Adding Magento products to Google Merchant Center

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This post describes how to add Magento products to Google Merchant Center (formerly known as Google Base) using a product feed and explains some of the issues you might encounter. This post used to be about adding Magento products to Google Base, but since Google swapped Google Base for Google Merchant Center, I revamped this article with up to date data.

Setting up the Google Merchant Center account

Head over to Google Merchant Center page to create a Google Merchant account. Important note: While you’re able to add additional users to one Google Merchant Center account through Users tab in Settings, every Google account can be associated with only one Google Merchant Center Account.

Generating a Magento product feed for Google Shopping Ads

While there are several solutions in form of extensions out there, so far we’ve only used our custom in-house developed code to generate the product feed.

If you can’t have the in-house solution, there is an official extension by Magento called Google Content API for shopping, but that extension seem to have a lot of issue judging by reviews. I’d probably try some of the other solutions.

If you’ll create a custom product feed generation solution, here are the full feed specifications that you should go through.

EDIT: Good mates left some nice options for feed generation in the comments bellow this post so make sure to check those out.

EDIT 2: Right now, if you don’t have a custom feed generating solution, we would recommend Rocketweb’s Google Shopping Feed extension for Magento.

We tried it on several projects and compared to other feed generating solutions it’s much more flexible, meets a lot of needs and has fewer bugs.

Mapping your Magento categories to Google Product Taxonomy

One thing you must keep in mind that’s not mentioned in Google Support or in feed specification is that Google has a different product taxonomy for each country. This means that, altough the language is pretty much the same, some things are actually differently organized in UK taxonomy than in US taxonomy.

Test the new product feed

Once you’ve generated your product feed, it’s time to upload it into the Google Merchant Center and test it. Within GMC, go to the data feeds tab.

There are two different upload buttons: “New Data Feed” and “New Test Data Feed”. Use the test feed to test if your feed is generated correctly.

Add and schedule your product feed to GMC

Once you tested the feed and solved any issues, go to the data feeds tab once again and add your feed using a “New Data Feed” button.

You can create a schedule for Google Merchant Center to automatically fetch your data feed at certain time of the day every day, week or month. In most cases I’d recommend generating and fetching the feed daily.

Common reasons for Google Merchant Center to disapprove your products

The most common reason for Google to disapprove your products are your images.

For apparel products images must be at least 250x250px. Max image size for any category is 4MB.

If your products (apparel) come in several colors or even sizes, Google requires a different image for each variation.

Your images may not have a watermark on them.

Your images must be crawl-able by Google, make sure you didn’t block them by robots.txt disallow or if they are on CDN make sure your CDN is not blocking them with CDN’s robots.txt disallow.

Apparel products must have a color. It can’t be a pattern (you can’t put “chevron pattern” under color attribute). You must use the “dominant” color instead, and you may add additional colors. Also color can’t be #ffffff, it needs to be the actual name of the color “white” or “black” or “red” etc.

Your price might have changed between the time you generated the feed and the time someone reviewed the products in your feed. If price is different in the feed compared to the price on the live store, your products will get disapproved.

Product reviews in Google shopping ads

Google recently started including product reviews into their shopping ads. This is only available in the USA, but when it comes to features such as this one we can expect it to roll out into UK and some other countries soon as well.

To be able to display your product reviews (and star rating) within your Google shopping ads, you need to either use one of the authorized 3rd party review systems (fore full list scroll down in this article) or create a product review feed.

In any case, you’ll need to fill out this form.

If you use your own product review system, as I mentioned, you’ll need to create a review feed. There are two types of feed supported, a full feed and an incremental feed. Click here for feed specifications and here for a sample feed.

Google Trusted Stores Feeds

Besides accepting product feeds for your shopping ads, Google Merchant Center is also a place where you submit your shipment and cancellation feeds for Google trusted stores program.

If you don’t know what this program is, it’s Google’s amazing trust seal that boosts the trust of your customers into your store since Google has your shipment and order cancellation data and asks your customers for feedback. Within GTS, Google also offers your customers up to $1,000 purchase protection.

Unfortunately, for now Google Trusted Stores program is only available in the US.

EDIT: Google Trusted Stores program is now available in the UK and it’s called Google Certified Shops program. We already have one of our clients accepted into the program!

Should you require any help with this make sure you check out our AdWords management service for eCommerce businesses.


About Toni Anicic

eCommerce Consultant

SEO. Professional gaming. Home-brewed beer. Magento Certified Solution Specialist.

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126 comments

  1. HI, i have a problem with manage feed section. Till yesterday i could click on Generate button in the Action column, but this morning the specific option disappeared. How can I fix this problem?

  2. The link you give to the Google Content API for shopping extension isn’t any good. This was for v1 and Google as of February is moving to v2 and the Magento extension will no longer be supported. So it looks like for now all that are available is the paid version(s) by individuals which costs hundreds of dollars. The Google Content API for shopping was free.

  3. I second to James Simpson, I’ve been using Wyomind Simple Google Shopping from almost 2 years and have deployed it on more than 15 installations successfully. It lets us easily add any new attribute Google introduces in the feeds and it has a detailed documentation for all the options. Sometimes I’ve ran into problems but easily resolved with the help of their excellent, free life-time support.

    I have also got a chance to use other extensions like – GoMage Feed Pro, RocketWeb Google Shopping Feed extensions for generating feeds but both seems way too overpriced for functionality they offer. GoMage Feed pro can let you create templates for CSEs (NexTag, PriceGrabber etc) but I’ve ran into problem with GoMage and they only have 6 month support and paid support is expensive. RocketWeb don’t even have option to generate feeds on demand basis and have some hard coded schedule which generates feed on midnight.
    I have used Wyomind Data Feed Manager on more than dozen installations for multi-channel (CSE) feeds and it comes with pre-configured templates for most sites. It’s more competent, powerful, have detailed documentation and cost less than GoMage or RocketWeb.

  4. I am using Magento extension for Google shopping. i configured extension for country Netherlands. Now, i want to map special price in Google shopping while that extension allow sale_price but it is for US.
    Can i map special price for country netherland? How is it possible?
    Hope you reply as soon as possible
    Thank you

  5. Hey,
    I am using Google shopping feed extension for my magento e-commerce site. and i have generated feed by using this extension. but when i am uploading this feed to google merchant center, its showing errors like identifiers error, google product type error, product category.
    Can you please help me. i want to use product listing ads through google adword.

  6. As for generating feeds for Google Merchant, you can have a look at his module http://amasty.com/product-feed.html. It creates feeds for many shopping engines in addition to Google shopping. Feeds are created in a few clicks and can be updates and re-submitted automatically which is very convenient, especially if you have large inventory.

  7. Hey thank you #James Simpson for mentionning Wyomind :).

    Indeed we provide an extension quite complete that allows you to send your products data to Google via an xml feed – Simple Google Shopping. You can find a preconfigured template where you have to change some things according to your products such as the currency, VAT…
    As James said, you can map your categories to Google ones within a few minutes. We also provide detailed documentation on our extensions (including a tutorial).

    Last month, we launched our newbie, Google Trusted Stores. It allows you to automatically send your shipments and cancellations feed to Google when applying for Google Trusted Stores program. I’m sure this could be interesting for some of you.
    The best would be to visit our page at http://www.wyomind.com.

    Cheers,
    Laurie

  8. The best and fastest solution which has hit the market up to now is probably http://www.feedexporter.com We worked very hard to have an indexer based feed generator tool, so we can do 100k+ products as fully flexible xml/csv in just a few minutes. Google Shopping Template comes out of the box… You need performance for your customers but you also need always up to date data feeds, this is where Cartware_FeedExporter comes in handy. Made in Germany.

  9. I have had a great experience with the “Simple Google Shopping” plugin by Wyomind, it allows you to assign Google categories to your categories, so it attaches the google categories when building the feed. And its also quite simple to pull parent data into the simple product when it builds the feed, for grouping goods (Shoes and Clothes) into one ad.

    1. I have the parent child products with the right and left eyes for contacts and glasses.
      I would be interested in how you set up the Simple Google Shopping to accommodate that.

  10. Hi everyone,

    I just revamped this old post. It used to talk about adding Magento products to Google Base. Since Google swapped Google Base for Google Merchant Center I changed the entire content of the article to help you find your way in adding Magento products to the Google Merchant Center.

  11. Anybody know how to call the thumbnail url for the feed? We have a unique situation and need to have 125×125 thumbnail images in our feed. Would love some help!

  12. I have successfully set up attribute mapping for google content/shopping. Products have upload and are seen in Merchant Center account. However, no images have uploaded via the magento go Google Content submit feature. I am looking for a solution thru Magento Go to submit images, is there a way or do I need to make this correction in Google Merchant Center?

  13. Hi. Where can I find the xml that this extension generates ? I need to inform it to a MarketPlace and they need the xml file…

  14. I added the new attributes to our online chandlery and managed to get the feed to upload chandlery products to Google Base but I was then unable to edit the products without removing them from the feed again. Has anybody else had a similar problem?

  15. As I posted on this thread long ago, a very good alternative is : http://www.gomage.com/extensions/advertising-marketing/gomage-feed-pro.html/

    Yes it does cost $139 BUT as it is an XML feed builder, if Google change the paramters of uploading products (they do this occasionally) then these changes can be fixed without needing a programmatic solution.

    Also, you can use it to push your products to a wide range of other feeds.

    At PB we can install and configure this for you for about £160 + VAT + cost of the extension (and we get a nice big discount too)

    I’ve put this module on at least 4 sites and once done and configured on CRON you can just about forget about it!

  16. Hi,

    After adding the attribute ‘Condition’, i tried the Add attribute mapping, but still getting error

    Expected response code 200, got 502 Google

    502. That’s an error.

    The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.

    Please try again in 30 seconds. That’s all we know.

    How to resolve it?

  17. i am using magento ver 1.4.1.0

    when i am trying to create attribute it give me error

    => read time out 10 second
    and if i make it 30 then also same and if i set more then 30

    then

    =>Expected response code 200, got 502 Google

    502. That’s an error.

    The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.

    Please try again in 30 seconds. That’s all we know.

  18. Didn’t know it has been phased out. I was looking for it everywhere in enterprise 1.11.1.0 and couldn’t find it. NO WONDER 🙂

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