Product Feed

Things you should know about Google Merchant Center

May 8, 2022
7 min

What is Google Merchant Center?

Google Merchant Center is an online platform that enables your products to be discovered, known and bought by uploading your products to the platform. With Google Merchant Center, your products will be visible on search results, Google Shopping, and so on. This helps you to increase your sales and your visibility among other sellers.

Before using Google Merchant Center

1- Be sure that your website has contact information, refund policies, and billing terms and conditions. You should also provide a safe checkout process for your customers with an SSL certificate.  Also, check your domain and be sure that it belongs to you before starting to use Google Merchant Center.

2- You should have a Google Account, these can be Gmail or a Google My Business account.

3- Additionally, you need to do

  • provide your business information (your business name, phone number, country)
  • provide payment methods (at your website, at Google, in your local store)
  • connect 3rd parties
  • e-mail preferences - you should provide an email address that Google can reach you in case of an invitation, announcements, or updates.
While using Google Merchant Center

1- Uploading your feeds to Google Merchant Center

You can upload your feed to GMC in different ways

  • Direct upload
  • FTP & SFTP upload
  • Upload via Google Cloud Storage
  • Content API
  • Scheduled fetches (GMC downloads your data from your feed URL, and uploads to its platform)

Google Merchant Center is not accepting every type of file for feeds. The feeds should be in Tab-delimited (.txt), comma-separated values (.csv), tab-separated values (.tsv), RSS 2.0 XML or Atom 1.0 XML. Unfortunately, (.xls) files are not accepted by Google. You can also upload compressed version of your file - compressed file types should be in Gnu zip (.gz), Zip (.zip) or Bzip2 (.bz2)

Google Merchant Center is allowing the size of files under 4 GB. It is valid for scheduled updates, SFTP, and FTP files, too. If you are using compressed files, it should not be over 500 Mb.

2- Your feed readiness

Before uploading feeds, make sure that fields of items in your feed is in the correct format.

There are 96 fields for your items, more details mean more efficiency. However, some of them are required which means you should provide that information for acceptance of your item. Generally, adding optional attributes to your feed helps Google algorithm’s learning process and increases the efficiency of your feed.

  • Mandatory attributes are id, title, description, link, image_link, price, condition, availability, brand, and gtin. You can use mpn, or identifier_exists fields, if your products don’t have gtin.
  • If you are an apparel retailer, age_group, gender, color, size, and material fields are also very important. You need to consider adding them for each of your item.
  • For shipping cost, it is required to add details if you did not define in Google Merchant Center and if you are from these countries Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and the US
  • It is also important to check local laws and regulations because if it is required for your country, you should also add these attributes as a mandatory field: tax information, shipping cost, the minimum unit pricing measure, unit pricing base measure, energy efficiency class, the minimum energy efficiency class, the maximum energy efficiency class

3- Language of your items

The language of the product should match between your feed and your website. If you want to use different languages, make sure that you are uploading different product data and linking the products in the languages that you are using.

After using Google Merchant Center

You should update your data at least every 30 days to save your account’s active status. Losing your active status might prevent using google merchant center and disables your ads. However, for an average retailer 30 days is very long for updating product information. On average, retailers update their information 6 times a day. Additionally, your price and availability fields may change more quickly than expected. This might cause some  errors in GMC platform.

Last but not least, these are the most common errors in Google Merchant Center feeds
  • Non-compliance with Google Policies
  • Out of stock products and Incorrect Price
  • Inappropriate Google Product Categories
  • Missing or Invalid GTINs
  • Invalid information (Image, titles, descriptions)
  • Missing Shipping and Tax Information
  • Targeting different countries with one domain

With CRwizard, you can have a better perspective on your product feed, identify the errors, and solve possible errors before it happened it the Google platform.

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