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In this help center, you can find content for both Merchant Center Next and the classic Merchant Center experience. Look for the logo at the top of each article to make sure you're using the article for the Merchant Center version that applies to you. 

ID [id]

A custom icon for Merchant Center Classic and Merchant Center Next.

Use the ID [id] attribute to uniquely identify each product. The ID won’t be shown to customers who view your products online. However, you can use the ID to look up your product, place bids, and check a product's performance. We recommend that you use your product SKU for this value.

In this article


When to use

Required Required for each product


Format

Follow these formatting guidelines to make sure Google understands the data you're submitting. Learn when and how to submit your product data in English.

Type

Unicode characters (Recommended: ASCII only): alphanumeric, underscores, and dashes

Limits

1–50 characters

Repeated field

No

Schema.org property

(What's this?)

Product.sku, Type: Text

File format

Example value

Text feeds

tddy123uk

XML feeds

<g:id>tddy123uk</g:id>

To format your data for Content API, see the Content API for Shopping resource.

Note: To ensure that this product data attribute gets recognized by our system correctly, remember to submit your data feed file in a format that we support.

Minimum requirements

These are the requirements you'll need to meet to show your product. If you don't follow these requirements, we'll disapprove your product and let you know in your Merchant Center account.

  • Submit a unique ID for each different product.
  • Use a stable ID for each product. Once you've assigned an ID to a product, don't change it. The ID you choose, in combination with target country and language, identifies the product, helps Google to retrieve any product-specific information, and is used to track the product's performance history in Merchant Center and Google Ads. If you change the ID, you'll overwrite your product and its history.
  • Use the same ID for the same product targeting different countries or different languages within the same country. Learn more about language requirements.
    • If you target a multilingual country, like Switzerland, use the same ID for a product shared in each supported language such as German, French, and Italian.
    • If you target multiple countries, like the United States and Canada, use the same ID for a product shared between countries.
  • Don’t use casing to make IDs unique. While product IDs are case-sensitive in the Merchant Center, there may be cases in which two products with product IDs that differ only by casing are interpreted as the same product. For example, if you submit ID "abc123" for one product and ID "ABC123" for another, these offers may be confused in Google Ads filtering or there could be issues matching them across supplemental and primary feeds. Instead of casing, use unique combinations of letters and numbers to differentiate products.
  • Don’t reuse or recycle the same ID for different products. For example:
    • Don’t reuse an ID for different products in the same target country or language.
    • Don’t reuse an ID for products with variants. Each variant is a unique product and needs its unique ID.
    • Don’t reuse an ID if you sell a “promotion of the day.” IDs are linked to a product, not a promotion.
    • Don’t recycle an ID for new products. Even if you’re not selling a product anymore or the product is out of stock, don't use that product's ID for any other product.
  • Avoid white space. Consecutive white spaces and white spaces before and after the ID will be automatically removed.
  • Don't submit invalid unicode characters. These characters are generally added during your file's encoding process. To avoid them, use UTF-8 encoding. To help prevent encoding issues, submit files in a compressed format. Examples of invalid unicode characters include:
    • Control characters (for example, U+200D)
    • Function characters
    • Private area characters
    • Surrogate pairs
    • Unassigned code points

Best practices

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

  • Use SKUs as IDs where possible. SKUs help us to understand the structure of your landing page. Since SKUs are unique, they can also help prevent you from accidentally reusing IDs.
  • For Vehicle Ads in the UK, the best practice is for the ID attribute to be the VRM (Vehicle Registration Mark/Number).

Examples

Product without variants

Product data for an Android Squishable

Attribute

Value

ID [id]

01ABC

Product with variants

Include a unique ID for each variant of the product. For example, if you have a parent SKU for a set of 4 variants of the same product, submit the parent SKU as the value for the item group ID [item_group_id] attribute and a unique ID based on the parent SKU for the ID [id] attribute.

Product data for red Google Malibu sunglasses

Attribute

Value

Color [color]

Red

Item group ID [item_group_id]

12345

ID [id]

12345-R

 

 

Product data for green Google Malibu sunglasses

Attribute

Value

Color [color]

Green

Item group ID [item_group_id]

12345

ID [id]

12345-G

 

 

Product data for yellow Google Malibu sunglasses

Attribute

Value

Color [color]

Yellow

Item group ID [item_group_id]

12345

ID [id]

12345-Y

 

 

Product data for blue Google Malibu sunglasses

Attribute

Value

Color [color]

Blue

Item group ID [item_group_id]

12345

ID [id]

12345-B

Same product submitted to multiple countries

 

Product data for an Android Squishable sold in the United States

Attribute

Value

Target country

United States

ID [id]

01ABC

 

 

Product data for an Android Squishable sold in Canada

Attribute

Value

Target country

Canada

ID [id]

01ABC

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