Image Search recently launched “Similar items” on mobile web and the Android Search app. The “Similar items” feature is designed to help users find products they love in photos that inspire them on Google Image Search. Using machine vision technology, the Similar items feature identifies products in lifestyle images and displays matching products to the user. Similar items supports handbags, sunglasses, and shoes and will cover other apparel and home & garden categories in the next few months.
The Similar items feature enables users to browse and shop inspirational fashion photography and find product info about items they’re interested in. Try it out by opening results from queries like [designer handbags].
Finding price and availability information was one of the top Image Search feature requests from our users. The Similar items carousel gets millions of impressions and clicks daily from all over the world.
To make your products eligible for Similar items, make sure to add and maintain schema.org product metadata on your pages. The schema.org/Product markup helps Google find product offerings on the web and give users an at-a-glance summary of product info.
To ensure that your products are eligible to appear in Similar items:
Right now, Similar items is available on mobile browsers and the Android Google Search App globally, and we plan to expand to more platforms in 2017.
If you have questions, find us in the dedicated Structured data section of our forum, on Twitter, or on Google+. To prevent your images from showing in Similar items, webmasters can opt-out of Google Image Search.
We’re excited to help users find your products on the web by showcasing buyable items. Thanks for partnering with us to make the web more shoppable!
Note: This post is specific to Google's organic web-search. For Google's other services, please check with the appropriate help center (e.g., for Google Shopping) or help forum.
Even in today's "always-on" world, sometimes businesses want to take a break. There are times when even their online presence needs to be paused. This blog post covers some of the available options so that a site's search presence isn't affected.
If a site only needs to block users from buying things, the simplest approach is to disable that specific functionality. In most cases, shopping cart pages can either be blocked from crawling through the robots.txt file, or blocked from indexing with a robots meta tag. Since search engines either won't see or index that content, you can communicate this to users in an appropriate way. For example, you may disable the link to the cart, add a relevant message, or display an informational page instead of the cart.
If you need to block the whole site from users, be it with a "temporarily unavailable" message, informational page, or popup, the server should return a 503 HTTP result code ("Service Unavailable"). The 503 result code makes sure that Google doesn't index the temporary content that's shown to users. Without the 503 result code, the interstitial would be indexed as your website's content.
Googlebot will retry pages that return 503 for up to about a week, before treating it as a permanent error that can result in those pages being dropped from the search results. You can also include a "Retry after" header to indicate how long the site will be unavailable. Blocking a site for longer than a week can have negative effects on the site's search results regardless of the method that you use.
Turning the server off completely is another option. You might also do this if you're physically moving your server to a different data center. For this, have a temporary server available to serve a 503 HTTP result code for all URLs (with an appropriate informational page for users), and switch your DNS to point to that server during that time.
We hope these options cover the common situations where you'd need to disable your website temporarily. If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our webmaster help forums!
PS If your business is active locally, make sure to reflect these closures in the opening hours for your local listings too!
With so many users on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly web is important to us all. The Mobile-Friendly Test is a great way to check individual pages manually. We're happy to announce that this test is now available via API as well.
The Mobile-Friendly Test API lets you test URLs using automated tools. For example, you could use it to monitor important pages in your website in order to prevent accidental regressions in templates that you use. The API method runs all tests, and returns the same information - including a list of the blocked URLs - as the manual test. The documentation includes simple samples to help get you started quickly.
We hope this API makes it easier to check your pages for mobile-friendliness and to get any such issues resolved faster. We'd love to hear how you use the API -- leave us a comment here, and feel free to link to any code or implementation that you've set up! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to drop by our webmaster help forum.
As a website owner, you might have come across some auto-generated content in comments sections or forum threads. When such content is created on your pages, not only does it disrupt those visiting your site, but it also shows some content that you may not want to be associated with your site to Google and other search engines.
In this blog post, we will give you tips to help you deal with this type of spam in your site and forum.
Some spammers abuse sites owned by others by posting deceiving content and links, in an attempt to get more traffic to their sites. Here are a few examples:
Comments and forum threads can be a really good source of information and an efficient way of engaging a site's users in discussions. This valuable content should not be buried by auto-generated keywords and links placed there by spammers.
There are many ways of securing your site’s forums and comment threads and making them unattractive to spammers:
For detailed information about these topics, check out our Help Center document on User Generated Spam and comment spam. You can also visit our Webmaster Central Help Forum if you need any help.
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