Don’t forget Google’s changes to Products Feed SpecificationsPosted 8 September 2011 by Sandy Cosser
Earlier this year Google announced that it would be making changes to Google Product Search, specifically, it would change the Google Product Search Feed Specifications and Policies. This, according to Google, is to improve the user experience by including availability data and provide better browsing for related product variants.
It has now issued a reminder to all merchants that the changes will come into effect on 22 September and any accounts that don’t comply with the new specifications will be suspended.
For starters, it’s important to note which attributes will no longer count to your product search results. For example:
- Featured product.
According to Google, these attributes can still be used, they just won’t count.
An attribute that will definitely count for all product searches all over the world is the image link attribute. There is also a new “additional image link” attribute that you will have to use if you provide more than one image of a particular product. Note: you will not be allowed to submit multiple pages for what effectively amounts to the same image.
Some attributes will only be required for certain countries. For example: the Availability Attribute will now be required in the US, UK, Germany and France. The predefined values for this attribute are: in stock; out of stock; available for order; and pre-order.
The Google Product Category Attribute will be required for the US, UK, Germany, France and Japan. According to Google the new attributes include:
- ‘Apparel & Accessories > Clothing’
- ‘Apparel & Accessories > Shoes’
- ‘Apparel & Accessories’
- ‘Media > Books’
- ‘Media > DVDs & Movies’
- ‘Media > Music’
- ‘Software > Video Game Software’
Some changes only apply to the US (so far), such as the new Apparel Attributes, which will include gender, age group, size and colour; and new Variant Attributes.
No matter where you are in the world you’ll need to acquaint yourself with the new Product Search Policies, which relate to quality standards and pricing.
Google as advised merchants to test their product search feeds to ensure compliance using the Test Data Feed feature in the Google Merchant Center. It has also prepared tutorials that include: understanding changes; providing high quality data; and troubleshooting tools.
(Image by Alxeedo at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Logan, Beao at en.wikipedia. [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)