Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Google Enforcing New Requirements - Is Your Google Feed Ready?

As of June 20th Google Product Search Merchants will have to provide unique identifiers for products in all categories except for apparel and one-of-a-kind items.

To determine if your data is ready, login to your Google Merchant account and check your 'Data Quality' to see if you currently have Unique Product Identifier warnings, and make adjustments as needed.

Warnings could turn into errors on June 20th and those products will not be displayed.

Apparel & Accessories - If your items fall into the Apparel & Accessories category, you will be exempt, although it is still encouraged to provide a Brand/Manufacturer and the Google Product Type to ensure proper placement. Apparel & Accessories includes these categories:
  • Clothing
  • Clothing Accessories
  • Costumes
  • Jewelry
  • Jewelry Accessories
  • Shoe Accessories
  • Shoes
  • Watch Accessories
  • Watches
  • Luggage & Bags ' Handbags

Exemptions - If your products are custom made or one-of-a-kind items, you will need to apply for an exemption from Google:

How to Validate your Google Feed
The best way to determine if you are in compliance with Google's new requirements is to use GoDataFeed's new Google feed template as the validation tools and field attributes are built-in to ensure compliance.

You will need two of the three items for your products:
1. ACCURATE Brand information (you can use Manufacturer)
2. ACCURATE Manufacturer Product Numbers (MPN) as assigned by the Manufacturer - and that they are assigned to the CORRECT products.
3. or ACCURATE UPC Codes as assigned by the Manufacturer - 12 to 14 digit codes (or ISBNs for books)
Google uses the above information to match your products against a standard database of products and will show their image, their title and descriptions. If the information you provide is inaccurate then it will show up incorrect in Google or may not get submitted at all.

Please note that in the weeks after June 20th, Google will begin disapproving feeds of merchants who have a significant percentage of items that do not include the correct unique identifiers.

Shipping and Tax Information Requirements- Google is also extending the previous June 6th deadline until September 1, to allow Merchants more time to modify their data. They are also permitting estimates for tax/shipping information. This rule applies to Google US, UK, France and Germany feeds.
Shopping Engines & Product Data Feeds