How to get your google shopping feed approved?

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A Google Shopping feed, as per Google, is a list that contains details of products that an online merchant advertises through the Merchant Center. Every product in the feed or the list is assigned an attribute used by the product feed to group products with like qualities. A single feed can be used as many times across multiple Merchant Center features. 

There are two main types of data feed. The first one is the Primary feed, which is the main data source. Google recommends that merchants upload their complete inventory in the Primary Feed. 

Merchants need to remember that Google has to approve the data uploaded. The benefit of getting the Google shopping feed approved is that the products can then feature in free product listings and inventory ads. To get approved, the products must meet specific attributes and be compliant with the Shopping Ads policies.

The other kind of feed is the Supplemental feed that is only required to supplement the Primary feed – that is, in case there is data that you need to add to the Primary feed or update it.

Must have requirements for approved Google Shopping feed (Required)

1. Have proper product identifiers (google requires at least 2 of these 3, GTIN, MPN, or brand)

Google mandatorily requires the use of product identifiers for easy identification of a product. What are product identifiers? These are strings containing alphanumeric or only numeric digits. 

The identifiers help customers in locating a specific product online. There are three kinds of universally used identifiers – the brand name, the GTIN or the Global Trade Item Numbers, and the MPN or Manufacturer Part Number.

Google mandatorily mentions that merchants need to bring forth at least two out of these three product identifiers. The search engine uses these three identifiers to similar group products. The brand name should be a maximum of 70 characters, and if there is no brand, the name of the manufacturer can be mentioned.

2. Have a landing page for each product 

To get the Google Shopping feed approved, ensure that every product has a landing page. 

What is a landing page? It is a page where the customer goes once she clicks on the product.  Google mentions some minimum requirements that the landing page needs to meet. Merchants need to remember that their free listings or paid Shopping ads will be a success only when the landing page can offer a superior and seamless experience to the end-user.


3. Add image links for every product.

The product image is an important attribute. There are specific requirements about the image link mentioned by Google. For example, 

  • The product should show clearly in the feed.
  • If there are multiple products on the landing page, then the specific product-in-question should be prominently highlighted.

4. Include the accurate price and the correct currency

The price of the specific product needs to be clearly shown. In case there are multiple products on the same page, ensure that the s price specific product’s price is the most prominent one. 

The currency of the region should also be shown clearly. There should be no ambiguity here.

5. Provide accurate data for the product’s availability, condition, tax, and shipping

The availability of the product should be in sync with the product data. One typical example is – when the product is sold-out. If the sold-out position is showing on the landing page, then make sure to update the attribute called ‘availability’ in the product feed. 

The condition of the product, too, should be in sync with the product data on the landing page. 

If the country where you are selling the product has a rule that says that the tax should be a part of the price, ensure that the product displayed on the landing page includes the taxes. Similarly, the shipping-related information should match on the landing page and the product feed.

Google Shopping feed field-specific requirements 

1. The title field in your feed must be less than 150 characters

One of the top Google Merchant center tips is to fill up the title field in the feed appropriately and meet the requirement of Google. The maximum number of characters should be less than 150 characters.


2. Avoid creating duplicate titles; make sure each title is unique

Make sure that the title for each product in the feed is exclusive and distinct. It would be best to match the label on the product feed exactly with that mentioned on the landing page. If there are a group of products, for example, T-shirts, you need to identify the variants using colors or sizes. 


3. Avoid promotional material and gimmicks in your title

Google does not permit the use of promotional text matter in the product title. For example, do not use terms like ‘free shipping or any other term as a gimmick. 

4. The description field can include up to 5,000 characters. 

The description is another Google Shopping feed attribute that you need to focus on. The maximum length of character allowed in the description is not more than 5,000 characters. Include your product’s most relevant features and visual attributes.

Ensure that the description on the landing page and the product feed match exactly; also, abstain from using promotional or gimmicky characters or terms like ‘free shipping. 

5. Talk about your product rather than other products, promotions, or competitors. 

When filling up the description, you need to include data and information but not details of the store, competitor information, sales, etc.


How to get your google shopping feed approved?

As mentioned above, it is important to follow Google’s prerequisites while updating the product feed. If you follow all the steps mentioned above, you can be sure that your product feed will get approved without much ado. 

It is vital for the success of your listings, Google Ads, and your business because the Google algorithm considers all these factors and the data provided therein when matching with queries.

The diagnostics division of Google sends in unified reports and offers you insight into the product data health. The benefit of using Diagnostics helps in providing a historical overview and past traffic changes. There are downloadable reports where the disapprovals are detailed out along with mentioning the reasons for disapproval. 

As soon as you address all the issues or reasons for disapproval, you will find that the warnings and the error messages are automatically removed. Remember, it is essential to address each issue because the existence of the problems can affect your Google shopping feed enhancement. It is not just about appeasing the Google Merchant Center but also about your ads and listings not showing correctly. 

The best way is to use the app for Google Shopping Feed by AdNabu. It simplifies the process and steps of creating a product feed with a hundred percent guarantee of approval. The steps to use the app are:

1. Google Merchant Center set up

  • Automatic verification and claiming of the website with AdNabu. No manual entry is required.
  • The shipping rates are created automatically based on the weight, price, and carrier basis shipping charges.
  • Taxes for each state in the US are created in the Google Merchant Center.

2. Creating Shopping Feed

  • AdNabu helps create Google Feed easily. Everything is automatic – the creation of the title, description, product type.
  •  Adding labels, colors, patterns, gender, and other advanced properties.
  • SEO-based title and descriptions.
  • Editing bulk products.
  • Other additional features include Meta field support, multi-currency support, multiple language support, integrating product reviews, and more.

Besides the above features of AdNabu, the advantage of using the app is that it refers to the Google requirements guide. There is a product audit score feature for the best performance. The app allows you to follow the best practices so that your paid ads are booming in Google Ads, and your product listing is successful in Google Shopping. 

The audit score on AdNabu for every product is out of 100 and is calculated using various attributes in the Google Merchant Center. Using AdNabu also helps you to enhance your SEO techniques. 

Some of the features considered are – keyword search volume in the title and description, the quality and size of the image, sales price, promotions, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions about google shopping feed approval

1.  Why are my products not appearing in Google Shopping?

When your products or items are not showing on the Google product feed, there could be possible errors in the Google Merchant Center. Use your account’s Product List, Diagnostics, and Home Pages to find the errors. 

However, if there are no errors in the account attributes, then look for these reasons for your product not showing on Google Shopping:

Pending Status – the product list, diagnostic, and the overview page will show pending status. Such products will not appear on the free listings or ads. It is because the products are still under process by Google. The awaiting status could be because the products are awaiting an initial review. 

When products are reviewed for the first time, Google takes time to see that the product feed matches the Shopping Policies and requirements. It usually takes approximately three days to process for paid ads and a few weeks for product listings. 

Another reason for pending status could be pending image crawl. It also takes up to three days, and if there is any issue, Google will notify you about the same.

Sometimes, the Safe Search is on, preventing many products from showing up on free listings and ads. You need to turn off the Safe Search. Also, check if the product has been categorized as an adult or not.

If your product has expired, even, in that case, there could be a pending status. The products automatically expire after 30 days. Ensure that you keep submitting the product data feed regularly – at least once every month or once every day.

Even after this, if the error continues, especially with your Shopping campaign, you need to check your Google Ads account. 

2. How do I enable Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a unique service offered by Google and was launched in 2002. It is a feature that helps online users to look for products, compare them and then shop for physical products. 

Since it compares the prices and product features across multiple retailers, it is called the Comparison Shopping Engine or CSE. In Google Shopping, products appear as a thumbnail image where the product’s picture shows up and then the price displays. 

The way to set up or enable Google Shopping includes the following steps:

  • First, go ahead and enable your account on Google Merchant Center.
  • Next, make sure that your Google product category and imagery are optimized.
  • Then, you need to input data in your product feed.
  • Make sure that your Google AdWords is linked with your account.
  • Next, design a Google Shopping campaign.
  • You need to place your bids on Google Shopping.
  • Schedule your shopping campaign and target it.
  • Finally, build ad groups. 


3. How do I set up Google feed?

The best way to get started with a new feed is to create an offline feed as a .csv, .tsv, .xls, or xlsx file. Now, upload the same to the Business Data section. You can use the Google Merchant Center or the AdNabu app to load your product feed. 

  • On the Google Merchant Center, use the tools icon to Setup Section. 
  • Click on Business Data.
  • Now, click on Data feeds.
  • Click on the plus button next to open the Dynamic ads feed. 
  • Select the business type.
  • You need to select the file to attach the feed file. 
  • After three to four hours, you will know if there are any errors on the image or the address.


4. What is the recommended method for submitting a product feed to Google Shopping?

It is crucial to determine that the product feed has been created as per the features mentioned by the platform. The product feed should be created and saved in the formats – XML, Compressed files, and text.  You need to register on the Google Merchant Center using the Feeds tab.

There are three ways to submit a product feed to Google Shopping. 

  • Use FTP to upload a file that is less than 4 GB in size.
  • Use SFTP to upload files under 4 GB, and
  • Use Direct Upload for files under 20 GB.

You can update the product feed once a month or daily. Google makes it mandatory for merchants to upload a new feed once a month. 

5. Which of the Google Shopping feed attributes is not required?

Here are a few attributes of the Google Shopping feed that are optional or not required:

  1. Additional Image Link: uploading additional images is optional. Merchants often use multiple photos when the product needs to be shown from different angles or when they wish to deliver the product in use and not in use.
  2. Date of Availability: use this feature only when you wish to inform users who have pre-ordered an item about the available date.
  3. Expiration Date is an optional attribute.
  4. Sales Price is optional and can be used only you wish to show customers the discount. 
  5. Installation
  6. Subscription cost
  7. Product Type
  8. MPN is not required as long as there is GTIN
  9. Condition of the product is required only when you wish to customers that the product is used.
  10. Energy Efficiency Class is not required for most places on the Earth, except for the EU and Switzerland.
  11. ‘ Material is an optional identifier unless you wish to mention variants.
  12. Custom Label
  13. Ads Redirect
  14. Shipping Label
  15. Shipping Weight, Length, Height, Width
  16. Max and Min handling time.
  17. Tax Category


6. How do I fix my Google product category?

Issues with the Google product category or GPC can arise when the value of GPC offered by you does not match with the Google Product Taxonomy. 

Two ways of fixing the GPC are to enter the numeric ID or mention the full path manually. If you do not offer the GPC, the search engine will use internal signals to get to GPC.

  1. Evaluate the affected products – go to the Merchant Center Account. Go to Diagnostics. Then click on item issues to understand the problems. You can download the issues.
  2. You need to mention the GPC of every affected product – manually enter the ID or the path. 
  3. Finally, you need to resubmit the data. To do so, you can either upload a feed, or use the content API to do so, or import the data to the store.


Conclusion

There are two ways to let your products show on Google Shopping – one of the ways is through a direct API connection and a Google Shopping feed.

 Creating a shopping feed can be done using the Feeds tab and using futuristic apps like AdNabu. In the primary case, you need to click on ‘Add new feed,’ go to Google Shopping, and select the country where you wish to sell your products and the market type. 

These are mandatory information required by the Google Shopping platform. Refer to a few expert websites online to refer to a Google shopping feed example to understand the right way to create the feed optimally so that the chances of approval are maximal. 

Similarly, when you use an app, the process of creating a product feed becomes easier. The apps are made to take care of all the requirements for creating the best product feeds.  

Every product that comes up on the product feed needs to meet specific minimum requirements. Google is stringent about the same. Not only that, by not meeting the particular requirements, merchants can put their free listings and paid ads in jeopardy. 

The good part is that the conditions are not too complicated or intricate. It is essential to know these requirements and follow these while preparing the product feed. Use an app like AdNabu for creating and loading the product data feed seamlessly.

About the author

Karthik Ramachandiran

Helps Shopify stores to easily set up their Google Merchant Center & Create Google Shopping Feed with a few clicks & without any errors & run Google Ads.