This is a running list of all Google Shopping updates. Most recent updates appear at the top. Check out this list at least once a month to stay on top of recent changes.
Deadline: May 16, 2016
New Google GTIN Requirements
Google recently put out an announcement regarding new Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) requirements, leaving many merchants confused as to whether this will affect their product feed. We’ve gathered up some important information that all Google merchants need to know.
Who does this affect?
Merchants selling new, in-stock products that have GTINs assigned by the manufacturer in any of the countries listed below, must use GTINs.
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
If you sell custom goods, handmade goods or any item that was produced before unique product identifiers were produced, then you most likely won’t be affected by the announcement. Also, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and certain apparel products may not have a GTIN.
Google Shopping is moving along. They recently announced some important changes to the Google Shopping Feed with the overall purpose of improving the user experience. These changes aim to create new opportunities for merchants and help retailers of all sizes attract more customers to their stores.
This update affects you if:
- You lack Unique IDs
- If you sell custom goods that lack a UPC, MPN or other unique identifier
- Sell in Multi-packs
- Have high resolution images (800 pixels in wxh)
- Sell "adult" products, which Google may deem unsuitable for families
Retailers already sending their feeds to Google Shopping should review the three links below, for further details:
The new data feed specifications require merchants to send additional or updated information for products, as follows:
Products Without Unique Identifiers
The biggest change is Google's adding the 'identifier exists’ attribute for merchants selling custom goods and other products that lack unique identifiers like brand names or MPN codes. In categories where unique product identifiers are required but don’t exist for an item, you enter FALSE for the ‘identifier exists’ attribute.
U.S. merchants currently exempted from using unique product identifiers need to update their feeds with the ‘identifier exists’ attribute by July 15, 2013. International merchants need to update their feeds by September 16, 2013. Account level exemptions will not be supported after these dates.
For products sold in custom multipacks — like 2-for-1 packs of toothpaste, for example — there is a new ‘multipack’ attribute to indicate the number of identical products in a merchant-defined multipack or bundle.
Google now recommends using images with at least 800 pixels in height and width to ensure your images look good on high-res displays.
Description & Color
You’ll also want to review the guidance for the Description and Color attributes, which Google has updated “to make them more precise and actionable”. For example, under Description, Google advises, “Also include details about the item’s most visual attributes, such as shape, pattern, texture, and design, since we may use this text for finding your item.”
Google has also updated their unique product identifier requirements beyond adding the ‘identifier exists’ attribute, so all merchants should review those carefully. Here’s a link to the handy Summary of Attribute Requirements which also links to the detailed product feed specifications.
There is now dedicated support for energy efficiency labels and unit pricing for merchants targeting countries in the European Union and Switzerland.
Google assigns a "family status" to all product listings to ensure content is shown to an appropriate audience. Thus, retailers promoting non-family safe items on family-safe websites can now tag individual items as non-family safe.
As of next week, GoDataFeed will make the Google Base 'Condition' attribute a required field to comply with Google Base's requirements, which go into effect June 30th.
So make sure to include the 'condition' attribute for all your items, if you haven't already. The condition attribute is one of the three values: new, used or refurbished.
You can also read more about this change on Google Base's Blog
Not On Google Base?
If you're looking to expand product exposure, you should definitely be submitting your product feeds to Google Base; it's a free shopping site and it can bring you significant quality traffic.
To sign up with Google Base, visit our Supported Feeds Page.