Google Provides Clarification on Structured Data for Organization Merchant Returns

  • June 22, 2024
  • SEO
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In a recent update, Google discreetly refined their documentation concerning Organization structured data. This modification aims to address two points of ambiguity related to merchant return policies, prompted by user feedback on the previous version.

Enhancements to Organization Structured Data and Merchant Returns

Google has recently enhanced their Organization structured data framework to include support for merchant return policies. This update facilitates the integration of a sitewide return policy directly within the structured data. The primary objective of this inclusion was to streamline the process of defining and maintaining comprehensive return policies across an entire website.

The initial purpose behind this enhancement:

“Adding support for Organization-level return policies

What: Added documentation on how to specify a general return policy for an Organization as a whole.

Why: This makes it easier to define and maintain general return policies for an entire site.”

However, this change initially left a gray area regarding the precedence of return policies when both a sitewide policy and individual product-specific policies are present.

The recent clarification addresses the specific scenario where both a sitewide return policy and individual product-specific return policies coexist within the structured data.

Determining Policy Precedence

When a merchant employs both a sitewide and a product-specific return policy in their structured data, there may be confusion about which policy prevails. Google’s updated documentation now clearly indicates that, in such cases, the product-level return policy takes precedence over the sitewide policy.

The clarification states:

“If you choose to provide both organization-level and product-level return policy markup, Google defaults to the product-level return policy markup.”

Updates Reflected in Additional Sections

Google has also revised another section of their documentation that discusses the precedence of structured data versus merchant feed data. Despite the update, the fundamental policy remains unchanged: Merchant Center data still takes precedence.

Previous documentation noted:

“If you choose to use both markup and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

The updated section includes additional clarifications:

“If you choose to use both markup (whether at the organization-level or product-level, or both) and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

For further details, please refer to the newly updated Organization structured data documentation:

Organization (Organization) structured data – MerchantReturnPolicy

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