Link a Merchant Center Account to DoubleClick Search and AdWords

Google Merchant Center helps you upload your store and product data to Google and make it available to Google services. If you've set up a Merchant Center account, link it with DoubleClick Search (DS) to create and manage the following types of campaigns:

Important details about linking accounts

Each campaign associates with one account

Each campaign can advertise products from only one Merchant Center account. Depending on how you structure your campaigns and inventory accounts, you can do either of the following:

  • Link one Merchant Center account for each campaign
    Example of one account per campaign.
  • Link one Merchant Center account, and then create campaigns that advertise only specific products in the account
    Example of one account for many campaigns.

Multi-client accounts and subaccounts

If you have a multi-client account Merchant Center account (also known as a parent or umbrella account), you can link to the multi-client account and DS will automatically link to all subaccounts. Campaigns that you associate with a multi-client account can advertise products in any of the subaccounts. You can use filtering in the campaign settings to limit the set of products the campaign can advertise.

If you've already linked a subaccount to DS and later you link the parent multi-client account:

  • DS treats the subaccount and the multi-client account as separate accounts. For example, if you unlink the subaccount, the multi-client account remains linked and continues to sync in data from the subaccount.

  • You can associate a campaign directly with the subaccount or with the multi-client account.
  • If a campaign is associated with the subaccount and you remove the subaccount, the campaign will stop generating and updating ads and keywords. You'll also see an error to let you know the campaign is no longer linked to an inventory account.

Linking in Shopping campaigns

If you use Shopping campaigns, the Merchant Center account you link to in DoubleClick Search must exactly match the account you link to in AdWords. For example, if you link to a multi-client account DS, you need to link to the multi-client account in AdWords. If instead you linked to a multi-client account in DS but linked to individual subaccounts in AdWords, your Shopping campaign would not be able to access inventory data. Note that in DS, you can link to both a multi-client account and all of its subaccounts if needed. DS will not duplicate the inventory data.

How to resolve the "product groups may not serve ..." infrequent notification

AdWords also provides the ability to link campaigns to inventory accounts. If you sign into AdWords and link a campaign to a subaccount while only the parent multi-client account is linked in DS, DS will not recognize the link you set up in AdWords. In DS, you may see a message similar to the following:

Some product groups may not serve. Please make sure Google Merchant Center account (account ID:xxx) is added as its own DS inventory feed and is linked to AdWords account (CID:xxx)

If you see this notification, manually link the subaccount to DS. The additional link won't impact the multi-client account or any other campaigns.

No support for "Online Product Inventory Update" feeds

When you register your data feed for a Merchant Center account, you can set up a full "Product" feed or an "Online Product Inventory Update" feed, which simply updates information for items already submitted through another account in a full "Products" feed.

DS requires all linked accounts to provide full "Products" feeds, and will ignore any data submitted from "Online Product Inventory Update" feeds.

How often does DS pull in feed updates?

Multiple times throughout the day, DS checks with Google Merchant Center for any updates to your inventory account. The Feed last update time column on the Inventory accounts tab tells the most recent time that DS successfully loaded updates from a feed. A lag of more than 24 hours could indicate a problem with DS.

Special permissions required

To link with Merchant Center, your user account needs all of the following permissions:

If no one in your organization has the correct permissions, contact customer support. Please include both your DS advertiser ID and the Merchant Center account ID that you would like to link.

Once you link a Google Merchant Center account or a Bing Merchant Center store with DS, you cannot remove the link. This is to prevent accidental removal of an inventory feed that's currently being used by a shopping campaign or inventory plan. Contact support if you need to remove a link to an inventory account. 

Link Merchant Center

After signing into Google with an account that has the appropriate permissions:

  1. In DS, navigate to an advertiser.
  2. In the left navigation panel, click Inventory Management.
  3. Click + Inventory account and enter the following information:
    • Account name: This name appears only in DS. You use the name when associating the account with a campaign, when pausing the account, or when viewing the product data DS has for the account.
    • Notification emails: An optional list of email addresses that will be notified when an adaptive Shopping campaign divides a product group, or when an inventory keyword campaign creates ad groups. You can override this list of emails when you set up each adaptive Shopping campaign or inventory keyword campaign.
    • Google Merchant Center Account: The account list contains all Merchant Center accounts for which you have Admin access. Select an account to link it to DS.
  4. Click Validate.

    No response?
    If DS doesn't respond after you click Validate, someone may have already linked to the Merchant Center account before, but then the account was subsequently removed from DS. Here's how to resolve this issue:

    1. Scroll to the top of the Inventory account edit panel. In the Show list above the reporting table, select Show all.

    2. If the Merchant Center account appears with Removed status button(removed icon) next to its name, the account has already been added but subsequently removed. 

    3. If the account was removed by mistake, click Removed status button (removed icon) and select Active.

    4. Then click Validate again.

  5. If validation succeeds, click Save.

Link a Merchant Center account with AdWords

To ensure that the Shopping campaigns you manage in DS will work correctly, DS checks that your Google Merchant Center and AdWords accounts are linked. If they’re not:

  • Ads from existing Shopping campaigns DS will not appear on Google.

  • You won’t be able to create new Shopping campaigns in DS.

  • You won’t be able to sync in changes to Shopping campaigns.

To link your Merchant Center account with AdWords:

  1. Sign in to your Google Merchant Center account at

  2. In the left nav, navigate to Settings > AdWords.

  3. In the AdWords Customer ID field, enter the AdWords account’s customer ID (in the fomat xxx-xxx-xxxx).

  4. Click Link Account.

For more information, read this article on the AdWords Help Center.

Pausing or removing an inventory account

If you've removed all of the Shopping campaigns and inventory plans that use an inventory account, you can pause or remove the account. DoubleClick Search will no longer connect to the account's feed.

Don't pause or remove an inventory account if your advertiser still has inventory plans or Shopping campaigns that use the account. Inventory plans will stop updating campaigns, ad groups, and other items. Shopping campaigns will stop syncing with DS, and many DS features will no longer work.
If you want to pause inventory-related campaigns, pause inventory plans and Shopping campaigns.

What's the difference between pausing and removing an inventory account?

Pausing and removing an inventory account both stop DS from connecting to the account's feed. 

If you pause an account:

  • The accounts inventory items still appear in the advertiser's Inventory items tab, though the items will no longer be updated.
  • The paused accounts still appear in the list of inventory accounts by default.

If you remove an account:

  • The accounts inventory items no longer appear in the advertiser's Inventory items tab.
  • The removed accounts still appear in the list of inventory accounts by default, but you can change the Show menu to see the removed accounts.

You can re-activate a paused or removed account at any time. 

How to pause an inventory account

  1. In DS, navigate to an advertiser.
  2. In the left navigation panel, click Inventory Management.
  3. Click the status icon next to an account and select Paused or Removed.
    Click Pause on the status menu

How to remove an inventory account

Contact DoubleClick Search support and ask for the account to be removed. Only the support team can remove an inventory account.

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