Adding Magento products to Google Merchant Center

Adding Magento products to Google Merchant Center

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.

You made it all the way down here so you must have enjoyed this post! You may also like:

Magento & GWT “Googlebot found an extremely high number of URLs on your site” Toni Anicic
Toni Anicic, | 2

Magento & GWT “Googlebot found an extremely high number of URLs on your site”

Social Connect Magento extension Marko Martinovic
Marko Martinovic, | 397

Social Connect Magento extension

Google Connect Magento extension Marko Martinovic
Marko Martinovic, | 60

Google Connect Magento extension

127 comments

  1. I have this error after submitting a product to Google Content. “No products were added to Google Content.” I am using Magento 1.6.0. Any suggestion how to do that?

  2. Following the instructions, when i get to the Google Base > Manage attributes there is ‘No records found’

    Can anyone help please?

  3. I sorted the taxonomy issue in two steps

    1. by adding the required taxonomy classes to

    magento/app/code/core/mage/googleshopping/helper/Category.php

    so that they appear in the dropdown

    2. creating a new attribute set for each new taxonomy entry.. since all products with the same attribute set are forced to have the same taxonomy entry in this extension..

  4. Hi, I wonder why I only see 2 items when I click “view all products” when managing items for googlebase. How do I show all my products once again so I can synchronize to googlebase?

  5. We use gomage extension to generate feeds.
    It’s careful design makes it both easy to use and very flexible.
    I recommend the extension to anybody who wants to export their products as feeds – whether it is for Google Base/Merchant, Bing Shopping, Yahoo, etc.

    Hope this helps

  6. @Vader,

    Definitely did a full backup before I installed it, as I couldn’t jeopardize anything happening to my subscribers, etc. So I had a full restore ready, but my host took a while to get it all settled correctly for me.

    The thing that bothered me the most about the extension is that I could not add the categories and such as required by Google now for Apparel/Shoes… so it was a complete waste of time. I tried and tried, but couldn’t get it.

    Does this extension modify Magento core files? I don’t think I can stomach trying it again due to the category issue (taxonomy), but I’m definitely in need of something to fix the issue (extremely low budget!).

  7. @Shoetopia…

    You should ALWAYS backup your entire website including databases before you do any integrations.

    I would not even attempt this integration for versions before 1.6.

  8. please forget my last post, for anyone else having that problem, in the config i added my user name and password as the ftp details in merchant centre instead of my email and password 🙁 oooops

  9. vader7 i have installed this and now get

    The product “iPhone 4S Screen replacement UK” hasn’t been added to Google Content.
    No products were added to Google Content

    I have added the products mapping correctly and added gmcf_condition in the label options and added everything i should 🙁 i have also googled the problem and nothing comes up. Surely its not just me

  10. That extension royally screwed my site and it took 16 hours and help from my hosting to restore my backup… NOT recommended!

    Also, I don’t think taxonomy was enabled on there. Was just a bunch of issues… installed and wanted it off and after the uninstall it just totally destroyed my site.

  11. @Vader7 -> thank you for this excellent update. I would like you to read the comment of Mau 16-08-2011 at 22:19
    [quote]http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/Magento%20Core/extension/6887/mage_googleshopping

    Starting this year, Google has launched new Shopping APIs that will replace Google Base Data API for shopping use cases.[/quote]

  12. @Hans -> Thanks for the heads up. Won’t break my module if it goes away though. I just happened to break the core module and put code in my module to repair the damage I caused. 🙂

    Also, thanks for this blog! I referred to several of the articles here as I was writing this module. Great stuff!

  13. @Dennis -> excellent job… but… be aware that “The Find Feed” will be obsolete soon.

  14. Just completed a very flexible module for Magento version 1.6 (may work on previous versions, but is untested at this time) that will create an XML file to be submitted to Google Merchant Center that will be compatible with the changes on Sept. 22nd. It has reporting to check products before they are added to your feed. It uses a Java Script taxonomy checker to get the Google Product Category for your product (no more cut and paste from Google to your product and create a custom attribute). It allow for custom mapping for certain attributes. It accounts for up to 10 additional images per product (per Google specification). Uses Magento Cron to schedule file generation.

    Check out the user guide at: http://fancyfiber.com/studios/products/en/buy/google_merchant_center_feed_user_guide

  15. The best way to do for me I found in using the PSMextV2 Modul. Okay, you have to pay for but i already did coz i needed the function to send the prices and items to several search engines. You can provide a datafeed that will be parsed by google.

  16. Instead of installing yet another module or try to fix the Magento extension one can also take a step back and figure out what you’re dealing with.
    Google Shopping only wants to be able to import a data feed provided from the Magento installation. If the given modules don’t work you can also create your own feed with php using a cronjob to refresh that feed on a daily base.
    The following blog tells you all about it. http://www.e-commercewebdesign.co.uk/blog/magento-tutorials/products-in-google-updated.php
    And since it’s PHP you can alter the code to your own need.
    Enjoy

  17. @Berny I’d love to buy the module, but at the price I just can’t afford it. I haven’t ‘launched’ the site 100% yet and have spent a bit on modules already, so it does kinda suck as mentioned by tberger above… something simple and already working has to be paid for :-/.

    I decided to just let it go unless someone can post an external fix. I installed the Magento Google Shopping module on 1.6 last night and just did not feel comfortable as it was somewhat getting the job done, but not correctly. Google Product Category is what’s driving me insane :-(.

  18. may be good the GoMAGE, but it’s not free. I know that usually good software has got it’s price, but the integrated stuff was working perfect and know i shall pay just because someone wasn’t able to migrate in a correct way? naaaaahhhhh 😉

  19. Forget the Magento module, go and buy the GoMage feed module. I’d be happy to post the setting for Google here. The module can also be used to push your products to other feeds, eg ShopZilla – so nice and flexible.

  20. We now use GoMage;s Feed extension – gomage.com – we had to tweak the code a bit to our needs but it gets all our products onto Googlebase AND updates them.

  21. Does Google Base allow individual products in Grouped Products and Configurable Products to upload, especially if these products were selected as “Not Visible” when creating the product in Grouped.

    Since these individual products in Grouped are not visible, does this also mean the product information is also not visible to search engines and only the “Main Grouped Product” description is? Sorry, I am new to all this and need these questions answered so any help would be appreciated.

  22. Hi,
    Great website and advice with each post. Like that you do not aggressively try sell here by cutting in the middle but you provide decent advice to rookies like me. Will definitely contact you for a quote to help me with small improvements on my shop.
    Keep it up.
    Thank you.

  23. Whilst my feed is working I still get the “Missing Product Type Values” feedback. I’ve added the “product_type” to the attribute set in the same way as “condition” and resynchronized but without any success. The only alternative I’ve seen is adding “product_type” as a text field rather than a drop-down with only 1 option. Has anyone else had this issue?

  24. I got the this to work at first, but now its time to refresh the items and all I get is errors. I tried synchronising the items but the expiry date didn’t change, and for some items I get the error:

    Expected response code 200, got 404. Type: request. Reason: Cannot find item.

    I’m now deleting all the items from the feed and re-listing them (a very sloooooowwww process!), and I still get the above error for some items. This prevents me from removing them from the list!?!

    Is anyone else having similar problems?

  25. @Thorsten: Thank you for your reply. I know where to go and add; however, do not knwo what to put in the properties. Also, how the new attribute i created will know that this attribue carries the value i wanted to put?

  26. @Chris: AFAIK google does not accept any special prices. Something i was wondering about too, but at least it’s okay, cause special prices are temporary and you could change them from one day to the other, so google wants your real price. you have to change the base price of the products to show the special price.

    @Abe: just jump into magento backend CATALOG – ATTRIBUTES – MANAGE ATTRIBUTES, get your attributes done and put them into ALL REQUIRED and used attribute-sets. After fill them with the fitting value and resync.

  27. I love google base – but how can i get Magento to send the “Special Price” to google base and have the new lower price as the price? I have tried custom attribute mapping and its not working!

  28. I have everything working, but Google sent us email saying that I need to insert “Brand, MPN, GTIN” in the attributes. Can you help me creating those 3 attributes so that I add them in the Google Base => Manage attributes ?

  29. Can anyone help I am getting no errors when I submit but then items are all Disapproved emailed them they provide a general response.

  30. Has there been any update on the ‘Unable to read response, or response is empty’ error?

    Was getting other errors and got rid of them but now the above. Just seen the step-by-step guide in post from Artur Jach (hopefully there might be something there to help)!

  31. We have the very same issue with the following error: Expected response code 200, got 404. Type: request. Reason: Service not found.
    Have contacted google on this error as i did read somewhere else that they sorted it for someone else, will keep you posted on what they say.

  32. hi jenny
    I get the same promble as you,”Expected response code 200, got 404. Type: request. Reason: Service not found.”,i don`t know why,If you have solves,please tell me,thank you,my email cawords66@yahoo.com

  33. Hi,
    When i tried to submit items to googlebase from magento,i got “Expected response code 200, got 404. Type: request. Reason: Service not found. “.I have tried everything to solve the problem?Can anyguys help me to solve it or figure out what’s wrong.
    Thanks!

  34. Well,
    We use Rewrite rules in the .htaccess file:

    Here’s something to get you started :

    ## REMOVES ? parameters from URL
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^desirable.*$ [NC]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^(.*)admin(.*)
    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^SID
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /$1? [NE,R=301,L]

    #RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^desirable.*$ [NC]
    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^p=
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /$1? [NE,R=301,L]

    #RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^desirable.*$ [NC]
    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^___SID
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /$1? [NE,R=301,L]

    #RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^desirable.*$ [NC]
    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^___from_store
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /$1? [NE,R=301,L]

    # END

    Please note that :
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^(.*)admin(.*)

    Is critical as if you omit this then it chops of ? parameters in admin which (believe it or not) stops you uploading images on the product pages

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <s> <strike> <strong>. You may use following syntax for source code: <pre><code>$current = "Inchoo";</code></pre>.

Tell us about your project

Drop us a line. We'd love to know more about your project.