Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Google Product Search Feed Mandatory Update

New Basic Required Attributes

Google is now requiring a new set of "basic" required attributes, as well as attributes which are required for certain product categories and target countries. Here is a link to the new Feeds Specification. If you don't have time to read a full article see the new requirements in table form.

Starting September 22, 2011, accounts that do not comply with the new Google Product Search requirements will be suspended. For more information about how Google will enforce the new policies, visit this Help Center article.Google will continue to regularly check feeds for accuracy of pricing, availability, and general product information, and take action against accounts that violate the standards.

Summary of Changes

1) Google would like a user to be able to find your products even when they are out of stock. For this reason, the [availability] status of all your items will be required.

2) Google has added a new required high-level attribute called [google_product_category] that contains the category of the item in Google’s taxonomy. This is in addition to the current [product_type] attribute.

3) Google is making [image_link] required and you can submit up to 10 additional product images through [additional_image_link].

For apparel only, In order to create a better experience for product variants that are available in multiple colors or sizes, Google asks you to include information like [size] and [color] in your product feed. In addition, Google requires you to provide [gender] and [age_group].

Basic Required Attributes (As of Sept 22nd, 2011)

1) id [id] - An identifier of the item
2) title [title] - Title of the item
3) description [description] - Description of the item
4) google product category [google_product_category] - Google's category of the item
5) product type [product_type] - Your category of the item
6) link [link] - URL directly linking to your item's page on your website
7) image link [image_link] - URL of an image of the item
8) additional image link [additional_image_link] - Additional URLs of images of the item
9) condition [condition] - Condition or state of the item
10) price [price] - Price of the item as listed on your Website
11) sale price [sale_price] - Advertised sale price of the item
12) unique product indicator [GTIN] - Unique Product Indicator (UPC, ISBN, or Manufacturer Part Number [MPN] with Brand [brand]
13) availability [availability] - Whether the item is in stock or not (allowing customers to still find your products even when out of stock).
14) product image link [image_link] Link to the product's image

Unique Product Identifiers are Mandatory

As of May 3rd, 2011, unique product identifiers are required for all products (except those products in the apparel category and custom made goods).

Product Identifiers:

- Universal Product Code (UPC)
- European Article Number (EAN)
- Japanese Article Number (JAN)
- International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
- Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) if accompanied by a Brand Attribute

It is recommended that you update your account settings or data feeds as soon as possible to ensure that you are complying with these new requirements by September 22nd.

What is Google Product Search?

Formerly known as Froogle, Google Product Search is a search engine for you to find products to shop for and buy. Like Google Search Network, you search for a product and are presented with listings. These listings can be sorted by many different attributes (price, category, brand, etc). Like a comparison shopping engine, Google Product Search allows you to compare prices and click through to the listings third-party Website to purchase the product. Products are not purchased within Google Product Search but on the website that has submitted the feed.

Why Submit Your Products to Google Product Search?

For retailers, Google Product Search is another great "and free" way to promote your products on the Internet. Google Product Search listings are searchable and show up in regular Google Search Network organic search results.

How Do I Submit My Google Product Search Feed?

You can start a Google Product Search feed with all the basic attributes and upload directly to Google Merchant Center. Google Merchant Center is also a place to add your retail locations to Google Search and Google Maps for your customers to find you on the Internet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks for breaking it down and sharing Alan. Smaller retailers, especially apparel merchants, will be hit hard by these new requirements.