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Updates to Feed Rules in Merchant Center

Today, we launched changes to the Merchant Center Feed Rules.

Why we’re making these changes

The changes and updates are based on feedback that we’ve received since the launch of the Feed Rules feature. One of the most common requests we received was to be able to certain values within a target attribute without applying the update to all of the values. To allow for this, we’ve adjusted some of the existing Feed Rules behaviors.

The updates we’ve made to mapping and conditional rules should make creating these rules more intuitive and better align the functionality with most retailers expectations. We encourage you to review any existing mapping and conditional rules to see if the new functionality makes it easier for you to transform your data. 

What’s changing

We’re updating the overwrite settings and behavior for mapping and conditional rules. Specifically, the “overwrite all values for this attribute” checkbox has been removed from mapping and conditional rules.

Changes to mapping rules

Mapping rules, also known as the “Use values from an existing column” option, will now overwrite all existing values you may also have submitted directly for the target attribute. In the previous version of Feed Rules, mapping rules for a target attribute that exists in the feed wouldn't overwrite any existing values when the “Overwrite all values for this attribute” option was unchecked. 

Changes to conditional rules

Previously in Feed Rules, if the “Overwrite all values for this attribute” option was unchecked, a conditional rule for a target attribute wouldn’t update any existing values that met the condition. In the updated Feed Rules, conditional rules will always update target attribute values for any products that match the criteria, regardless of if there is an existing value or not. 

In addition, conditional rules now have an ELSE option, which you can use to state what should happen if a value doesn’t match the defined conditional rule. There are three choices with the ELSE option: 

  • Use values from a specific field in the feed
  • Remove any values that may have been submitted
  • Create a new value for products that don’t match the rule 

Updating legacy rules

Existing legacy mapping and conditional rules with the previous options will remain active and will continue to transform your data based on the options you previously selected. We’ve added an Upgrade button to rules that have legacy Feed Rules functionality; click Upgrade to apply the new behavior.

Legacy rules will continue to work as long as the rule remains unedited. However, clicking the Upgrade button or editing and saving a legacy rule will update it to the new options and behavior. 

Before modifying any legacy rules, verify that the change won’t negatively impact the processing of your feed. To update your rules, go to the Feed Rules page in Merchant Center, apply changes to the legacy rule that you wish to update or click "Upgrade" to upgrade this rule to the updated Feed Rules behavior.

What’s new

With this update, we’re also introducing new features to Feed Rules which will allow you to expand and augment current rule structures and offer more opportunities to transform your data. The new features are:

  • Combine values: Combine, or concatenate, static values and values from fields in your feed to populate values for a target attribute. For example, create values for the ‘image link’ attributes by combining the ‘link’ field with the ‘id’ field.
  • Extract values: Search an existing field within your feed for specific values to populate a target attribute. For example, search within the ‘description’ field for colors that match a specified list to populate values for the ‘color’ attribute.  
  • More conditional rule operators: Additional operators for conditional rule operators have been introduced. The new operators are: 
    • Does-not-equal
    • Does-not-contain
    • Does-not-start-with
    • Does-not-end-with 

Give feedback

The changes coming to Feed Rules are a direct result of feedback from retailers like you. As you use the updated Feed Rules, we‘d like to hear your feedback. You can provide feedback directly in your Merchant Center account by clicking the 3-dot icon in the top-right corner of your account and selecting Send Feedback.

August 2016


Related links:

About Feed Rules 

Set up Feed Rules 

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