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Beginner's Guide

Create a feed

 

In order to upload your product data in Google Merchant Center, you will first need to create a feed to which you can submit your data. This step is required for any new feed, and once a feed is registered, you can update the existing feed without having to register it again.

Primary feeds

A primary feed is the required data source that Merchant Center uses to display your products on Google. If the product data in your primary feed already meets our product data specification and policies, creating and submitting a primary feed is the only feed action you will need to take. Product data that does not meet the Merchant Center requirements can be adapted by using the advanced feed features, including supplemental feeds. In addition, you can use supplemental feeds to enhance or override your product data to improve the performance of your ads.

Use primary feeds to add or remove product data, set language and country targeting, and set Feed Rules for your product data. Primary feeds are the only feed type that can add or remove products. 
 

Create a primary feed
Primary feeds are the required data sources that that you must create to advertise your products with Google through feeds. To get started, go to the Feeds section under the Products section in Merchant Center. Click the plus button in the primary feed section to create a new primary feed.  Follow the prompts and provide the following pieces of information about your data:
  • Target country: A target country is the country where your products from this feed are sold. The product data uploaded to a selected target country must meet the requirements for the target country for which you submit, including the feed specifications and policies. After creating your feed you can add additional target countries under Feed settings tab. 
  • Language: The language in which your product data is written. If you select a country with multiple supported languages (such as Belgium, Canada, or Switzerland), you will be presented with a list of the supported languages of that country.
  • Primary feed name: Enter a descriptive name that helps you identify the primary feed. The feed name doesn’t need to match the name of the file you’re submitting.
  • Input method: Select the one that fits your needs best:
    • Scheduled fetch: Google can fetch your feed directly from your server via HTTP,  HTTPS, ...etc.
    • Upload: Upload files directly to Merchant Center via SFTP, FTP, Google Cloud Storage, or manually.
    • Google Sheets: send us your data using a Google Sheets template, or with an existing Google Sheet with your product data. Learn more about Google Sheets
  • File name: Depending on what input method you select, you may be prompted to enter the name of the file you'll be submitting. This name should exactly match the name of the file you created and include a valid extension.

After you have provided the information and clicked Continue, you will be able view and manage your newly created primary feed in the Feeds section of your Merchant Center account.

To manually fetch  or upload a feed, click on the 3-dot icon  3 dot icon in the processing tab of your feed and select your upload preference from the dropdown. 

Supplemental feeds

Supplemental feeds provide additional, or supplemental, data that can be connected to existing product data in the primary feed.  Supplemental feeds cannot add or remove products, or be used as a standalone feed; instead, they're used to update existing product data. Supplemental feeds can provide additional information to multiple primary feeds. 

To use a supplemental feed, connect it to existing primary feed through the id attribute. Supplemental feeds will only update your product data when the supplemental feed contains IDs that already exist in a primary feed.

Legacy online inventory update feeds 
If you want to use a separate feed for pricing and availability updates, you can do this by creating a supplemental feed and using the "Take latest" rule to update your primary feed. 

Create a supplemental feed 

A supplemental feed is a secondary data source used to provide additional attributes, both required and optional, that may be missing from your primary feed. Supplemental feeds cannot be used as a main data source. Common use cases for supplemental feeds include, but are not limited to:

  • Add or override custom labels for campaign management
  • Add or override promotion IDs for retail promotions
  • Override titles
  • Exclude specific products (via the excluded_destination attribute)
  • Add missing GTINs
  • Add local inventory product data for local inventory ads. Learn more about local product inventory feeds.

Each supplemental feed must have an id attribute column, along with at least one additional column with the data you would like to connect to a primary feed.

To create a supplemental feed, go to the Feeds section under the Products page in Merchant Center. At the top of the supplemental feeds table, click Add a supplemental feed to create a new supplemental feed. Follow the prompts and provide the following pieces of information about your data:

  • Supplemental feed name: Enter a descriptive name that helps you identify the supplemental feed. The supplemental feed name doesn’t need to match the name of the file you’re submitting.
  • Input method: Select the one that fits your needs best:
    • Google Sheets: send us your data using a generated Google Sheets template, or with an existing Google Sheet with your product data. Learn more about Google Sheets
      Scheduled fetch: Google can fetch your feed directly from your server.
      Upload: Upload files directly to Merchant Center via SFTP, FTP, Google Cloud Storage, or manually.
  • File name: Depending on what input method you select, you may be prompted to enter the name of the file you'll be submitting. This name should exactly match the name of the file you created and include a valid extension.
  • Linking to primary feed: Select any primary feed and country / language combination to which the supplemental feed belongs
  • Fetch schedule: set a scheduled fetch for your product data. This lets Merchant Center get fresh feeds without you needing to manually upload your data.

To manually upload  or fetch a feed, click on the 3-dot icon  3 dot icon in the processing tab of your feed and select your upload preference from the dropdown. 

Once your supplemental feed is created and linked to a primary feed, Merchant Center will automatically create a rule, which you can find in the Feed Rules section of Merchant Center. The rule will connect the product data from the two feeds based on the id value provided and will connect attribute data from the supplemental feed.
 

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