Google Shopping Unique Product Identifier Requirements Deadline On September 16th

Google announced that they will be enforcing the new unique product identifier requirements to continue improving data quality on Google Shopping. See the full reminder from this afternoon:

A few weeks ago, we announced that we’ll soon be enforcing the new unique product identifier requirements to continue improving data quality on Google Shopping. These new specifications help us serve better results to users while creating more opportunities for merchants. We highly recommend making the necessary changes to comply with data quality requirements, as better data quality is a key lever to improve the performance of your Product Listing Ads campaigns.

Beginning on September 16th, all previously exempt accounts in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom as well as all accounts in Australia, Brazil, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Japan, and the Netherlands will begin to be subject to these new requirements. By November, all violating offers will be rejected and will not be served through Product Listing Ads. These new feed specifications are already being enforced for all accounts in the United States and non-exempt accounts in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

In September, we’ll also begin enforcing correct use of the ‘identifier exists’ attribute. To avoid disruption to your traffic, please ensure that you’re only submitting ‘identifier exists’ with a value of FALSE in categories where unique product identifiers are required but no such identifier exists for an item (for example, custom goods). Please review the latest product feed specification to learn more.

To help merchants with this transition, we’ll be broadcasting Google Shopping Office Hours via a Hangout on Air on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 9:30 am Pacific Time. We encourage you to join us to get advice about data feeds and unique product identifiers. If you already know what you’d like to ask, feel free to post it in the comments now. You’ll be able to submit questions during the Hangout on Air as well.

Make sure you don’t get dropped out of Google Shopping. Here’s what you need to do:

Include unique product identifiers in your data feed
  • Apparel categories: ‘brand’ is required. Additionally, for the categories listed below, you must submit at least 1 out of ‘gtin’ or ‘mpn’:
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Shoes’
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Clothing Accesories > Sunglasses’
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Handbags, Wallets & Cases > Handbags’
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Jewelry > Watches’
  • Media and software categories: ‘gtin’ is required
  • All other categories: at least 2 of the following 3 identifiers are required: ‘brand’, ‘gtin’, and ‘mpn’.
  • Exception: in categories where unique product identifiers are required but no such identifier exists for an item (e.g. custom goods), submit ‘identifier exists’ with a value of FALSE.

If you don’t provide the required unique product identifiers, your items may be removed from Google Shopping. For all your items, we recommend submitting all three attributes (‘brand’, ‘mpn’, and ‘gtin’) where available.

Required Product Categories

Please note that it is possible that none of your products will appear in Google Shopping if your data feed does not include the required unique product identifiers in all categories, except for custom goods.

Custom goods: Custom goods are one-of-a-kind items for which no unique product identifiers exist, like vintage goods, collectibles, art, perishables, books published before 1970, and other special items. Custom goods can be in any product category.

CategoryIdentifiers required for each product
Media (i.e., Music, Movies, Video games)UPC, EAN, or JAN
BooksISBN (Either ISBN-10 or ISBN-13. Exceptions apply for books published before 1970.)
Apparel (outside of the Shoes, Handbags, Sunglasses, and Watches categories)*Brand
Items in the Shoes, Handbags, Sunglasses, and Watches categoriesBrand and at least 1 of the following 2 identifiers:

  • UPC, EAN, or JAN
  • MPN
Custom goodsThe ‘identifier exists’ attribute must be provided with a value of FALSE.
All otherAt least two of the following three identifiers:

  • UPC, EAN, or JAN
  • Brand
  • MPN

*Definition of Apparel: To see the scope of the apparel category, please visit the ‘apparel and accessories’ section of the taxonomy chart.

Menachem Ani

Menachem Ani ()

Online Advertising and eCommerce Expert with over a decade of success developing high-impact marketing strategies for online retailers and lead-generation clients.