One of the last things you have to happen is for your product feed to be suspended. This is similar to having your shop closed and your stock remaining hidden in your warehouse! The way to ensure that this never happens to your product data feed is to ensure that you read the Google Product Search Policies carefully before creating a feed.
In this page, we have listed all the attributes you need to provide so as to have your product displayed in the Google Product Search. Some of these attributes are required for all kinds of products, some of them are required for certain kinds of products (say apparel/Clothing) and some of these attributes are recommendations. Failure to provide the required attributes may result in the product failing to show in the Google Search Results whereas failure to upload recommended attributes will result in your products showing up in the search results with reduced frequency.
Do take time to read through this entire document to ensure that your products find enhanced visibility in Google Product Search results. Before creating your product data feed, choose the file format that is suitable to you.
There are many sections to this document – each section deals with one attribute and the Google requirements related to each attribute.
1. Basic Product Information: These relate to basic information that describes your product – such as “title”, “description” and “type of product”.
2. Availability and Price: Attributes that inform about the availability and prices that you quote for the product.
3. Unique Product Identifiers: Attributes that ensure that your products appear on the correct page – example Brands, UPCs and EANs.
4. Apparel Products: Descriptions related to the colour and the gender that the product is targeted towards.
5. Product Variants: Attributes that describe how variants differ from the product listed – in terms of size, colour, material or pattern.
6. Tax & Shipping: How to convey information related to the applicable taxes and the shipping charges etc.
7. Nearby Stores: Display information about where these products are available in physical stores in different locations.
8. Loyalty Points: (for Japan Only) Attributes that specify the loyalty points that Google Product Search Users gain when buying the item.
9. Multiple Installments: (Brazil Only) Attributes that specify the multiple payment options when people buy products.
10. Additional Attributes: Other attributes that describes your products.
We commonly use the term “item” do describe a single product listing. If you are using the text or Tab delimited format, an item equals one line in your data feed. Items are similar to products but we assume that products may have multiple variations. These product variants may differ in terms of size, colour, material or pattern. A “item” is a single variant of a product.
1. Basic Product Information:
The following attributes contain basic information about your items.
• id [id] – An identifier of the item
• title [title] – Title of the item
• description [description] – Description of the item
• Google product category [google_product_category] – Google’s category of the item
• product type [product_type] – Your category of the item
• link [link] – URL directly linking to your item’s page on your website
• image link [image_link] – URL of an image of the item
• additional image link [additional_image_link] – Additional URLs of images of the item
• condition [condition] – Condition or state of the item
2. Availability and Price:
The attributes in this section inform buyers of the availability in stock of the product and the prices at which you are offering them. Since the availability and price of the products you are selling may frequently change, you need to update this information to keep it up to date and current. The data feed for this will appear as:
• availability [availability] – Availability status of the item
• price [price] – Price of the item
• sale price [sale_price] – Advertised sale price of the item
You can recommend products that you want to put up for sale.
Text/Tab delimited 12.00 USD
XML <g:sale_price>12.00 USD
• You should (even in the case of a sale) recommend the normal price at which the product sold before the sale.
• The price must include specification of the currency quoted.
• Submitted sale price must exactly match the sale price displayed on your site. Both the prices must be listed on the landing page – the regular price and the sale price. Yet, the sale price must be most prominent in display.
• You cannot quote a price of US$0.00 for any product. Items with 0 price will not be displayed the search results.
sale price effective date [sale_price_effective_date] – Date range during which the item is on sale
3. Unique Product Identifiers
Unique Product Identifiers such as UPC, EAN, JAN or ISBN enable Google to display your product in the right page. If you do not provide the Unique Product Identifiers, your store may not appear on the product pages and all your items may be removed from the Product Search.
Google requires Unique Product Identifiers for all products except for custom made groups. You need to submit at least two of the three attributes ‘brand’, ‘gtin’ and ‘mpn’ for these items.
For media products like – books, music, videos and video games, you must submit the “gtin” attribute. In all cases we recommend that you submit all the three attributes.
Additionally for products in the apparel and the accessories categories, you must submit the brand attribute even though Unique Product Identifiers are not required.
• brand [brand] – Brand of the item
• gtin [gtin] – Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) of the item
• mpn [mpn] – Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) of the item
4. Apparel Products:
According to Google’s Taxonomy (for the US market) the Apparel Category comprises of Apparel and Accessories including all its sub categories such as gender, age group and colour. Additionally, the size attribute is only required for categories – ‘Apparel & Accessories > Clothing’ and ‘Apparel & Accessories > Shoes’.
For all other countries, the apparel attributes that are not currently required, but might become applicable in the future. We therefore strongly recommend that merchants include all the attributes where possible even for countries outside the US.
• gender [gender] – Gender of the item
• age group [age_group] – Target age group of the item
• color [color] – Color of the item
• size [size] – Size of the item
5. Product Variants
Product variants are a set of identical products that vary only in attributes such as color, gender, material or size. Details of variants are required only for the Apparel and Accessories and its attendant sub categories. Apparel variants are required solely for products sold to the USA. For all other countries, attributes are only recommended but may become mandatory in the future.
If you are not displaying variants and its attributes in your feed, it should not be displayed as different product listings (example: the same product in different colors and sizes). These listings will be classified as duplicates in the Google search policies.
Submitting product variants proves to be of great help to the consumer who can navigate their way to different variations on a detail page. They can also discover different variants in terms of color, sizes, patterns etc. For a particular product.
Ways to submit variant data:
• Start by submitting an item for each variant – for example if you offer T Shirts in 5 colors and 5 sizes, you need to submit 25 item variants.
• Make sure to include a unique “ID” attribute values for each variant, just as you would for other products in your feed.
• In order to identify these products as variants of one another, you are required to submit the “item group ID” attribute (For US feeds only) and submit identical value of these attributes for each variant in the group.
• You will have to include variant attributes that make each variant unique. You can include attributes such as “colour”, “material”, “pattern” or “size”.
• Include only single values for each of these variant attributes- make sure that the values of these attributes are unique across all variants in the group. For example – if you are offering (one item) T shirts with Blue and S attributes, all the items in the variant group must have values for colour and size. Each of these must be different combination of values – so you could have Blue and S, Blue and M, Blue and L etc.
• You need to send variant attributes only in cases where you have variations – so if all your T Shirts are made of Cotton, there is no need to send the “material” attribute. But if you have 3 colours and 3 sizes of T Shirts, you must send 9 separate line items with variations in colour and size.
• For all apparel items it is mandatory for you to have a unique image of the specified variant if the item differs in colour, pattern or material. When variants differ only by size, you can send identical images. Sending separate images for variant products in other categories is also recommended, but is not yet mandatory.
• We recommend submitting URL links that pre-select the variant. For example if a customer selects a Maroon T Shirt in the size 12, he should be taken to a landing page wherein the Maroon T Shirt in the size 12 is already pre- selected. If doing this is difficult, we recommend, you include identical link attribute values for each of the variants in the group.
For US merchants submitting apparel variants:
When apparel products differ by ‘colour’, ‘material’, ‘size ‘ or ‘pattern’ it is mandatory to include the ‘item group id’ for each variant.
For other Countries and categories:
All variant data are recommended but are not mandatory. Howsoever, if you choose to include ‘item group id’, it is required that you include at least one of the following variant attributes – viz. ‘colour’, ‘size’, ‘pattern’ and ‘material’ and the following guidelines:
Important: While you name your variant products, do include the title common to all variant items. Visit the ‘title’ attribute for more details.
• item group id [item_group_id] – Shared identifier for all variants of the same product
• color [color] – Color of the item
• material [material] – Material of the item
• pattern [pattern] – Pattern/Graphic of the item
• size [size] – Size of the item
6. Tax & Shipping
Tax and shipping are important aspects of the purchasing decision online. In fact high tax and shipping costs are one of the major reasons for shopping cart abandonment in online commerce. The Tax attribute is applicable for only feeds that are targeting the US. In all other countries, the VAT is included in the price of the product.
There are three ways to display tax ( only US) and Shipping costs:
Settings in the Merchants Center
Google offers various ways to specify the tax and shipping costs if your pricing structure is relatively simple. For example – you can have one shipping cost for all items – or you can decide on the shipping costs depending on the weight of the item. In this case, you will have to include the shipping weight attribute.
Attributes in the field
You can use the tax and shipping attributes listed below to configure complex tax and shipping costs.
You can list the default tax and shipping prices in the Merchant Center and then overrule them for certain products by specifying the attributes below.
You have to use one of these methods to specify tax and shipping in the US and shipping only in UK, Germany and France.
If for some reason you can’t provide accurate tax and shipping figures, please provide estimates.
For example, you can provide tax and shipping costs for each product and state them individually by using tax and shipping attributes. Estimate tax and shipping costs in such a manner that the total costs in product search are either accurate or overestimated for most users.
• tax [tax]
• shipping [shipping]
• shipping weight [shipping_weight] – Weight of the item for shipping
7. Nearby Stores
Multi channel retailers can display store locations next to the products. If the browser is looking at one of your products and has a specified location near to one of your stores, Product Search will show your store 9s0 on a map. We will display the telephone number, just in case the shopper wants to check with the store for availability. The shopper can also get driving instructions, so that he can locate the store with ease.
To enable this feature, submit your store locations through Google Places. Once you have provided this information, you can specify that an item is only available for purchase online, and not available in your physical store by providing the attribute as given below:
• online only [online_only] – Whether an item is available for purchase only online
8. Loyalty Points
The attribute below applies to feeds that are targeted at Japan. It specifies how much and what type of loyalty points the customer receives when he buys a product.
• loyalty points [loyalty_points] – Loyalty points that users receive after purchasing the item
9. Multiple Installments ( Brazil only)
This attribute is applicable only to merchants selling to customers in Brazil. It enables him to specify the payment options in instalments.
• installment [installment] – Number and amount of installments to pay for an item.
10. Additional Attributes
These two attributes below enable you to control the destination of your items, and the period during which your items are valid.
• excluded destination [excluded_destination] – Excluded destinations of your items
• expiration date [expiration_date] – Date that an item will expire
To discover how to use Google Shopping more lucratively, speak to us at ChannelSale. We have some surprisingly effective and affordable solutions that will help you boost your top and bottomline.
You can contact us via mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at 1-866-709-9495
ChannelSale.com is a platform that allows you to send feeds, analyze performance and track sales across multiple online Marketplaces, Comparison Shopping Engines and Affiliate networks.