Submit data feeds via FTP

What is FTP?

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is a common way for users to download or upload files to the Internet. This is an advanced method for submitting data feeds to Google Merchant Center. Please note, you must first register your feed in order to submit data feeds via any method to Google Merchant Center.

If you need more help using FTP after reading this article, please consult our troubleshooting guide.

When to use FTP

If your file is larger than 20 MB, you must upload via FTP. Please note that your file must be under one gigabyte (GB) in size, in either the compressed or uncompressed format. If your file is larger than this, split your file into multiple, smaller files before uploading.

Creating an FTP account

To create an FTP account:

  1. Click the Settings link, then click FTP.
  2. In the “Choose your FTP Username” box, enter a username.
  3. Click Generate password and create FTP account.
  4. A popup box will appear that contains your automatically generated password.
    • Please Note: Your password will not be shown again for security reasons. As a result, you should securely store your password before dismissing the popup box.
  5. Click Dismiss to return to the FTP Settings page.

Note: The account creation may not take effect for several hours. If you can't log in to our FTP server right away, please try again later. Additionally, once you create your FTP account, you can't change your chosen username (login).

Changing your FTP password

If you need to change your FTP password, you can do so by generating a secure password within Merchant Center. To change your FTP password:

  1. Click the Settings link, then click FTP.
  2. Click GENERATE NEW PASSWORD.
  3. A popup box will appear asking you to confirm that you want to change your password. If you want to continue, click Confirm.
  4. Another popup box will appear that contains your newly generated password.
    • Please Note: Your password will not be shown again for security reasons. As a result, you should securely store your password before dismissing the popup box.
  5. Click Dismiss to return to the FTP Settings page.

Note: You may only generate a new Google Merchant Center FTP password; you won't be able to retrieve any lost or forgotten passwords.

Uploading your file via FTP

While you can use most methods in order to upload a file via FTP, we've included instructions for the most common types below. If you have not used FTP before, we recommend the first option as it's easiest to configure.

Note: If you’re setting up an automatic upload (scheduled fetch) within Merchant Center, you cannot use Google’s FTP Server (ftp://uploads.google.com) as your feed URL.

Option 1: FTP your data feed using an FTP program

FTP your data feed using an FTP program

To use this method, you will need to have an FTP program, also known as an FTP client, installed on your computer. If you do not already have an FTP client, you can download one from the web. The following FTP clients are free to try. (Depending on your usage, you may have to pay for these programs after your trial runs out.) Click on one of these links to download the program from the web. 

After you have downloaded and installed your FTP program, you will need to configure it so that you can connect to our FTP server. Your FTP client will need the following settings:

  • Host name: uploads.google.com This is our FTP server where you will send your feed.
  • User: the FTP username you set up in your Google Merchant Center account
  • Password: the FTP password you set up in your Google Merchant Center account
  • Logontype: should be set to normal, not anonymous. You may have to change this setting before you will be able to enter your username and password.
Note: Some FTP clients have different interfaces. Refer to your to your FTP client's documentation for instructions.

Option 2: FTP your data using the command line

Windows: FTP your data using Command Prompt
  1. From the Start menu, select Programs, then select Accessories, then select Command Prompt. Or from the Start menu, select Programs, then select MS-DOS Prompt. (If neither of these works: From the Start menu, select Search, then select For Files or Folders, then type in the word prompt. Double-click the file named "Command Prompt.")
  2. In the window that appears, type ftp uploads.google.com and hit Enter.
  3. You'll be prompted to enter a username. Provide the username you set up in Merchant Center (which can be set up or found by clicking Settings then FTP in your account).
  4. You'll be prompted to enter a password. Provide the FTP password you set up for Merchant Center. Note that this may be different from your Merchant Center password, and is set up under the FTP Settings (Settings > FTP) in your account.
  5. Send the file via FTP by typing put {your directory, including filename} and hitting Enter. For example, if you had a feed named "datafeed.csv" located in your Documents folder, you'd type "put C:\Users\username\Documents\datafeed.csv".
  6. After a few moments, you should see a status update appear which will show you the progress of your upload, and then confirm when the upload is complete. Once completed, you can exit the program.

Note: If you make a mistake along the way, you may get a blank prompt or an error message. If so, start over with the first step and continue until you are able to complete the transfer of your file.

Mac: FTP your data using Terminal
  1. Open a Terminal window. You can do this by hitting Command + Spacebar, searching for "Terminal", and then selecting it in the box that appears.
  2. In the window that appears, type ftp uploads.google.com and hit Enter.
  3. You'll be prompted to enter a username. Provide the username you set up in Merchant Center (which can be set up or found by clicking Settings then FTP in your account).
  4. You'll be prompted to enter a password. Provide the FTP password you set up for Merchant Center. Note that this may be different from your Merchant Center password, and is set up under the FTP Settings (Settings > FTP) in your account.
  5. Navigate to the directory where your file is located on your computer by typing lcd {your directory}, and hitting Enter. For example, if your file is located in your Documents folder, you'd type "lcd /Users/username/Documents".
  6. Send the file via FTP by typing put {your filename} and hitting Enter. For example, if your filename was "datafeed.csv", you'd type "put datafeed.csv".
  7. After a few moments, you should see a status update appear which will show you the progress of your upload, and then confirm when the upload is complete. Once completed, you can exit the program.

Note: If you make a mistake along the way, you may get a blank prompt or an error message. If so, start over with the first step and continue until you are able to complete the transfer of your file.

Linux: FTP your data using the command line
  1. Open the Terminal.
  2. In the terminal window, type ftp uploads.google.com and hit Enter.
  3. You'll be prompted to enter a username. Provide the username you set up in Merchant Center (which can be set up or found by clicking Settings then FTP in your account).
  4. You'll be prompted to enter a password. Provide the FTP password you set up for Merchant Center. Note that this may be different from your Merchant Center password, and is set up under the FTP Settings (Settings > FTP) in your account.
  5. Navigate to the directory where your file is located on your computer by typing lcd {your directory}, and hitting Enter. For example, if your file is located in your Documents folder, you'd type "lcd /home/username/Documents".
  6. Send the file via FTP by typing put {your filename} and hitting Enter. For example, if your filename was "datafeed.csv", you'd type "put datafeed.csv".
  7. After a few moments, you should see a status update appear which will show you the progress of your upload, and then confirm when the upload is complete. Once completed, you can exit the program.

Note: If you make a mistake along the way, you may get a blank prompt or an error message. If so, start over with the first step and continue until you are able to complete the transfer of your file.

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