If you’re using a collection merchandising app, keep reading…

This one small detail could be harming your collections ability to quickly rank on Google / other AI tools.

Want a quick and easy way to check if you’re affected?

Give ChatGPT 4 (With browsing enabled) the following prompt: What products are on this page: {COLLECTION_URL_HERE} - List 5 products from there, with their prices. If it’s able to list 5 products, you’re in the clear.

Crawlers work by reading the content on your website. They’ll initially ask the server to provide the HTML content of the page. On a standard collection, the products are contained within the HTML.

For some collection merchandising apps, nothing is returned in that HTML.No products. No content. Just your header and footer.

All the products are loaded in later, via Javascript. Since HTML is quick and easy to process, search engines will always prioritise parsing the HTML first. Google can, and will, render it eventually - but it it’s far more likely to eat heavily into Google’s allocated rendering budget towards your site.

You’ve got to remember, search engines have another billion or sites to crawl.Google will put your site into a queue, it will render those products, and pick them up at a later stage (As long as those products load in fast enough).

Bing, like Google, has been improving its ability to index JavaScript-heavy pages, but it may not be as advanced as Google in this regard.ChatGPT doesn’t do this at all.

Other basic crawlers also don't do this.

If SEO isn’t a priority, no action is needed.

If you can’t envision your customer starting their search with an AI tool, once again, no action is needed.

But, if this does matter to you - What can you do? It’s pretty clear all these search and merch apps have a positive impact on user experience, so removing them isn’t the answer.

Ask your search and merch company about pre-rendering. Pre-rendering ensures all the data is ready for search engines on their first pass of your site.

Some of the big search and merch companies do offer this feature, so make use of it.

Otherwise, you can also just ask your developer to look into it.