Supported file formats

We currently support uploading data files in both tab-delimited and XML formats. See below for instructions on creating each file type.

Tab-delimited file instructions

Tab-separated values, or TSV, files are one of two supported file formats for Manufacturer Center. Most TSV files are created using spreadsheet programs. You'll include the attribute names in the first row (i.e. header) separated by a tab. Then starting on the second row, include the corresponding values under each attribute name. We recommend using a spreadsheet program such as Google Sheets or LibreOffice to create and save tab-delimited files.

Create your data file

Step 1: Open your spreadsheet program

Using a spreadsheet program such as Google Sheets makes it easy to create a data file and convert it to the proper format.

Step 2: Create a header row

On the first row of the spreadsheet, enter the names of the attributes that describe your items, each in its own column. Include all the required attributes and any relevant recommended attributes.

An example using some sample attributes in the header row would look like this:

  A B C D E F
1 id brand title gtin description image link
2            
 

Step 3: Enter your item information

In the rows below the header row, enter information about your items for the attributes you've chosen. Each item should be listed in a separate row, and its information divided into the appropriate columns. (For example, an item's description should be in the same column as the "description" header.)
  A B C D E F
1 id brand title gtin description image link
2 123-yelbr Acme Toys Acme Toys - Yellow Bear 001234567890 Sample description link.com/pic
3 456-redbr Acme Toys Acme Toys - Red Bear 001234598760 Sample description link.com/pic
 

Step 4: Convert your spreadsheet

Most spreadsheet programs allow you to export data into a tab-delimited file. Either of the options below will create a file with a name ending in the .tsv extension. This is the file you should submit to Manufacturer Center.

If you're using Google Sheets:
  • From the File menu, select Download as and then .Tab-separated values (.tsv, current sheet). Your tab-delimited text file will be displayed in a new window.
  • Name your file, and be sure to specify the file type as a .tsv if it gives you the option. Click Save.
If you're using LibreOffice:
  • Select File > Save as....
  • Select format Text CSV (.csv). Though it says CSV, it actually generates all kinds of text files.
  • Check Edit filter settings. Click Save. If a warning appears, continue with the Text CSV format.
  • In the new pop-up, leave Character set as Unicode (UTF-8); change Field delimiter to {Tab} from the dropdown; delete the value in Text delimiter; leave the other checkboxes as they are and click OK.

If you've already registered a feed in your Manufacturer Center account, use the same file name that you specified during the set up process.

Step 5: Submit your file via a data feed

Check that your file meets our format requirements below and submit it to us.

Format Requirements

  • The file must be tab-delimited.
  • The first line of the file is the header -- it must contain attribute names, separated by tabs.
  • One item per line; separate each attribute in that line by a tab.
  • Do not include trailing tabs at the end of lines.
  • Do not include tabs or line breaks in the attributes themselves.

Formatting repeated attributes

The following attributes are repeated attributes:

  • gtin
  • product type
  • additional image link
  • video link

 

A repeated attribute is one that accepts more than one value.

 

  • Values of a repeated attribute must be separated by a comma.
    • GTIN
      001234567898, 001234567876
  • If a value of a repeated attribute contains a comma, it must be encapsulated by straight double quotes.
    • product type
      “Home & Garden > Kitchen, Dining & Table > Appliances > Refrigerator”, Household Appliances > Kitchen > Refrigerator
  • If a quoted value contains a double quote, it must be doubled.
    • "Sharp 7"" tablet screen (323 pixels per inch)", "Long lasting battery, up to 9-10 hrs of active use", Quad-core speed and performance with 2GB RAM, Comes with Android 4.3

 

The following attributes are repeated group attributes:

  • product detail
  • feature description

 

A group attribute is one that has sub-attributes. The product detail attribute has three sub-attributes: section name, attribute name, and attribute value. The feature description attribute also has three sub-attributes: headline, text, and image link.

 

  • A group attribute is provided by providing values for all of its sub-attributes separated by a colon.
    • product detail
      Screen:Resolution:1920x1200
  • Like regular repeated attributes, multiple group attribute values are provided by separating them by a comma.
    • product detail
      Screen:Resolution:1920x1200,Screen:Weight:17.4 lbs
  • Like repeated attributes, values containing a comma, and also values containing a colon, must be encapsulated by straight double quotes. Also, quotes within quoted values must be doubled.
    • feature description
      Enhanced zoom with new release:The newest generation comes with enhanced zoom to show you more of the world around you.:"http://example.com/image1.png",Sharper resolution:"The product now comes with 15""display that is 10X sharper than our previous releases, and it has a 3.5X zoom.":"http://example.com/image2.jpg"

 

Here's an example: Manufacturer Center file template - TSV.tsv.

XML file instructions

Extensible Markup Language (XML) provides a flexible framework for encoding structured data in a format which is both human- and machine-readable. We recommend using XML files if you have a product information management (PIM) system with robust export capabilities.

We support an extended version of RSS 2.0. We've linked standard attributes to their respective sections in the official RSS 2.0 specification to assist you in finding additional information about the components from our examples. Although we provide examples of RSS 2.0 files, we provide minimal details about RSS 2.0 itself. If you are interested in learning more about this standard, we suggest looking over this specification at http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss.

Section 1: RSS 2.0

Based on the RSS 2.0 specification, there are three pre-defined elements at the item level - title, link, and description. Although these elements are optional in the RSS 2.0 standard, product data feeds require them.

Product data feeds also require additional elements such as id, brand, and gtin;. To include these elements and more detailed information about an item, we've extended RSS 2.0 by adding the Manufacturer Center feed namespace. Defining the Manufacturer Center namespace allows you to use additional elements, called "attributes", and increases the amount of information you can provide about each item in a feed.

Below is an example of a basic RSS 2.0 document containing a single item:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<rss version="2.0" xmlns:g="http://base.google.com/ns/1.0">
  <channel>
    <title>Amce Inc</title>
    <link>http://www.amce.com</link>
    <description>A sample feed for Acme Inc product line</description>
    <item>
      <g:id>actb7-16-B</g:id>
      <g:brand>Acme</g:brand>
      <g:title>Acme Tablet - WiFi - 16GB - Black</g:title>
      <g:gtin>001234567895</g:gtin>
      <g:gtin>1001234567894</g:gtin>
      <g:mpn>ACMETAB16</g:mpn>
      <g:disclosure_date>2013-01-15</g:disclosure_date>
      <g:release_date>2013-03-04</g:release_date>
      <g:suggested_retail_price>USD 129.00</g:suggested_retail_price>
      <g:product_name>AcTab 7</g:product_name>
      <g:product_line>AcTab</g:product_line>
      <g:product_type>Device &gt; Tablet Computer</g:product_type>
      <g:product_type>Computer &gt; Tablet Computer</g:product_type>
      <g:item_group_id>AcTab-7-2013</g:item_group_id>
      <g:color>Black</g:color>
      <g:product_detail>
        <g:section_name>General</g:section_name>
        <g:attribute_name>Product Type</g:attribute_name>
        <g:attribute_value>Digital player</g:attribute_value>
      </g:product_detail>
      <g:product_detail>
        <g:section_name>General</g:section_name>
        <g:attribute_name>Digital Player Type</g:attribute_name>
        <g:attribute_value>Flash based</g:attribute_value>
      </g:product_detail>
      <g:product_detail>
        <g:section_name>Display</g:section_name>
        <g:attribute_name>Resolution</g:attribute_name>
        <g:attribute_value>432 x 240</g:attribute_value>
      </g:product_detail>
      <g:product_detail>
        <g:section_name>Display</g:section_name>
        <g:attribute_name>Diagonal Size</g:attribute_name>
        <g:attribute_value>2.5"</g:attribute_value>
      </g:product_detail>
      <g:description>Now thinner, lighter, and faster - AcTab brings you the perfect mix of power and portability and features a sharp 7" screen.</g:description>
      <g:feature_description>
        <g:headline>An amazingly sharp 7" screen.</g:headline>
        <g:text>This Super High Resolution 7" tablet puts over 2.3 million pixels in the palm of your hand.</g:text>
        <g:image_link>http://www.acme.com/actab7/screen</g:image_link>
      </g:feature_description>
      <g:feature_description>
        <g:headline>Sound that surrounds.</g:headline>
        <g:text>AcTab7 features dual stereo speakers, so you get rich and immersive audio. Hear it all more clearly with finely tuned volume boost technology that makes dialog and sound crisp and easier on the ears.</g:text>
        <g:image_link>http://www.acme.com/actab7/sound</g:image_link>
      </g:feature_description>
      <g:feature_description>
        <g:headline>Lighter than ever, lasts longer.</g:headline>
        <g:text>At just 0.64lbs, the all-new AcTab is light enough to take anywhere and fits easily in bags, backpacks, and even back-pockets. With up to 9 hours of HD video playback and 10 hours of web browsing or e-reading, there's plenty of juice to get you through the day, and built-in wireless charging means you can charge, grab, and go.</g:text>
        <g:image_link>http://www.acme.com/actab7/battery</g:image_link>
      </g:feature_description>
      <g:image_link>https://acme.com/actab7.png</g:image_link>
      <g:additional_image_link>https://acme.com/actab7.png</g:additional_image_link>
      <g:additional_image_link>https://acme.com/actab7-front.png</g:additional_image_link>
      <g:additional_image_link>https://acme.com/actab7-back.png</g:additional_image_link>
      <g:video_link>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abc</g:video_link>
      <g:product_page_url>http://www.acme.com/actab</g:product_page_url>
    </item>
  </channel>
</rss>

The two major additions in this example are the addition of the namespace declaration (xmlns:g="http://base.google.com/ns/1.0") and the inclusion of Manufacturer Center attributes, such as gtin, mpn, suggested_retail_price, and release_date.

Manufacturer Center namespace declaration

The following namespace declaration is required in order to use attributes defined only in the Manufacturer Center namespace: xmlns:g="http://base.google.com/ns/1.0"

In addition to declaring the Manufacturer Center namespace, you must also include a prefix within every attribute tag. We add this prefix to attributes to distinguish attributes defined in our namespace from elements defined in RSS 2.0. The prefix selected for this namespace declaration is "g": <g:image_link>http://www.google.com/images/google_sm.gif</g:image_link>

Attributes in the Manufacturer Center namespace must include this prefix or the attributes, and any values they contain, will be ignored.

Attributes

You can use as many relevant attributes as are specific to your items. Supplying additional information about your items by using these attributes will greatly increase your items' chances of showing up in Shopping ads results. In addition, many attributes defined in the Manufacturer Center namespace can be used more than once within a single item. This enables you to include more available information about an item in your data file.

Section 2: Important Checklist

Before you submit your file, we highly recommend running through the following list to help ensure your file is properly formatted:

  1. The feed filename you register in your Manufacturer Center account must match the name you assign to your file.
  2. Remember to include the following namespace declaration: xmlns:g="http://base.google.com/ns/1.0"
  3. Verify the prefix included in the Manufacturer Center attribute tags matches the prefix defined in the namespace declaration.
  4. Remove attributes that do not contain any values.

Section 3: Final Note

The sample entry included in this document was simplified to allow for clearer focus on the basics of constructing an XML product data file. While we accept data files containing other elements defined in the RSS 2.0 standard or in your own namespace, any information these elements contain will be ignored during processing and will not appear in your listings. At this time we will only process data contained in the default RSS 2.0 elements and in attributes within the Manufacturer Center namespace.

Here's an example: Manufacturer Center file template - XML.xml.

When creating your data file, remember to save it as one of the supported file types with the appropriate filename extension:

  • .tsv: tab-separated value
  • .xml: XML
  • .gz: Gnu zip, compressed text or XML
  • .zip: Zip, compressed text or XML
  • .bz2: Bzip2, compressed text or XML
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