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Promotions feed formatting and attributes

This article provides answers to common questions about creating, submitting, and updating your promotions feed.

Your promotions feed contains the details about the promotions you want to show on Google.

What fields of the promotions feed (attributes) are required?

The following feed attributes are required:
  • Promotion ID [promotion_id]
  • Products eligible for promotion [product_applicability]
  • Coupon code required [offer_type]
  • Promotion title [long_title]
  • Promotion start date [promotion_effective_dates]
  • Online eligibility for promotion [redemption_channel]

Visit our Promotions feed specification article for more details and guidelines.

Why am I getting a "server error" message when I'm uploading my promotions feed?

There are 2 main reasons for “server error” messages:

  1. The promotion start date [promotion_effective_dates] attribute value is incorrect. For detailed information about the format of promotion start and end times, visit the Promotions feed specification article.
  2. The feed template is outdated. Use the current feed template.

How do I create a promotion?

Create a promotion with the promotion builder in the Promotions dashboard of your Merchant Center or with a promotions feed. For more information, see how to create and submit promotions. Your promotions feed must follow the promotions feed specification, editorial requirements, and program policies.

How do I change a promotion?

Promotions that have not yet been approved can be edited in promotion builder or by uploading an updated promotions feed. Once a promotion has been approved, it is still possible to edit certain information using promotion builder. This article explains how to edit a promotion or change promotion status.

How does Google use the attributes in the feed?

Some attributes, like generic redemption code [generic_redemption_code], are directly reflected in the display of your promotion. Other attributes work in the background to determine where your promotion should be displayed, like the promotion start date [promotion_effective_dates] and products eligible for promotion [product_applicability] attributes. When you create and submit a feed, include the required attributes, plus any conditional attributes that apply to your promotions.

The optional coupon value type [coupon_value_type] attribute signals the type of promotion you’re running, allowing Google to perform a more automated review process, which can expedite promotion approval.

See Promotions feed specification for the specific functions of each attribute.

Can I include multiple promotions for the same product in my products feed?

Yes, you may submit multiple promotions for each product in your products feed. Submit the values separated by commas in a tab-delimited file or as unique rows within your XML file. See examples in the table below:

Feed type Instructions Example
.txt To add multiple promotion ID [promotion_id] attributes to an item, submit the values separated by commas in the "promotion ID" column. See example. Replace "PROMO1," "PROMO2," and "PROMO3" with the actual promotion ID [promotion_id] attributes. PROMO1,PROMO2,PROMO3
XML To add multiple promotion ID [promotion_id] attributes to an item, insert multiple lines. See example. Replace "PROMO1" and "PROMO2" with the actual promotion ID [promotion_id] attributes. <g:promotion_id>PROMO1</g:promotion_id>
<g:promotion_id>PROMO2</g:promotion_id>
API To add multiple promotion ID [promotion_id] attributes to an item, insert multiple lines. See example. Replace "PROMO1" and "PROMO2" with the actual promotion ID [promotion_id] attributes. <sc:attribute name="promotion_id">PROMO1</sc:attribute>
<sc:attribute name="promotion_id">PROMO2</sc:attribute>

How many promotions are displayed at one time?

Up to 10 promotion ID [promotion_id] attributes can be mapped to one item in the products feed. Ads and free listings show one promotion per product. 
When there are multiple promotions mapped, promotions with the "Specific_products" value for the products available for promotion [product_applicability] attribute are prioritized before promotions with the "All_products" value for the products available for promotion [product_applicability] attribute.

Can I reuse a promotion ID?

If a promotion was rejected during policy review and not stopped, you can reuse the promotion ID [promotion_id]. If the promotion is already approved for policy or is stopped, you can’t reuse the promotion ID.

When do I need to add a promotion ID to the products feed?

If the promotion applies to "Specific products", add the promotion ID [promotion_id] to the "promotion ID" column in the products feed for each product to which the promotion applies. The promotion will be rejected if the promotion ID [promotion_id] is not mapped in the products feed.
What is the difference between the promotion start date and display dates for promotion attributes and why is it beneficial to use both?
  • Display dates for promotion [promotion_display_dates]: when the promotion is available to the public
  • Promotion start date [promotion_effective_dates]: when the promotion can be tested on your website

Use both attributes to allow your promotion to go through validation review in advance of its public display date.

Note: This is only possible when uploading your promotion using a promotions feed. The promotion start date [promotion_effective_dates] attribute is not available when using Promotion Builder.

To use this method, specify a start time for the promotion start date [promotion_effective_dates] attribute that’s earlier than the display dates for promotion [promotion_display_dates] attribute. Google will start the test process on the date you specify in your promotion start date [promotion_effective_dates]. The end date of promotion start date [promotion_effective_dates] should match the end date of the display dates for promotion [promotion_display_dates]. If your promotion is approved, it will go live when the display dates for promotion [promotion_display_dates] start time begins.

Make sure your promotion can be tested and works on your website as described.

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