As we previously announced, we have updated the Google Shopping Feed Specification to add and revise attributes and update policies to further improve the experience for shoppers. Please note that some of the updates require changes to your current product data that need to be implemented by September 30, 2014. For more details, read carefully through the enforcement section below. Here are the highlights of the new feed specification:
- To ensure online shopping via all mobile phones works well, you can now provide a separate mobile landing page via the 'mobile link' attribute.
- We are expanding our support to merchant-defined bundles. Many consumer products are sold in custom bundles, such as a camera with a lens and a bag. The feed specification now includes the 'is bundle' attribute, which should be used when submitting merchant-defined bundles.
- We are simplifying the ‘availability’ attribute by merging ‘in stock’ with ‘available for order’ and removing ‘available for order’. All items that can be shipped in a timely manner can now simply use the ‘in stock’ value. In addition, we are now offering an ‘availability date’ attribute that you can use to let shoppers know when pre-ordered products will be available for delivery.
- We have refreshed our apparel articles to provide more examples and clearer guidance on all things apparel. We are also adding new values to ‘age group’ and introducing two new size attributes to allow an even more detailed apparel description and filtering ('size system' and 'size type').
- Our new image quality recommendations now include even more details and tips on how to submit high quality images that draw users’ attention to your products. For example, submit images taken on a white, gray or lightly colored background – that way the product will be clearly visible and recognizable to users on all devices.
- To display all product data in the most effective way, the feed specification now clearly states how many characters can be used for most attributes.
- We have replaced the existing destination URL policy with the new landing page content policy. This refined policy comes with more background details, additional examples and explanations as well as an implementation guideline for submitting landing page URLs.
Like last year, some of these changes won't be visible to Google Shopping users immediately. We want to give merchants enough time for preparation and adoption. We encourage you to use the test feeds feature or the feed debugger to ensure that your updated feeds can be processed correctly. You can also review the documentation for the Content API for Google Shopping.
Enforcement of new Google Shopping Feed Specification
You can begin submitting all of our new attributes in your product data immediately. If your data is formatted incorrectly for any of the new attributes, your item will be rejected during feed processing. We will start enforcing the new and updated attributes on September 30, 2014. Non-compliant product listings might then be disapproved and disappear from Google Shopping. Please review the warnings on the Data Feed summary section of your Merchant Center account, or the API dashboard if you use the Content API, to review items that will be impacted by these enforcements.
- If you provide a mobile landing page link in the new ‘mobile link’ attribute, the same enforcement rules as for the ‘link’ attribute apply. For more details on mobile page rendering and app download requirements, refer to our new landing page content policy.
- For ‘availability’ the value ‘available for order’ will be replaced with ‘in stock’. The ‘in stock’ value should be used if an item can be purchased and will be delivered in a timely manner. The ‘available for order’ value will not be accepted from September 30 onwards.
- Most attributes now have clearly outlined character limits, which will help to display product information in the most effective way. Attribute submissions that exceed the character limit might result in offer disapprovals.