JSON-LD for SEO now handles zero-priced variants differently.
If you don’t have zero-priced variants, you’ll notice no change and can stop reading here.
Here’s what’s happening:
- Variants with a price will have structured data like always.
- Variants with a zero-price, will now be skipped and excluded from the structured data.
- If a product ONLY has zero-priced variants, the product structured data will be skipped entirely.
If you want to opt-in to the old behavior, the app still has the option to include zero-priced variants in the structured data. This will allow Google to show them as Free in the search results.
If you’re not sure or would like me to enable structured data for zero-priced variants, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Now let’s dig into why I made this change.
Call for pricing and other zero-priced situations in Shopify
Shopify stores who want customers to call for pricing or who aren’t allowed to list the prices struggle to hide pricing for zero-priced products from Google. There are also some esoteric cases where zero-priced variants are used for internal use.
Shopify has a really simple tutorial on how to hide product prices from customers using HTML & CSS.
Unfortunately, this only hides the price from customers visually. The prices are still on the page and search engines like Google can still see the structured data, putting the store in a difficult situation.
In the past, the only answer has been to hide or password protect the entire product page from Google. This then prevents the product page from showing on search engine results.
Hiding pages will lose SEO
That’s not helpful when you have content on the page that could benefit searchers and generate organic traffic. It’s also not helpful for stores with many variants on a page and only one of them is zero-priced (e.g. free samples).
Stores should still be able to reap the benefits of SEO to drive traffic to their site even if they can’t list prices publicly.
Better to hide the specific zero-prices
To help this situation, JSON-LD for SEO now hides zero-priced product variants by default.
This means your product pages can still appear in search results. They just won’t qualify for Rich Results for that particular variant/product.
Keep in mind that we do not override theme or other app generated structured data. I found that many other structured data apps and themes will still list your products as free so if you don’t want that, you’ll want to remove their code. You can follow my guide on how to remove the theme structured data.
You can still win other non-product Rich Results
Removing the variant structured data doesn’t change other types of Rich Results you could qualify for.
For example, you could still qualify for other search enhancements such as FAQ, Video and Article data to name a few.
If you’re struggling with zero-priced products showing up in Google, now is the perfect time to get JSON-LD for SEO.
Already trusted by thousands of stores, JSON-LD for SEO is the easiest and safest option for structured data in the Shopify app store.
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