2022 Merchant Center product data specification update

April 27, 2022

Every year, we make changes to the Merchant Center product data specification with the goal of creating a better experience for users who are searching for products online.

What's changing this year

Changes beginning immediately (April 27, 2022)

New attribute to pause ads: To help you manage how your products serve in ads, we’re introducing the pause [pause] attribute. This new attribute will allow you to quickly pause (and then restart) showing your products in Shopping ads. Previously, some merchants have used the availability [availability] attribute and set the value to “out_of_stock” (out of stock) in order to stop ads from showing. Beginning early 2023, you should use the pause [pause] attribute with a value of “ads” if you want to temporarily pause your ads. After this date, using the availability [availability] attribute with an incorrect value could lead to product disapprovals.

Learn more about the pause ads [pause] attribute.

Provide shipping country sub-attribute: When providing the shipping [shipping] attribute, you now need to provide the country [country] sub-attribute to ensure shipping prices are accurate. Item-level warnings (“Missing sub-attribute [country (sub-attribute of [shipping])]”) have already been issued in the Diagnostics page to help merchants identify affected products and will move to errors starting today.

Learn more about the shipping [shipping] attribute and how to show products in multiple countries of sale.

To ensure that your products continue to show and prevent possible disapprovals, please go to the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account to review the affected products and apply the necessary changes.

Updated guidance for unique product identifiers: Unique product identifiers (GTIN [gtin], brand [brand], MPN [mpn]) define the product you're selling in the global marketplace. The following guidance will help you to use unique product identifiers correctly and accurately.

  • If your products have assigned unique product identifiers and you have them available: Always include them to ensure best performance. If you have some identifiers available but not others, include what you have.
  • If your products have assigned unique product identifiers, but you don’t have them available: Don’t include incorrect identifiers (for example, internal skus or other values specific to your store) or identifiers from similar products. If a product does have identifiers, don’t use the identifier exists [identifier_exists] attribute with a value of "false" (false) or the product may be disapproved.
  • If your products don’t have assigned unique product identifiers: Don’t include the GTIN [gtin], brand [brand], or MPN [mpn] attributes for the product. Also do not include internal skus or other values specific to your store in these attributes. Instead, include the identifier exists [identifier_exists] attribute with a value of "false" (false).

Changes beginning June 26, 2022

Include the availability date for backorder and preorder products: You can specify that your products are available on backorder or preorder when you use the availability [availability] attribute with values "backorder" or "preorder". Starting June 26, you’ll need to provide the availability date [availability_date] attribute with a date up to a year in the future to specify when backorder or preorder products will become available otherwise your products may be disapproved. The availability date also needs to be included on the landing page for your products and should be clear to your customers. For example, if a product won’t be available until May 6, 2023, you should indicate “May 2023” or “May 6, 2023” on your landing page–not “Backordered” or “As soon as available”.

Learn more about the availability [availability] and availability date [availability_date] attributes.

Automatic item updates for condition: To help you keep your product data correct we’re adding automatic item updates for condition. Beginning June 26, 2022, all accounts will be automatically opted-in to use automatic item updates for condition. If you choose to not use the feature, you can opt-out in Merchant Center through the Automatic Improvements setting, under item updates. If you opt-out, your products may be disapproved if they use an incorrect condition value.

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