Google Shopping Feed and Magento – Basic Product Information

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Google Shopping Feed is definitely the most important part for the success of your Google Shopping campaigns. Although the strategy and bids play a big role for your Google Shopping campaign success, mostly everything rests on the quality of your Google Shopping Feed.

So, what’s a Google Shopping Feed? It’s basically a list of products you want to advertise on Google Shopping. But, it’s not just a regular list, it’s a really detailed list with a lot of attributes that describe your products. The feed you send to Google, via Merchant Center, Google uses to match consumer’s search terms to your products, so the better the quality of your feed, the more visibility you’ll get.

And you must know Google is really strict when it comes to the data you send to them via Merchant Center. If the Feed fails to meet Google’s Product Feed Specifications, any products carrying incorrect information may be removed from the Google Shopping campaigns. Depending on the frequency, an amount of products or the severity of the errors, your account may even be suspended. (But don’t worry, if your account gets suspended because you can always fix the problems and request a review. If you fixed all the issues you had, your account will be reactivated again.)

Basic Product Information

Product ID [id]

The same as you have Product IDs in your Magento store, Google Shopping Feed requires a completely unique product identifier, which means there can not be a product with the identical item ID to some other item. Since in Magento, except the ID itself, SKU is also a unique attribute, I recommend you to use it instead because you will be able to manage your Item ID bidding in AdWords more easily. (but only if your SKUs are strings with less than 50 and without spaces and special characters).

Also, note that if you have more than one store with the same items you want to advertise, you should add store ID or store name to your product ID or SKU, to have a completely unique ID in your Feed.

Product Name [title]

The title is probably the most important attribute you are sending to Google. If you didn’t yet do a keyword research for the SEO purposes, you will want to do it for Shopping. If you don’t have enough resources to do keyword research for all of your products, you should write down yourself the most important attributes buyers may look for: like a brand, model, age group, gender, material, pattern, size, color, etc. and include them in your products’ title. It is also important to not include any promotional text like “Free Shipping”, special characters, all capital letters or HTML tags in your product titles because those products may be removed from the Google Shopping campaigns.

Product Description [description]

This attribute is probably self-explanatory. Although shoppers will rarely actually see your product description, it also needs to be an accurate representation of what you are selling. This is because Google crawls the description to get the relevant information about your product. It’s not as important attribute as your title, so if you don’t have enough time to manage both title and description, spend your time on the titles rather. The description is limited to 5,000 characters so if your Magento description attributes are longer than that you can send short description instead.

Google Product Taxonomy [google_product_category]

The Google Product Category indicates the category in which the product falls based on the Google Product Taxonomy – make sure you find the Google Product Taxonomy for your targeted country because they might slightly vary from country to country.

Your Product Taxonomy [product_type]

The Product Type is your own category taxonomy and Google left the possibility to name the Product Type however you want. For Product Type, you can use your product categories, but if you overcomplicated category structure in your store, you should strive to make it as simple as possible so you can more easily manage Product Groups in your AdWords account.

Although Product Type is a recommended and not required attribute, it is really important for determining your rankings and I can even say that it’s more important than having a correct Google product category because it seems like Google is using Product Type as a factor in search relevance.

The Product Type is also more flexible than the Google Product Category so you can include up to 5 attribute values. (I am not sure if Google is using the rest of the Product Types as a factor in search relevance, I still need to test this. If you have already tested this, please leave me a comment.) When adding more than 1 Product Type, make sure to put your main Product Type in first place because that’s the Product Group where your product will appear in your AdWords account.

Other Basic Information: [link], [mobile_link], [image_link], [additional_image_link], [condition]

These attributes are all pretty straightforward, so I will not go into details about them. If you have any questions about them, please leave me a comment.


About Vanja Bunjevac

eCommerce Consultant

eCommerce, usability, product development, game design and gamification are Vanja's passions.

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