If you have been in your merchant centre account of recent weeks you should have noticed a yellow banner reading;
‘The Products Feed Specification and Google Product Taxonomy have been updated. You might need to make changes to your product data before 15 September 2015 or your products may be disapproved.’
If you haven’t noticed this as of yet, today is D-Day and you may find your product feed has been disapproved.
This years shopping feed spec update is, in the words of Google;
“with the goal of creating a richer experience for customers searching for your products online and to simplify the process of providing information in your feed.”
This basically translates for you as the advertiser as you’re going to have to make some changes to your feed or you’re out!
In this September 2015 update there are 3 updates you need to be aware of:
- GTINs: You now need to submit ‘gtin’ & ‘brand’ attributes for all products sold in new condition from a designated brand. This is a big update as in my experience a lot of retailers used the ‘brand’ & ‘mpn’ combination of unique product identifiers.
So to corroborate every product in your feeds GTIN and get onto your site and into your feed in some instance will possibly be time consuming. The key here is that this update only applies (at the moment) to products from designated brands of which the official list can be found here: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6239390?vid=1-635779090940393481-799381002
Google says this list of brands will expand over time, but if you don’t stock any of the brands on this list no GTIN additions are required at present.
- ID Attribute: You now need to submit valid & unique strings. This basically means the IDs in your feed have to be unique and cannot be reused across multiple feeds. There are also some rules regarding construction of the IDs also which can be found here: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494?vid=1-635779109584020209-799381002#id
- Detailed Product Attributes and Item Groupings: This one isn’t so much of a forced change, but you can now provide more detail via your feed about products to help improve the relevance of results Google displays your ads. This is perhaps best explained by Google;
”Many products like shoes, furniture and electronics come in a variety of colours, materials, sizes and so on. To make sure that we can accurately display these products to users, you may need to submit detailed product attributes for each unique product style. You’ll also need to group products together with an item group id in cases where the underlying product is part of a group that varies by one or more attributes, like colour.”
There are other updates today but the 3 above are the main ones affecting the UK. For a full list of 2015 Google Shopping feed updates for all countries please click here: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6231410?hl=en-GB
If you require any assistance with getting your feed up to 2015 spec please contact Creare for a quote.