27th June 2014

Google updates the shopping products feed specification

Scroll down

Is your product feed up to date?

Google Shopping can be a powerful feature for e-commerce businesses to use. However, to get the most out of it the feeds in your Merchant Centre need to be extensive and compliant with Google’s rules. New to the Merchant Centre and Google Shopping? Find out more details here: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188493?hl=en

Extensive means you need to include as much data on as many aspects of your products as is reasonably possible. Size, colour, price, availability, EAN/UPC codes, etc – the list is long, but the more you include the better chance you stand of putting the right product in front of the right shopper.

Below: Some product searches have the shopping results above the top text ads. In this case we also have an image search snippet, so the organic results are pushed further down the page. However, a smaller retailer, such as surfstitch.com now has an excellent opportunity to compete with Amazon, who aren’t listed in this shopping result.

Merchant Center


Compliant means your data needs to fit Google’s specifications. There’s clearly little point in supplying myriad attributes if they’re not in the format Google expects. So it may be time to talk to your developers (or ours!) and iron out all those errors and warnings you may be seeing in your merchant centre.

Our clients have seen a major increase in sales through the shopping section as a result of us reducing their errors and warnings (In some cases down to zero, we’re that good!).


The latest Specification Updates

The latest product feed specification update includes the following changes to:

  • Specifying mobile landing pages
  • Custom product bundles
  • Apparel attributes now allow more detailed descriptions
  • Item availability is now simpler
  • Attribute character limits are more clearly defined
  • Image quality recommendations

You have until September 30th to comply with the full list of updates. If you update before this that’s fine too, though the updates won’t necessarily start to show immediately. This will probably happen when the rules come into force. N.B if your feed is not ready in time Google states that:

“Non-compliant product listings might then be disapproved and disappear from Google Shopping”.

If you need help implementing or improving a product feed please contact us – our expert developers can help you take advantage of the huge sales opportunity that Google’s shopping section represents.