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Re: What determines a Product?

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 22:47:25 +0200
Message-ID: <CAFNgM+YRpatgYCBcX7TVry5gSvG4vXtEkoAvOCLP1P9PwLmrWw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Chacha Slayton <charlene.c.slayton@gmail.com>
Cc: public-vocabs@w3.org, Pravir Gupta <pravir@google.com>
On 11 October 2011 01:57, Chacha Slayton <charlene.c.slayton@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> I think there is may be a conflict in the schema.org mark-up and the search
> engine's requirements that could very likely produce duplicate content. This
> may be an issue with other e-commerce web sites.
> It appears that the mark-up only supports a single product per page as
> opposed to multiple products (product variations) as in the case of clothing
> (ie. products with different sizes and colors, applications, but unique UPC
> codes or part numbers for each variant). Please let me know if there is
> support for in these instances.

As I understand the Schema.org vocabulary, and it's supporting
notations (microdata and RDFa), you should be able to describe many
different products within a single page. This is of course quite a
separate issue from the question of which search engine products will
actually understand each combination of terms.

In the FAQ entry comparing Facebook's RDFa Open Graph markup with
Schema.org, the answer does make clear this intent to describe things
quite richly:

"""Q: How does schema.org relate to Facebook Open Graph?
Facebook Open Graph serves its purpose well, but it doesn't provide
the detailed information search engines need to improve the user
experience. A single web page may have many components, and it may
talk about more than one thing. If search engines understand the
various components of a page, we can improve our presentation of the
data. Even if you mark up your content using the Facebook Open Graph
protocol, schema.org provides a mechanism for providing more detail
about particular entities on the page.
For example, a page about a band could include any or all of the following:
A list of albums
A price for each album
A list of songs for each album, along with a link to hear samples of each song
A list of upcoming shows
Bios of the band members"""

> In order to not produce duplicate content, we typically form a “family page”
> with all the pertinent information (i.e. photo, product description) and the
> variations as “children” listed below. Therefore, we have the following
> information ALL on one page:
> Not to belabor the point, but here is another example, if you purchase a
> sweater and there are multiple sizes, it doesn’t make any sense to have a
> separate product description for each size when the only variation is the
> size. However, each size has its own price, weight, upc code, stock level,
> item no, etc.
> Obviously we could have separate pages with slightly different product
> descriptions, but this would be a step backward for the customer who is used
> to picking out a product and selecting the size, color, voltage or other
> minor variations. How do we properly format the mark-up in our case? Do all
> products (unique skus) need their own product descriptions and or URLs?
> Maybe the big question here is -what determines a product?

I can't answer that bigger question ("what determines a product"), but
thank you for supplying a complete example. It could be useful to base
some examples on this. Do you have any URLs of public sites with this
kind of data, so we can make a full realistic example?


ps. copying Pravir who might have thoughts on specifics re Google rich snippets
Received on Tuesday, 11 October 2011 20:48:02 UTC

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