What are Product Boxes (Popular Products) in SEO?
Simple Definition of Product Boxes
A Product Box in Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) displays popular product listings related to the user’s search query. They are shown almost exclusively on a search for a specific product, product range or well-defined product type.
Google shows Product Boxes as a helpful guide for users searching for the product by showing offers for that product (or product group) on marketplaces such as Walmart, Amazon etc. Importantly, Product Boxes are part of Google’s organic search results and are therefore different from Google Shopping Ads. Google populates these boxes (or carousels) from its organic index (crawling the web) and not from the paid-for Google Ads results.
At the time of writing (May 2022), this SERP feature is only available in the United States.
What Do Product Boxes Look Like?
Depending on the type of search, whether generic or brand-specific, the Product Boxes typically display four or more products organised in blocks. Each block contains the product name and image, the product price Google has independently found on the website, the page where the product can be purchased from that vendor, and a review rating from the vendor website.
The box is presented in the format of a carousel with navigation arrows to scroll horizontally through up to a dozen products. If a user wants to narrow down the product selection, they can use the filter pill buttons just above the heading without having to go to another search results page.
Here is an example of a Product Box for a specific branded query: “Harry Potter books”.
On the other hand, here is an example of a Product Box when the search query is not brand specific – a generic search on “running shoes”.
You can read more about Google Product Boxes as a new feature for retailers in this article.
How Can I Get My Products Appear in the Product Boxes in Google SERP?
Google uses its own system to populate product results in the Product Box in SERPs depending on the user’s search query. To appear in Product Boxes, sellers can add Schema Markup to their product pages and / or submit their products to Google Merchant Center as a product feed. Google Merchant Center was initially an ad-based platform, but is now free, so sellers are no longer required to buy ads to use this tool. However, since Google’s algorithms are organic, whether you use the feed or Schema Markup on product pages, neither is a guarantee that products will automatically make their way to Product Boxes. Sellers or merchants can therefore apply optimisation techniques and strategies to increase the probability of their products appearing in the Product Box in Google SERP.
You can read more about Google’s Product Boxes and how to increase the visibility of your product in this article.
How Do Product Boxes Fit Into Brand SERP Optimisation?
In the case of Brand SERPs for companies that are closely associated with their own products (or the products are variants of the company name), Product Boxes can often appear even on a Google search for the company name. Here is an example from Crocs.
In this type of case, your products will organically show up on the first page of your Brand SERP. Working to control them as much as you can is vital if you want to ensure that your preferred vendors (perhaps yourself) are included. Product Boxes on Brand SERPs are a massive plus since they give your audience and potential buyers a convenient way to explore your products and gives your business more visibility, which leads to more clicks to your website.
While a Product Box is essential for the Brand SERP of the owner-brand, it can be a game changer for companies or individuals selling branded products. As you can imagine, if you can get your offers included on a major brand’s Product Boxes (Nike, Crocs, Stihl…), you are likely to see your sales sky-rocket.
Learn more about Brand SERP and how you can control it to keep your potential clients focused on an accurate and convincing depiction of you with The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business by Jason Barnard or know more about Rich Elements and how to trigger them in your Brand SERP with the Kalicube Academy.