Google doesn’t do a great job of describing how search results work. There’s actually a difference between Google Search, Google Ads, and Merchant Center.
A JSON-LD for SEO customer was asking about this recently and thought you all may find this helpful too. It’s not a precise definition but it can help as an overview of how many of Google’s systems fit together.
The organic system: Google Search, Rich Snippets / Rich Results, and reviews in the search results are one system.
The paid traffic system: Google Merchant Center, ads, and reviews in the ads are a different system.
JSON-LD for SEO will add the structured data for your store to the organic system. If you use a reviews app I’ve integrated with, it’ll also pull out your reviews for the organic system.
The role JSON-LD for SEO plays for the paid traffic system is very limited. Merchant Center uses the structured data only when they audit your landing page.
The crossover is that Merchant Center will check your landing pages to make sure the page matches the data from the data feed. Checking the structured data is part of that matching process. It’s here that Merchant Center is looking at the product price, availability, url, and product identifiers (sku, mpn, gtin).
The rest of the paid traffic system is handled by Shopify or other apps and services. This includes how you send your product data to Merchant Center, called a data feed. Product reviews for ads sent from your review provider which is another system. Many times you’ll need two different systems to get all that data into Merchant Center.
Then once that data is in Merchant Center, you can use Google Ads to publish ads that appear in the search results. These can be any number of ad formats Google creates.
Installing JSON-LD for SEO could help you get more traffic with Rich Results. Using all the data that’s already in Shopify, you can show product reviews, price, and availability in search results. See all the things JSON-LD for SEO can do for your store.
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