2019 Merchant Center product data specification update

Each year, we make changes to the product data specification with the goal of creating a better experience for people who search for products online.

What’s changing this year:

Google Product Category: The google_product_category attribute will become optional. If you don’t submit a value for this attribute, or if we don’t recognize the value that you’ve entered, Google will automatically assign a category to your product, which will be visible on your product details page on Merchant Center. There are certain categories of products, including some subcategories of Apparel & Accessories and Media, which may require additional attributes, such as gender, age_group, size, color, and/or a combination of unique product identifiers.

If you don’t provide all of the required attributes for your product’s assigned category, you will receive a warning on the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account. In 2020, these warnings will become disapprovals and the affected offers will no longer show. Learn more about the google product category attribute

Ads redirect: As of October 30, 2018, parallel tracking is required for all Google Ads accounts. Parallel tracking sends customers directly from your ad to your final URL while click measurement happens in the background. This helps load your landing page more quickly, which can reduce lost visits.

Starting March 27, 2019, the ads_redirect attribute will be required to have the same URL domain as the link and mobile_link attributes. If these values are different, the value for the ads_redirect attribute will be cleared, and your click measurement could stop working. Learn more about the ads_redirect attribute

Changes begin March 27th, 2019

These updates will go into full effect beginning March 27, 2019. As a result, some of your products that were previously disapproved may become eligible to serve, which could impact your budget in Google Ads. If you want to prevent these items from serving, go to the Diagnostics page of your Google Merchant Center account to review the affected products and remove these products from your data feed.

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