image_link [image_link]: Definition

Include the URL for your main product image with the image_link [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 [image_link] and include all other images in the additional_image_link [additional_image_link] attribute.

Format

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

Type URL (including http or https), ASCII characters only, and RFC 3986 compliant
Limits 1-2000 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 is 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.co.uk/image1.jpg</g:image_link>


For format API information, please see Content API for Shopping.

URL guidelines

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

Minimum requirements

These are the requirements that 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 on 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 (&), replace it with %26. If your URL contains a comma (,), replace it with %2C.
  • Make sure that your URL can be crawled by Google. For example, ensure that your robots.txt file is configured correctly. Find out more about robots.txt files.

Best practices

These are best practices that can help you go beyond the basic requirements to optimise 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 every 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 that 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 to 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 three days. Keep in mind that if you change the image, but keep the same URL, it might take up to six weeks to detect and then crawl the new image.
  • Enable automatic image improvements. Google offers tools that can automatically improve your images, which may prevent offer disapprovals. Check to see whether this tool would be a good fit for your account. Learn more about automatic image improvements

Image guidelines

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

Minimum requirements

These are the requirements that 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-clothing images: At least 100 x 100 pixels
  • Clothing images: At least 250 x 250 pixels
  • No image larger than 64 megapixels
  • No image file larger than 16 MB

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 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 that your image shows all products in the bundle if you used the is_bundle [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 [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 [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-colour image that is only a square of colour.

An example of an ad with a pattern for an image

Green checkmark

Exception: A single-colour 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 delivery
  • price information
  • promotional adjectives, for example, best, cheap
  • condition or compatibility, for example, new, two-piece, adaptable
  • any overlay, for example, watermarks, brand names, logos
  • barcodes
  • brand/manufacturer/retailer name
  • brand/manufacturer/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 optimise 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 [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 sofa. You submit the second variant, blue, with an image of the blue sofa. The green sofa should not use an image of the blue sofa, 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 [colour], pattern [pattern] and material [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 colour, show only one variant. Don't use an image that shows multiple variants. 
  • Show correct image. Don't use an image that represents a non-customised product if you want to advertise a customised product, and vice versa. 
    Learn more about requirements for customised products

 

Green checkmark

Ensure the best ad performance by using the highest quality images. Submit the largest, highest resolution, full-size image that you have for the product, up to 64 megapixels and 16 MB 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 no 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 colours 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 [multipack] attribute, the main image should be of a single unit. You can include additional images using the additional_image_link [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 that your users are sure what they're clicking on.

An example ad showing a shoe with different color variants

Product Google shoes
image_link [image_link] http://www.example.com/image1.jpg
title [title] Original Google shoes, mens size 8, blue and orange
color [colour] blue/orange/purple
size [size] 10
size_system [size_system] UK
id [id] 8989-blu_or-M-10-UK
item_group_id [item_group_id] 8989
 
Product Google shoes
image_link [image_link] http://www.example.com/image2.jpg
title [title] Original Google shoes, mens size 10, green and brown
color [colour] green/brown
size [size] 10
size_system [size_system] UK
id [id] 8989-grn_brn-M-10-UK
item_group_id [item_group_id] 8989
 
Product Google shoes
image_link [image_link] http://www.example.com/image3.jpg
title [title] Original Google shoes, mens size 10, black and white
color [colour] black/white
size [size] 10
size_system [size_system] UK
id [id] 8989-blk_wht-M-10-UK
item_group_id [item_group_id] 8989

Variants that look the same

If your product varies only 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 [link] attribute.

An illustration of a shoe

Product Google shoes
image_link [image_link] http://www.example.com/image1.jpg
title [title] Original Google shoes, mens size 8, blue and orange
color [colour] blue/orange/purple
size [size] 10
size_system [size_system] UK
id [id] 8989-blu_or-M-10-UK
item_group_id [item_group_id] 8989
 
Product Google shoes
image_link [image_link] http://www.example.com/image1.jpg
title [title] Original Google shoes, mens size 11, blue and orange
color [colour] blue/orange/purple
size [size] 9
size_system [size_system] UK
id [id] 8989-blu_or-M-11-UK
item_group_id [item_group_id] 8989
 
Product Google shoes
image_link [image_link] http://www.example.com/image1.jpg
title [title] Original Google shoes, mens size 12, blue and orange
color [colour] blue/orange/purple
size [size] 12
size_system [size_system] UK
id [id] 8989-blu_or-M-12-UK
item_group_id [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 [title] Google Security Software Basic Edition (1-year subscription)
price [price] 29.90 USD
google_product_category [google_product_category] Software > Computer Software > Antivirus & Security Software
brand [brand] Google
mpn [mpn] 123GOOGLE432
gtin [gtin] 1234567890123
id [id] G-ABC123
shipping [shipping] 0.00 GBP
image_link [image_link] http://www.example.com/software-logo.jpg

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