Sick and Tired of Out of Stock Products in Google Search

Here’s one thing Google could improve user experience: Demote results for out of stock product pages and promote the ones that are available – even if they don’t have high rankings to start with. How’s that?

I am a fan of Polo Blue and tend to buy the same deodorant over and over again.

So here’s my mindset:

  • I do:
    • Realise I am running out of deodorant, must buy a new one.
    • Know what I want: brand (Polo Blue) and form (Stick).
    • Want a local Australian store.
  • I don’t want to:
    • Spend much time.
    • Bid or wait for the item.
    • Compare prices.
    • Try something new, such as roll-on or spray.

Search Query: polo blue deodorant (, Show only Pages from Australia)


This is what I see: Ads, Shopping Results from .com domains, eBay, Price Comparison Sites and only three results that satisfy my expectations. A bit disappointed but remain optimistic thinking one of them will be trustworthy enough to buy from.

But suprise, suprise… Unavailable, Sold Out & Out of Stock:


I could refine my search by adding modifiers such as “buy” or exclude keywords such as “compare”, “unavailable”, “sold out” or “out of stock”. But why should I? Is it not common sense to display available items first and push down those that are not in stock? This should be very easy for Google as there are only a handful of related semantic triggers for this and they do have a very good crawl capacity. This means the results can be as fresh as they want them to be. In fact they did index the products I was looking at after they sold out – this means Google knew about it but didn’t do anything to help me find a place to buy from.

Have you seen anything similar happen?
Please let us know in Google+ comments.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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