Recently Google has implemented a numerical ranking system into Google Shopping results if the words ‘top’ or ‘best’ are used in customer search queries.
While there has been no official word from Google on how the new product rankings are decided just yet, there are a few factors we can see which are are potentially at play here. Similar to how search ads are ranked by quality score, made up from landing page experience, expected click through rate and ad relevance, perhaps this could be the start of shopping ads being ranked by user reviews, user ratings and price.
In the above image we can see that the product which is first in the ranking is potentially there through being the second cheapest price out of the five products listed, having the second highest amount of reviews and a solid five star rating.
The cheapest product in this listing is the lowest ranked product, where it has likely been affected by having the least user reviews. You may now wonder about products 2 and 3 and why a product with a lower user rating is ahead of the cheaper higher rated product.
This gives some indication of what Google is deeming to be most important in the rankings, as user reviews appear to be weighted more favourably in this scenario.
So we can see that there are three potential factors affecting this ranking, and if you’re doing well on all three like the ‘Denby Halo Large Mug’ appears to be doing you might attain this new number one spot; but what about the search terms?
So far ‘best’ and ‘top’ are the words which trigger the new rankings, but interestingly enough the capitalised versions of these keywords do not do the same!
Our team have been experimenting with variations of these words, aiming at triggering this and we have found that terms such as “bestest sports shoes” and “beste sports shoes” successfully show the new rankings; whereas if the word is split into two e.g. “best est” the rankings will not show. Indicating they only show when the term ‘best’ is used within a single word.
While we can speculate from our research about the factors that affect the new rankings, there has been nothing concrete from Google yet, although we could assume that some details will be revealed in the coming weeks.
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