2016 Google Shopping Product Feed Specifications

Google recently announced several updates to their 2016 Google Shopping Product Feed Specifications.

Pro-Tip: A product specification is a valuable source of information that Google needs to run Shopping ads for your products. Each year, Google makes updates to their feed specifications with the goal of creating better experiences for users searching for products online.

Some of the updates require changes to a retailers current product data that need to be implemented by Sept. 1st, 2016 and Feb. 14th, 2017 (see below for more information on deadlines).

The 2016 Google Shopping Product Feed Specification update includes:

1) Unit Pricing

Unit Pricing will be made available for all markets and applicable categories to ensure consistency in the way prices are displayed. This means, going forward, if you want to display Unit Prices, use the unit_pricing related attributes and not the price attribute.

2) Color & Size

Color & size value submissions will be enforced more strictly for apparel products in Germany, France, Japan, and the UK. According to Google complete and consistent data for variant attributes provide a better shopping experience for users.Google shopping product feed 2016

Failure to comply with feed specs for ‘color’ and ‘size’ values for apparel products in Germany, France, Japan, and the UK will result in item disapprovals.

3) GTIN & Google product category requirements

GTIN & Google product category requirements will be expanded to Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Turkey to improve product matching and overall ad performances.

This means, going forward, Global Trade Item Numbers are required for all products with a GTIN assigned by the manufacturer.

In 2015, Google required the GTINs for products from a list of 50 brands.

In May 2016, Google expanded beyond those 50 brands and require GTINS for all products (with an assigned GTIN by the manufacturer).

A GTIN is a unique and internationally recognized identifier for a product that helps Google understand exactly what advertisers are selling. When a GTIN is available, it will appear next to the barcode on a product’s packaging.

Advertisers can submit GTINs in their product data using the ‘gtin’ attribute to help Google classify and display products on Google Shopping. GTINs vary in length depending on the type of product and where the product will be sold.

Now, GPC is required for all products within the ‘Apparel & Accessories’, ‘Media’, and ‘Software’ categories. Not providing values for the ‘gtin’ or ‘gpc’ attributes will result in item disapprovals. 

4) Minimum image size

Minimum image size requirements for non-apparel products will be increased from 32 x 32 to 100 x 100 pixels to be able to support new ad formats better. The minimum image size for apparel images will remain 250 x 250 pixels.

Ads with large, high-quality images (recommended 800 x 800 pixels or larger) have proven to be more effective and lead to better performance. This means, going forward, non-apparel images below 100 x 100 pixels and apparel images smaller than 250 x 250 pixels will result in item disapproval.

5) Maximum feed file size

Maximum feed file size will increase from 1 GB to 4 GB. As before, files can either be submitted in compressed or uncompressed format.

Below are the timelines when certain product requirements will lead to item disapprovals:

  • Beginning Sept. 1, 2016, all of the updates listed above, except the GTIN requirement updates, will go into full effect and any product data that doesn’t meet the requirements in the Products Feed Specification will be disapproved.
  • Since providing accurate GTIN information can take more time, the GTIN requirement updates will go into full effect later on, starting Feb. 14, 2017.

 
Pro-Tip: As advertisers begin making updates to their product data, Google also recommends that they update the corresponding microdata on their product landing pages, which helps to ensure a strong match of information between your ads and your website.

Additionally, this allows advertisers to take advantage of advanced features such as automatic item updates, which ensure that ads have the most accurate price and availability information.

For more on 2016 Google Shopping Product Feed Specification update, email tara@cpcstrategy.com or check out the link here.

 

The Google Shopping Guide: 2017 Edition

Next-Level Implementations in 2017 for Advertisers on Google
 

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.