image_link: Definition

Include the URL for your main product image with the image_link attribute. This image appears to potential customers in ads for your product.

An illustration showing how Shopping ads appear on many different devices

When to use

Required for each product

If you have multiple, different images of the product, submit the main image using image_link, and include all other images in the additional_image_link attribute.

Format

Follow these formatting guidelines to make sure we understand the data you're submitting. 

Type URL (including http or https), ASCII characters only, and RFC 3986 compliant
Limits 1 – 2,000 characters
Supported file formats

GIF (.gif), JPEG (.jpg/.jpeg), PNG (.png), BMP (.bmp), and TIFF (.tif/.tiff)

The image's file extension should correspond to its format.

Repeated field No
Schema.org property (What’s this?) Product.image, Type: URL
 
File format Example entry
Text feeds

http://www.example.com/image1.jpg

XML feeds <g:image_link>http://www.example.com/image1.jpg</g:image_link>
Content API v2 (JSON) "imageLink": "http://www.example.com/image1.jpg"
Content API v2 (XML) <image_link>http://www.example.com/image1.jpg</image_link>

URL guidelines

Follow these guidelines to make sure your image URL is formatted so we can understand it.

Minimum requirements

These are the requirements your image URL will need to meet to show ads for your product. If you don't follow these requirements, we'll disapprove your product and let you know in the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account. 

  • Use a URL that points to an image in a supported file format.
  • Start with http or https and comply with RFC 3986. For example:  http://www.example.com/image1.jpg.
  • Replace any symbols or spaces with URL encoded entities. For example, if your URL contains an ampersand ( & ), then replace it with %26. If your URL contains a comma ( , ), then replace it with %2C.
  • Make sure your URL can be crawled by Google. For example, ensure your robots.txt file is configured correctly. Learn more about robots.txt files.

Best practices

These are best practices that can help you go beyond the basic requirements to optimize your product data for performance. 

  • Use a stable URL. The URL that you include shouldn’t change unless your image moves or is replaced. For example, don’t use URLs with timestamps or parts that could change each time you submit your product data. Whenever you change your URL, your image will need to be crawled and evaluated. This process could cause an unnecessary load on your servers.
  • Let us know when you've added or updated an image, so we can crawl the image and get it appearing in your ads as soon as possible.
    • Add an image for a new product. Before submitting new products, test some of your image links using the Fetch as Google tool, which is available through Google Search Console. If you’re submitting a lot of new products, using this tool on a few links can help you detect issues before submitting product data. Once you submit your product data, the image will be crawled within 3 days. Learn more about using Fetch as Google
    • Change an image for an existing product. If you need to change an image of an existing product, submit a new URL for the new image. When you submit a new URL, the image will be crawled within 3 days. Keep in mind that if you change the image, but keep the same URL, it might take up to 6 weeks to detect and then crawl the new image. 

Image guidelines

Follow these guidelines to make sure your image meets our requirements and is optimized for the best ad performance.

Minimum requirements

These are the requirements you'll need to meet to show ads for your product. If you don't follow these requirements,  your product will be disapproved and you will be notified in the Diagnostics section of your Merchant Center account. 

Green checkmark

Meet these image size requirements:

  • Non-apparel images: at least 100 x 100 pixels
  • Apparel images: at least 250 x 250 pixels
  • No image larger than 64 megapixels
  • No image file larger than 16MB

The result will be a high quality image displaying your product at its best. Here's an example showing why we can't accept images that don't meet the requirement: 

An example ad with a fuzzy image

 

Green checkmark

Accurately display the the entire product and include minimal or no product staging. Here's an example showing why we can't accept images that don't meet the requirement: 

An example ad with a cropped image

Green checkmark Make sure your image shows all products in the bundle if you used the is_bundle attribute to identify a bundle.

This way users can clearly identify what is included. 

An illustration of a bundle that includes a camera body, lens, and bag

Red X Don't use a placeholder or an image that doesn't show your product. Use additional_image_link to submit other images that might be helpful to users, such as other views of the product or images that show the results of the product.

Placeholders don’t allow users to clearly see what they are buying. Here's an example showing why we can't accept images that don't meet the requirement: 

An example of an ad that contains a placeholder image

Red X Don't use a generic image, graphic, or illustration that is not the actual product image. You can add these types of images with additional_image_link.
Green checkmark

Exception: A generic image, graphic, or illustration is allowed for a product in these categories:

  • Hardware (632)
  • Vehicles & Parts (888)
  • Software > Computer Software (313

An illustration of a screw

For certain categories, you can include a generic image with measurements

Red X Don't use a logo or icon instead of an actual product image.
Green checkmark

Exception: Software logos or icons can represent your software product in this category:

  • Software > Computer Software (313

An example of a company logo, in this case the "Google" logo

Red X Don't use a single-color image that is only a square of color.

An example of an ad with a pattern for an image

Green checkmark

Exception: A single-color image is allowed for a product in these categories:

  • Vehicle Paint (3812)
  • Craft Paint, Ink & Glaze (505378)
  • Painting Consumables (503740)

An example of an ad with a single color image

Red X

Don't use an image that contains promotional elements or content that covers the product. Examples of promotional elements include:

  • calls to action, for example, buy
  • service-related information such as extended warranty
  • free shipping
  • price information
  • promotional adjectives, for example, best, cheap
  • condition or compatibility, for example, new, 2-piece, adaptable
  • any overlay, for example, watermarks, brand names, logos
  • barcodes
  • retailer name
  • retailer logo

Here's an example showing why we can't accept images that don't meet the requirement: 

An example of an ad with a promotional element

Red X

Don't use an image with a border. To ensure that your image works with a variety of design elements, don’t include borders around your image. Here's an example showing why we can't accept images that don't meet the requirement: 

Another example of an ad with a promotional element

 

Best practices

These are best practices that can help you go beyond the basic requirements to optimize your product data for performance. 

Green checkmark Use an image that shows a clear view of the main product being sold. Any additional views of the product can be submitted with the additional_image_link attribute.

An example showing how additional images can appear alongside the main image

Green checkmark

Submit a unique image that represents the distinguishing details of each variant. For example, you sell a couch with two variants, one is green and the other is blue. You submit the first variant, green, with an image of the green couch. You submit the second variant, blue, with an image of the blue couch. The green couch should not use an image of the blue couch, and vice versa.

An illustration of a couch with product staging

  • Show the correct variant. Match the product that you’re selling, so make sure that your image matches the color, pattern, and material attributes. Here's an example showing why we recommend that you show the correct variant.

    An example of an image in the product data that doesn

  • For variants based on color, show only 1 variant. Don’t use an image that shows multiple variants. 

 

Green checkmark

Ensure the best ad performance by using the highest quality images. Submit the largest, highest resolution, full-size image you have for the product, up to 64 megapixels and 16MB file size. We recommend images of at least 800 x 800 pixels.

Here's an example showing why we make this recommendation:

An example ad with a low resolution image

Green checkmark

Frame your product in the image space so that it takes up no less than 75%, but not more than 90%, of the full image.

Here's an example showing why we make this recommendation:

An example of an ad with an image that

Green checkmark

Use a solid white or transparent background. These background colors ensure that your image works with a variety of design elements.

Here's an example showing why we make this recommendation:

An example showing how different backgrounds can be distracting

An example showing how different backgrounds can be distracting

Green checkmark Show a single unit of the product. If you’re using the multipack attribute, the main image should be of a single unit. You can include additional images using the additional_image_link attribute.

An illustration showing a 1-pack for pens

Green checkmark Keep in mind that we may automatically crop your image as we experiment with the best display options for the Shopping ad format. The purpose of the cropping is to focus the image more on the product.
Red X

Don't include any product that's not sold together with the main product. For example, if you sell a pair of shoes don’t include other accessories like a pair of glasses, a handbag or a dress in the photo unless the products are sold together.

Here's an example showing why we make this recommendation:

An example ad with too many things in the product image

Red X

Don't scale up an image or submit a thumbnail.

Here's an example showing why we make this recommendation:

An example ad with a low resolution image

Examples

Variants

For products with variants, submit the correct image of each variant so your users are sure what they’re clicking on.

An example ad showing a shoe with different color variants

Product Google shoes
image_link http://www.example.com/image1.jpg
title Original Google shoes, mens size 8, blue and orange
color blue/orange/purple
size 8
size_system US
id 8989-blu_or-M-8-US
item_group_id 8989
 
Product Google shoes
image_link http://www.example.com/image2.jpg
title Original Google shoes, mens size 8, green and brown
color green/brown
size 8
size_system US
id 8989-grn_brn-M-8-US
item_group_id 8989
 
Product Google shoes
image_link http://www.example.com/image3.jpg
title Original Google shoes, mens size 8, black and white
color black/white
size 8
size_system US
id 8989-blk_wht-M-8-US
item_group_id 8989

Variants that look the same

If your product varies by size, but all sizes essentially look the same, you can use the same image for each variant. Still send users to the specific landing page for each variant using the link attribute.

An illustration of a shoe

Product Google shoes
image_link http://www.example.com/image1.jpg
title Original Google shoes, mens size 8, blue and orange
color blue/orange/purple
size 8
size_system US
id 8989-blu_or-M-8-US
item_group_id 8989
 
Product Google shoes
image_link http://www.example.com/image1.jpg
title Original Google shoes, mens size 9, blue and orange
color blue/orange/purple
size 9
size_system US
id 8989-blu_or-M-9-US
item_group_id 8989
 
Product Google shoes
image_link http://www.example.com/image1.jpg
title Original Google shoes, mens size 10, blue and orange
color blue/orange/purple
size 10
size_system US
id 8989-blu_or-M-10-US
item_group_id 8989
Software subscription

For software subscriptions, you can submit either a generic image of the software box, such as you would submit for a physically boxed version of the software, or you can submit a logo.

An example of a company logo, in this case the "Google" logo

Product Google Security Software Basic Edition (1-year subscription)
title Google Security Software Basic Edition (1-year subscription)
price 29.90 USD
google_product_category Software > Computer Software > Antivirus & Security Software
brand Google
mpn 123GOOGLE432
gtin 1234567890123
id G-ABC123
shipping 0.00 USD
image_link http://www.example.com/software-logo.jpg
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