Support » Plugin: WooCommerce » Updated to 3.6.2, Google is very unhappy now

  • Resolved plimfec

    (@plimfec)


    Hi there,

    Last May 3rd I updated Woocommerce from version 3.5.3 to 3.6.2 and almost immediately after I did so, Google started warning me by email – and in its Google Search Console – for a rapidly increasing number of ‘problems’.

    Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/sWsnYJf.png

    These problems and warnings are about missing fields for Product-ID, image, sku, description, availability, aggregateRating and review.

    I didn’t change anything in my Woocommerce setup, just did the update. How to solve this issue?

    Thanks in advance,
    Plimfec

    PS I know other people reported similar problems last few months, but I couldn’t find a solution yet. Meanwhile I’m worried about the consequences for my website’s ranking in Google Search, so any help is appreciated.

    PPS I’m running WP 5.1.1

    The page I need help with: [log in to see the link]

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • One day later, Google warnings went from 43 to 91, the number of valid products is decreasing rapidly. So, the Google Bot is constantly finding new problems while crawling the new WooCommerce setup, I suppose.

    What is causing these problems in the new version 3.6.2? I’m sure somebody linked to WooCommerce could tell, so please give some information to solve this.

    Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/1TA9Dti.png

    It may be related to the WooCommerce structured data. Unfortunately I cannot read the language in those images to know for certain what the errors are related to. I do not use WooCommerce’s builtin schema markups.

    Thanks very much for your reply. In the screenshots I posted, you see three columns: errors / valid with warning / valid products.

    You’re right, the problem has to do with WooCommerce structured data. It’s about missing fields and ‘invalid value types’. I didn’t change a thing in the product database though, so I’m a bit lost how to solve this. I have no idea, actually.

    The total number of products Google has indexed from my website btw, went in a few days from 260 to 143 now. Due to this problem, I suppose.

    Would be nice to hear something from WooCommerce about this. I’m disappointed they just ignore a lot of topics in this support section, including mine.

    Plugin Support madeincosmos

    (@madeincosmos)

    Automattic Happiness Engineer

    Hi @plimfec,

    I’ve run one of the products from https://www.dwarsliggers.thaumas.nl/ through Structured Data Testing Tool, and most of the things you’ve listed–Product-ID, image, sku, description, availability–look correct to me so far:

    https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/?hl=en#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dwarsliggers.thaumas.nl%2Fdwarsligger%2Flinda-van-rijn-casa-ibiza-zeezicht%2F

    The only warnings I’m seeing are for reviews (these will only show once a customer adds a review on the product) and brands (which are not supported in WooCommerce by default).

    If some products are still giving warnings about product ID, SKU, image, etc, can you please send a link to one of those? I’d like to compare structured data with the one that’s working correctly.

    Cheers!

    plimfec

    (@plimfec)

    Hi @madeincosmos,

    Thank you very much for looking into this.

    When I go to the Google Search Console, I still get a lot of ‘warnings’. Looking in particular to the product-ID (one of the items you asked for), I get this info:

    Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/uvhpkgB.png

    As you can see, it says: ‘Product-ID missing’ and last crawled: May 20, 2019, which is yesterday (regarding to the url at the top of the list).
    That url is:
    /dwarsligger/saskia-noort-de-eetclub/

    When I check this url in the Structured Data Testing Tool, it gives me 4 warnings, but none of them regarding the product-ID:
    https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/?hl=en#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dwarsliggers.thaumas.nl%2Fdwarsligger%2Fsaskia-noort-de-eetclub%2F

    I don’t understand why, because the Google Search Console keeps telling me a different message.

    As you can see in the screenshot, this is going on for a few months. I must say I didn’t notice at first, untill I updated to the last version of WooCommerce. The next day Google started sending me emails about these warnings, so I opened this topic. (Strange thing btw is: the number of ‘real errors’ (in red) decreased since I ran the update.)

    What can you make of this?

    Another worrying trend I notice is the decrease of indexed products in general, and a dramatically decreasing total number of ‘valid products’ since I updated to WooCommerce 3.6.2.

    Screenshot:https://i.imgur.com/ssFY0OL.png

    The number of valid products went from 316 (just before I did the update) to just 3 (today). I don’t have a clue why this is happening, except it’s happening since I updated WooCommerce.

    Do you have any ideas to make the best of all this?

    Thanks in advance!
    Plimfec

    Stef

    (@serafinnyc)

    I’d like to chime in here @madeincosmos for a second. @plimfec have you attempted to submit back to Google to tell them those have been fixed? Just do it and see what happens over the next few weeks.

    I’d like to also say that these are Warnings not Errors. Google is not penalizing you for not having these items. They suggest you have them if they apply to you.

    The warnings are nothing to worry about.

    1. AggregateRating – You have no reviews so can’t apply a star
    2. Brand – doesn’t apply. You’re not Target or Walmart selling various brands
    3. Review – You have none so this is okay too.
    4. Product ID – relates to EAN, ISBN or GTIN number. This one bothers me as I believe WooCommerce would add it as this number is a global identifier and it really irks me that it is not standard. However, it’s only a warning not a brand killer. If you’d like to get this into your structure you can use this plugin.

    In closing, simply hit validate fixes in Console and take these with a grain of salt. They are not hurting you.

    plimfec

    (@plimfec)

    Thank you very much @serafinnyc for your reply.

    Yes, luckily these are warnings. Strange thing is Google didn’t email me about the ‘errors’ I had before, but did so about the ‘warnings’ I got after I ran the update. But perhaps they did this because of the rapidly increasing number of warnings at that moment.

    What is worrying me the most at this moment, is the steep decrease of total indexed products since May 3 (the day I updated WooCommerce).

    Any ideas about the cause for that? Or even better: to reverse it?
    Would be great.

    Thank you!
    Plimfec

    PS I’m gonna tell Google the problems have been fixed, like you said. Curious to know how this will affect the stats in the Google Search Console next weeks.

    Stef

    (@serafinnyc)

    I’ve never seen Google email anyone about warnings or errors. And since Console is new I doubt they are. When you see errors inside Google Console you can look at them sometimes as a false positive. I run into those issues from time to time but I always say to Google huh? and hit Validate Fix, they come back and poof, everything is right in the world.

    Google indexes your site every 30 days or more. I wouldn’t worry about the decrease.

    There’s something to note here about anything Google. That nothing is guaranteed. You can structure your data till you’re blue in the face and it wouldn’t matter because they don’t guarantee a thing.

    Submit fixed and see what happens. I run my wife’s site which is huge and consult on several other high profile sites and we don’t have issues after I learned a lot to not read into it too much.

    plimfec

    (@plimfec)

    Well, they did email me. The sender is ‘Google Search Console Team’ and the address they sent it from is:

    Of course this is not a person emailing me, but something apparently triggered their system. I will save you the email itself, because it is in Dutch and I presume you don’t understand, but the subject (translated) of the first mail I got was:

    Btw, I’m now trying to validate / report the problems as solved in the Google Search Console, but I get an error during that process. ‘Cannot proceed the validation process; solve the problem and validate again’:

    Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/FdCSj2g.png

    Stef

    (@serafinnyc)

    I speak 7 languages but Dutch is not one of them. Are you doing one page at a time?

    plimfec

    (@plimfec)

    No Dutch? That’s a bloody shame 😉

    I tried to validate for each warning at the time. It’s the only way the Search Console lets me do it. But then it gives me within minutes the error I posted above.

    Stef

    (@serafinnyc)

    I find it hard to believe that Google came back with an error. Maybe you’re doing something wrong. They won’t scan the page immediately. It takes days for the bots to come back and you can only do up to what I think 10 pages a day. So be careful there as well.

    I don’t know, it wasn’t a language that my dad spoke. We spoke French, Spanish, German and some English when I was a kid. Then I moved to Japan and learned that. I dabble in some Polish and Russian.

    plimfec

    (@plimfec)

    I don’t think I’m doing something wrong. I did use the validation option before. I just click the button ‘Validate’ and then I get a popup saying ‘Performing first quick validation, this takes no longer than one minute’. After this, I get the error.

    So it is not the full validation that’s giving errors, it seems Google first does a quick scan as a threshold for the real validation process.

    Plugin Support madeincosmos

    (@madeincosmos)

    Automattic Happiness Engineer

    Yeah, with 39 pages of 16 products each, there should certainly be more than 120 products showing in the search console. At the same time, it’s hard to tell what exactly could have gone wrong without knowing any details of such error. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but there doesn’t seem to be any information on what exactly failed to validate.

    I checked the page Saskia Noort – De eetclub listed in your error message against a structured data testing tool, but nothing seems to be out of ordinary here:

    https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/?hl=en#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dwarsliggers.thaumas.nl%2Fdwarsligger%2Fsaskia-noort-de-eetclub%2F

    I can see there are some HTML validation errors in the site header code, but this also doesn’t seem like something that Google couldn’t handle:

    https://validator.w3.org/nu/?doc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dwarsliggers.thaumas.nl%2Fdwarsligger%2Fsaskia-noort-de-eetclub%2F

    Did you have a chance to get this checked with Google support? So far I’m not seeing anything that would make product pages fail to validate, but perhaps there’s something I’m missing here.

    plimfec

    (@plimfec)

    Hi @madeincosmos,

    I tried again to validate the warning ‘Product-ID missing’ in the Search Console and after the ‘first quick validation’ Google did, I get this popup message again:

    https://i.imgur.com/q905wRU.png

    It says what I mentioned before: ‘Cannot proceed the validation process; solve the problem and validate again’, as well as: ‘This is related to the pages below.’ So I took the page ‘Thomas Olde Heuvelt – Echo’ (second page in the screenshot) and put it in the Structured Data Testing Tool, giving me this as a result:

    https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/?hl=en#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dwarsliggers.thaumas.nl%2Fdwarsligger%2Fthomas-olde-heuvelt-echo%2F

    Just the four warnings again..

    I really don’t understand. You know, I could live with these warnings, but indeed I’m kind of worried about the decrease in products showing up in the Search Console. Right now I have only 1 ‘valid’ product left, and 123 products ‘valid with a warning’. Before the WooCommerce update (May 3) there were 393 products in total (from which 315 plain ‘valid’).

    Do you have any idea why Google is ‘throwing out’ my products since the update?

    Thanks again!
    Plimfec

    PS No, unfortunately I wouldn’t know how to reach Google about this. Unless you have a company (and paid support), they’re quite unreachable as far as I know.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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