one and rank that higher. I don’t think that would really make sense.”
He adds that product pages also show up in shopping results, which are ranked different from Google’s regular set of search results.
As it relates to shopping search results, Mueller says he doesn’t know how they’re ordered.
It’s possible that price is a factor for shopping searches, but he has no idea.
Users can definitely sort shopping search results by price, though. So that’s always something to consider when it comes to the cost of items.
“However, a lot of these products also end up in the product search results, which could be because you submit a feed, or maybe because we recognize the product information on these pages, and the product search results I don’t know how they’re ordered.
It might be that they take the price into account, or things like availability, all of the other factors that kind of come in as attributes in product search.”
The key takeaway is price is not a factor for web search.
Mueller doesn’t rule out the possibility of it being a factor for shopping search, but he can’t confirm anything.
“So, from a web search point of view, we don’t take price into account. From a product search point of view it’s possible.
The tricky part, I think, as an SEO, is these different aspects of search are often combined in one search results page. Where you’ll see normal web results, and maybe you’ll see some product review results on the side, or maybe you’ll see some mix of that.”
Hear his full response in the video below:
Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, October 2021.