Submit the Google Search index
[canonical_link] attribute for products that are eligible for free product listings on Google and use it to ensure that your products are associated with the correct URL in Google's Search index. The URL in this attribute is not served, but will improve Google's understanding about the product.
[link]attribute. You may then use the Google Search index attribute to direct all variants of the product to the landing page of the base product, which has no variant parameters (such as size or colour) pre-selected. URLs discovered by Google's web search crawler typically link to a single base product without any pre-selected parameters.
When to use
Optional for each product
Use the Google Search index
[canonical_link] attribute to indicate which URL you want Google to use when matching your products' landing pages with the Search index. If you do not indicate a canonical link, Google will crawl your site and set whichever URL it considers to be the most representative as the canonical link.
If you already provide a Google Search index URL in your product landing page markup, you do not need to provide the Google Search index
[canonical_link] attribute. If you provide a value for both and those values don't match, Google will select a link based on internal signals.
You can also set a
noindex tag in the html of your landing page if you want to prevent your page from being crawled and added to the web index.
Follow these formatting guidelines to make sure that Google understands the data that you're submitting.
|File format||Example entry|
Follow these guidelines to make sure that you submit high quality data for your products.
These are the requirements that 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 on the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account.
- Make sure that your attribute value meets the requirements for canonical URLs. Learn more about requirements for Google Search index URLs
- Start with
httpand comply with RFC 3986. For example:
- Use your verified domain name. Make sure that you use the domain name that you verified (during account setup or through the Website Verification tab). Learn more about how to verify and claim your domain name
- Make sure that your canonical URLs can be crawled by Google. For example, ensure that your robots.txt file is configured correctly. Otherwise, your landing page will not appear in the search results. Learn more about robots.txt files
- Replace any symbols or spaces with URL encoded entities. For example, if your URL contains an
&, then replace it with
- Submit only one Google Search index attribute for your product. If you provide multiple Google Search index attributes for the same item, only one of them will be applied.
These best practices can help you go beyond the basic requirements to optimise your product data for performance.
- Use a stable Google Search index URL. The URL that you include shouldn't change unless your landing page moves. Don't use URLs with timestamps or parts that could change each time that you submit your product data.
- Whenever you change your URL, your landing page will need to be evaluated and crawled. This process could cause unnecessary load on your servers.
- Use a landing page that doesn't include parameters in its URL as the destination for this link. If parameters are set, Google may crawl the URL inefficiently and exclude the URL that you want to include.
- Don't use pre-selected variants. The Google Search index link to your landing page should have no pre-selected variants.
- Don't use tracking parameters in Google Search index links. Tracking parameters may be removed by Google's web crawler and will make the matching of your products against the search index less accurate.
- Don't use the ads redirect attribute for your Google Search index links. Redirects may not be crawled by Google's web crawler and your URL may not be included in search results.
[canonical_link]attribute to direct all variants of the product to a single base product, which has no variants pre-selected, as in the examples below:
|Product data for a small blue dress|
|Google Search index
|Product data for a large green dress|
|Google Search index