Have you ever been looking at images on Google Images, notice something interesting (like an object within a specific photo), and wish you could dive deeper and get to know what exactly that object is?
Well, it looks like the folks over at Mountain View did, and as a result they’re rolling out a new feature, “Similar items”, within Google Image Search on both the mobile web as well as Android‘s Google app…
It works pretty much as you would expect, currently encompassing just fashion and lifestyle (think sunglasses, bags or shoes — but more will roll out in the coming months). If you are looking at, say, results for “designer handbags”, and your eye is caught by a particular photo, Google’s machine vision can now pick out the items in that photo and offer up easy shopping links.
As mentioned, the “Similar items” feature currently surfaces in mobile search after tapping on a photo of interest. The feature will not only find what the objects in the image are (so, for instance, brand and model), but also their price and availability, two of the “top requests” from users, according to Google.
As for people looking to take advantage of this new functionality, Google asks you to “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.”
More specifically, to ensure eligibility:
Ensure that the product offerings on your pages have schema.org product markup, including an image reference. Products with name, image, price & currency, and availability meta-data on their host page are eligible for Similar items
Test your pages with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to verify that the product markup is formatted correctly
See your images on image search by issuing the query “site:yourdomain.com.” For results with valid product markup, you may see product information appear once you tap on the images from your site. It can take up to a week for Googlebot to recrawl your website.
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