Supported file formats

Google currently supports 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

Use a spreadsheet program such as Google Sheets. This 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 products, 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 [id]

Brand [brand]

Title [title]

GTIN [gtin]

Description [description]

Image link [image_link]

 

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, a product's description should be in the same column as the "description" header.)

  A B C D E F
1 ID [id] Brand [brand] Title [title] GTIN
[gtin]
Description [description] Image link [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 setup 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:

 

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

  • Values of a repeated attribute must be separated by a comma.
  • If a value of a repeated attribute contains a comma, it must be encapsulated by straight double quotes.
    • Product type [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:

A group attribute is one that has sub-attributes.

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.
  • 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 [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. Google recommends using XML files if you have a product information management (PIM) system with robust export capabilities.

Google supports an extended version of RSS 2.0 with standard attributes linked 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 Google provides examples of RSS 2.0 files, we provide minimal details about RSS 2.0 itself. Learn more about this standard 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 [id], brand [brand], and GTIN [gtin]. To include these elements and more detailed information about a product, Google 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 product in a feed.

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


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<rss version="2.0" xmlns:g="http://base.google.com/ns/1.0">
  <channel>
    <title>Acme 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 [gtin], MPN [mpn], suggested retail price [suggested_retail_price], and release date [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 products. Supplying additional information about your products 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 product. This enables you to include more available information about a product in your data file.

Section 2: Important Checklist

Before you submit your file, Google highly recommends checking this 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 Google accepts 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 Google 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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Create and edit your product data, and retrieve the feedback for data you've submitted to Google through the Manufacturer Center API. To get started, visit our developer documentation.

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