Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Updated Google Shopping feed specification

Last year, we announced the rollout of the new Google Shopping commercial model built on Product Listing Ads both in the United States and globally. We believe these changes, and the improved user experience, will create new opportunities for merchants and help retailers of all sizes attract more customers to their stores.

The quality of data provided by merchants is critical for achieving these goals. Therefore, we're announcing some changes to the Google Shopping Feed Specification:
  • We are improving our support for merchant-defined multipacks. For example, many consumer products like toothpaste are sold in custom multipacks. The feed specification now clarifies how such products should be submitted.
  • We are moving towards a world with high-resolution displays. Therefore, we are also starting to recommend higher-quality images with at least 800 pixels in height and width to give users a better visual representation of advertised products.
  • Some products like custom goods, vintage items, or collectibles don't have unique product identifiers. For such products we are now introducing the 'identifier exists' attribute. Additionally, we have updated our requirements on unique product identifiers.
  • We have updated our guidance for the description and color attributes to make them more precise and actionable.
  • We now provide dedicated support for energy efficiency labels and unit pricing for merchants targeting countries in the European Union and Switzerland.
  • Merchants promoting non-family safe items on family-safe websites can now tag individual items as non-family safe.
Some of these changes won't be visible to Google Shopping users immediately. We want to give merchants enough time for preparation and adoption. We encourage merchants to use the test feeds feature or the feed debugger to ensure that their updated feeds can be processed correctly.

Merchants can review the new feed specifications and a summary of attribute requirements to help prepare for these changes. They should always make sure to comply with legal requirements while participating in the Google Shopping program.

Enforcement of new Google Shopping Feed Specifications

For accounts that are currently exempted from requiring unique product identifiers, Google Shopping will start enforcing these new requirements for unique product identifiers on July 15th, 2013 in the US, and September 16th, 2013 in all other target countries. Enforcement for all other accounts will start July 15th, 2013 for the US, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and September 16th, 2013 for all other target countries. Non-compliant items might then be disapproved and disappear from Google Shopping.

Account level exemptions for unique product identifiers won’t be supported after the above mentioned dates – the 'identifier exists' attribute should be used instead.

Posted by Angelika Rohrer, Program Manager, Google Shopping