Google Merchant Center adds 3D model link [virtual_model_link] attribute

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Google Merchant Center adds 3D model link [virtual_model_link] attribute

Google Merchant Center has new help documentation on an attribute named 3D model link [virtual_model_link]. The new help documentation reads, “Use the 3D model link [virtual_model_link] attribute to provide more visuals for your product.”

This attribute is for shoes and home goods, the attribute is also limited to products sold in the US.

Virtual model link attribute. The [virtual_model_link] attribute can be used to communicate to Google about your 3D images. These images can be displayed in Google Search and Shopping, as we have seen for years in Google Search.

Here is a sample GIF of this in action from Google:

Google Virtual Model Link

How to. How do you make these 3D/AR images? Google said “Merchants can create 3D and AR models of their products on their own or with the help of a partner. The list of our partners include:”

  • CGTrader
  • Epigraph
  • Ocavu
  • VNTANA

Google said when you add links to a 3D model in your feed, Google will review the 3D model before it appears in Google Search results. This can take up to two weeks.

Technical requirements. Google listed a number of technical requirements for this attribute. “These are the requirements you need to meet to show your product. If you don’t follow these requirements, we’ll disapprove your product and let you know in your Merchant Center account,” Google wrote.

  • Use a 3D model. The recommended file size is 10MB and shouldn’t exceed 15MB. Textures in the file can be up to 2K (4K isn’t supported). Learn more about file requirements for model specifications.
  • Provide a valid URL in your product data. The link should point to a .gltf, or .glb file.
  • Your product should comply with our policies.
  • Review your 3D model. You can use a validation tool to verify if your 3D model works properly.

If you don’t follow these requirements, we won’t be able to use your 3D attribute for the product.

Why we care. 3D and AR images may help you get more visibility and clicks from Google Search to your website and that may lead to more conversions and sales through your web site.

So if you can offer these 3D images and serve them through Google Merchant Center, it might be something you want to experiment to see how traffic and conversions improve.

Hat tip to FeedArmy for spotting this.


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About the author

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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