How to manage the warnings about microdata?
How are the rich snippets of your site used for Google Shopping?
Structured data markup (also called microdata or rich snippets) is an HTML tag annotation that lets search engine crawlers and bots know that there is product data on your site and helps the systems reliably understand and process the data.
In the case of Google Shopping using, structured data markup can be used by Google in two types of cases:
- to check in an automated way, and therefore much faster, the consistency of your data between the feed exported in your Merchant Center account and the data present on your website.
- to automatically update, several times a day, the price and availability of your products on Google Shopping, if the option is enabled in your Merchant Center account.
Indeed, if the price and availability of your products change very frequently (throughout a day for example) and that your product feed is not updated often enough, or if it takes time to be updated due to the volume of data, there may be inconsistency between the information in your feed and your product pages on your site. If Google notices this disparity, this may result in the suspension of your Google Merchant Center account.
To solve this problem, and provided that your website is properly marked according to "shema.org" convention, you can enable the "item automatic update" in your Google Merchant Center account. Google will update the prices and availability of your items automatically, several times a day, by retrieving the information from your website.
In the top right corner of your account interface, click on the wrench of the menu and then on "Automatic improvements". Activate the option "Enable Automatic item updates". If you want Google to update the prices AND availability of your products, select "Prices and availability". You also have the possibility to only ask the automatic update of prices OR availability. Remember to save:
To have more info about benefits of automatic item updates, please read the Google official documentation.
This feature (independant of the module) is useful but beware, it has its limits: if too many mismatches occur, automatic item updates will stop working and your account will be at risk for preemptive item disapproval. Learn more.
Moreover, as mentionned above, if you want to take advantage of this feature, your PrestaShop website theme needs to correctly include these microdata according to the "schema.org" convention (tags that structure your data). If it doesn't, you will may receive warnings from Google about the non-compliance of your theme in structured data markup and the automatic item updates will not work (your data will simply be updated at the frequency indicated for your Merchant Center feed updating).
What to do if I get microdata warnings and/or find price/availability inconsistencies?
1/ If you get microdata non-compliance warnings, but do not find inconsistencies between the prices and availabilities displayed in your ads and the data sent in your Merchant Center feed:
This is due to the HTML structure of the theme you use (the rich snippets aren't correctly integrated). As mentionned in the section above, these are just warnings, that is, they are not blocking for your product promotion on Google Shopping. So, you can ignore them. If your product prices and availability do not change more than once a day and that the fetching of your feed is regular enought (at less once a day), your data will always be updated on Google Shopping and you don't have to worry about these warnings.
However, if you really want to get rid of them:
- If your prices and availability don't change more than once a day, you may decide to disable the option to automatically update items in your Google Merchant Center account and set the feed update frequency to once a day (this is the fastest retrieval frequency you can set, but it's more than enough for most shops)
- However, if you do not want to disable this option because your product data changes several times a day, then:
- as it's a theme non-compliance issue, you can contact your theme editor so that he makes his theme compliant
- or, in the case of a price wrong markup, you can read this FAQ in which we help you to solve the problem
- or, if you have our "Customer Ratings and Reviews Pro + Google Rich Snippets" module, contact us
2/ But, if you notice price or availability inconsistencies between your ads and the information sent in your feed: then you need to deactivate the automatic item updates option in your Merchant Center account (see previous screenshots).
Price inconsistencies may occur in the following 2 cases in particular:
- If you send in your feed the prices with taxes included but the prices in your theme are marked up without taxes. In this case, Google robots will update the prices of your products in your ads without taxes included. If you want to display prices with taxes (as indicated in your feed), deactivate the option.
In general, if you want a perfect coherence between the data in your feed and what will be displayed in your ads, deactivate the option.