Anyone using SEO as a marketing channel wants to protect their rankings. Recently a customer emailed asking about any risk or impact on rankings as part of JSON-LD for SEO’s structured data.
If I install your app, will it in any way negatively impact my organic ranking in Google? Is there a potential for it to?
In short, no.
JSON-LD for SEO and adding structured data in general is more about improving how your existing search results appear, without affecting rankings.
To back up, when your rankings change on your Shopify store there are a few factors that are involved:
- Your page content and/or product descriptions have changed
- Your page description and title have changed
- Other websites have linked to your store or removed links to your store
- Your competitors have done any of the above to their sites, making them a better or worse website than yours
- Google has done an algorithm update
Of the five above, #1 and #2 are in your control. Those are built-in to Shopify itself and most themes. I have an article that talks about those (and other) parts of Shopify SEO.
#3 and #4 are out of your control but you can do some analysis to find out who and what’s changed. That’s beyond my knowledge and something I ask a friend about (he’s a traffic consultant). Think backlink analysis, keyword research, and other SEO jargon.
#5 is also uncontrollable and there’s nothing you can do about it other than adapt to the new changes. Just about every Google algorithm update has a short-term negative effect but as long as you’re doing the right things it’ll usually recover after a few months.
There’s also another wrinkle with rankings:
There’s no such thing as #1 ranked url for a search term any more.
How you’re seeing your store ranked is going to be different than how I would, which could be different than how it appears in a week from now.
Google is heavily personalizing search results now so the concept of a “#1 rank” has gotten a lot muddier over recent years.
You want to make sure your rankings stay “good” but you really can’t fixate on removing all of the risk from them and hoping (praying) you keep your spot. In fact, you probably are already ranking differently for other searchers.
So don’t worry about it too much.
When you’re ready to move beyond SEO rankings and start to attract valuable customers who want your products, you’ll want to look into Google’s Rich Snippets. The best way to get them on Shopify is with JSON-LD for SEO.
While only Google has control over the search results and Rich Snippets, the better quality data you can give Google, the better chances you have of getting traffic from them.