Beginner's Guide

Troubleshoot your data feed

At times, you may need help troubleshooting your feed. Our goal is to provide answers to specific problems that you might encounter when using feeds and Google Merchant Center. If your account has been disapproved and your feeds seem to be correct, please ensure you did not accidentally violate our policies. Below are some common problems and resolutions.


Feed Creation Issues


Feed Registration Issues
  • Target Country: Specify the location where your items are sold. For example, the target country “United States” indicates that your items are available for purchase in the US. The items or data feed uploaded to a selected target country must meet the requirements for the target country you submit to, including the feed specifications and policies. For example, your data feed needs to list the products in the local language, the product landing pages need to be in the local language, and your prices need to be in the currency for the target country.

    If you have submitted your data feed to more than one country, each one of your items must have a unique id for each country. For example, your UK file may include the product 'Yoga Mat' with an ID of '1234.' If you include the item 'Yoga Mat' in your US file, you need to use a different ID. You could simply add '-us' for all the US IDs in your US file, as '1234-us.'

  • Data feed file name: RSS and Atom files should end with an .xml extension. Filenames that don't end with any extension will be processed as a tab-delimited file by default and should end with (.txt). Remember that we do not accept Text (tab delimited) files in Excel format. See converting your spreadsheet for help.

  • When using filename extensions like .zip or .gz you must ensure that the file is compressed because our system assumes that the file is compressed. Uploading an uncompressed file in this case may cause feed failure.

Please note, when editing your data feed registration options we recommend you leave "autodetect" as the selected option unless a specific problem needs to be addressed.


Formatting Issues
  • Text or Tab Delimited
    • If you are using previously formatted text (anything with line breaks or quotations), quoted attributes are useful and may solve your problem. Learn how to use them and how to turn them on.
    • Make sure that your columns (tabs) with the required attributes correctly match all the items; oftentimes there will be either an extra tab or a missing tab.
  • XML
    • You cannot include un-escaped special characters like "&".
    • Your attribute names may contain capital letters; any capitalization in your attribute names should be removed. For example, the title attribute should be entered as <title>, instead of <Title>.
    • Incorrect encoding sometimes occurs. Be sure to encode your file in the accepted formats.


Uploading Issues
  • Your feed may be too large for the uploading method you have chosen. Please note,
    • Direct Upload files must be less than 20 MB (if you are encountering an "oops" message from this method please wait a few hours and try again).
    • FTP (File Transfer Protocol) files must be under 1 GB (files that are larger than 20 MB must use this method)
    • Automatic upload (Scheduled fetch) must be less than 1 GB
      • Below are the two most common reasons why automatic uploads fail:
      • The URL used for scheduled fetch is roboted or does not have permission settings for us to download the data feed
      • The URL used for scheduling is not working or redirects to page which does not contain the data feed.

Below is a table outlining some common errors encountered using FTP.

Issue Solution
Server not found error Verify you are signing on to If you're using an FTP client, remove ftp://; and use
Username or password incorrect Click here for help with FTP login issues.
"Can't build data connection" or "FTP folder error" You will need to upload using passive FTP.
"Filename not allowed" error Ensure that your filename does not contain spaces. The name of your file should exactly match the name of the filename you registered in your account.
"FTP connection reset by peer" error The Internet connection to our FTP server was lost. Please try uploading your file again. If your file is under 20 MB in size, you can also upload your file directly through the Google Merchant Center data feeds page. If your file is larger than 20 MB, try splitting your data feed into multiple files smaller than 20 MB. The smaller file size will allow you to upload your files through your dashboard.

For specific problems with FTP not answered within this page read this article.

If you'd like to review your uploaded feed during your investigation, you can do so by navigating to the data feeds tab and clicking on the status of the feed. In the resulting Feed status summary page, you'll see a Download feed link near the bottom of the Feed details section for recently submitted feeds. Please click this link to download your feed. Also note that only users who belonged to the merchant account at the time the file was uploaded have the right privileges to download the feed.

You can also use our feed debugger to test any changes to your data before you upload a new feed. Learn more about using the feed debugger.