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GS1 SmartSearch

A new standard for the web – supporting ecommerce

GS1 SmartSearch makes it easier for shoppers to find, compare and buy products online. This new standard enables website owners to describe products in richer detail – in a way that’s easy for machines to understand.

Using GS1 SmartSearch website owners can link a product’s identifier – Global Trade Item Number or GTIN – to a set of attributes using what’s known as structured data. This helps web crawlers to index the page with more accuracy as they are able to more easily understand the product data.

We’ve created GS1 SmartSearch in collaboration with the community (W3C and Github), as well as the major search engines (such as Google) and our member community. Building on the vocabulary, GS1 SmartSearch extends the attributes that website owners can use to describe their products for search engines, allowing them to take how they describe their products in the physical world – using GS1 standards – and add this to their product pages online.

What is structured data?

Structured data is text representing data in a format easily read by computers. We call it ‘machine-readable’. A product description web page is designed to be read by humans. This makes it challenging for machines reading the product data. For example, take a washing machine with a value ‘1500rpm’; humans know what this means, a search engine-indexing spider cannot.

A structured data format creates ‘name value pairs’. So in the instance of a washing machine, an attribute of spin speed can be added to a product page, with a value of ‘1500rpm’. When a search engine’s crawler then visits this page, it will then understand the value and what it relates to. With this added layer of context to the value, it can add the product to the search index accurately and deliver a better search relevance.

Want to find out more about using GS1 SmartSearch on your website?