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This page is for IT professionals showing how GS1 SmartSearch works

Understanding GS1 SmartSearch

The 'secret sauce' behind GS1 SmartSearch is that it is machine-readable structured data about a product or product offering that can be embedded within an existing web page.

This structured data can be placed in the <head> section of an HTML document as a <script> tag. Look at this simple example:

<script type="application/ld+json" id="datablock1">
"@context": {
"schema": "",
"xsd": "",
"ean13": {"@id":"schema:gtin13", "@type": "xsd:string" },
"productName":{"@id":"schema:name","@language": "en"},
"tagline":{"@id":"schema:description","@language": "en"},
"@id": "",
"@type": [ "TradeItem"],
"productName": "Cheerios 600g",
"tagline": "Deliciously crunchy Os, packed with 4 whole grains.",
"photo": ""

All of the elements of product information can be stored in this format, known as JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data (JSON-LD). The number and names of these attributes depend on the type of product being described, but the GS1 standard for GS1 SmartSearch includes a language vocabulary that will be able to describe almost any product in the world, in most written languages.

Designing GS1 SmartSearch this way has several advantages:

  • The location of this <script> tag in the <head> section of an HTML document means that there is no restriction on the visible layout of the page design - although of course the structured data should correspond to the visible information in the page
  • Search engine and on-site indexing 'spiders' are tuned to pick up machine-readable structured data, as it simplifies their indexing and makes product descriptions more searchable than human-entered descriptive text
  • The JSON-LD is compact in format so that it does not add significantly to the size of a web page
  • The format is based on a standard

In time, automated feeds will be able to transform the data in databases of products into the GS1 SmartSearch output format.

Try it for yourself

Try out the 'beta' version of our web toolkit that will create JSON-LD formatted product information for you. Type in the various attributes of the product you want described, and click the 'Create JSON-LD Markup...' button. The GS1 SmartSearch version of your product description will appear on the page for you to copy and paste.
Please note that this is an early version of the tool that is still under development - so come back from time to time for updates.