Google Shopping Feed Attributes – What You Need To Know

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To list your product on Google or to ensure that your product ads work seamlessly, Google directs online merchants and e-store owners to upload the product data in the form of a feed. The feed needs to be uploaded to the Google Merchant Center. 

Glass bowl - Google Shopping SERP results

What are Google shopping feed attributes? 

Google Shopping feed can, in its simplest form, be thought to be a list of products or a spreadsheet that contains your product name and details, making it easy for the Google crawler to access the details.  

Online merchants that have a handful of products can manually create the feed using Google Sheets. However, if there are tonnes of products, you would typically need an app or software program to auto-generate product feed in the most optimized manner.

Google shopping feed attributes are a list of characteristics that need to be optimized so that when a potential customer searches for a product, the crawler judges the products on these specific attributes to show your products to the customer. The search engine also uses attributes to help customers reach viable decisions. We will discuss each of these attributes in detail here.

Google Shopping feed attributes in detail

Product ID

The product ID is the primary attribute. It is unique for every product. 

Example – A1B3. 

Syntax – a maximum of 50 characters are allowed. Valid Unicode characters can be used. Should not use invalid characters.

Minimum Requirement – the product ID is a unique identifier. The SKU should be used if there is one. Use the same ID to update data. The same ID should be used for a specific product across languages and geographical locations.

Title 

The title means the product name.

Example – Yellow water bottle sipper

Syntax – can take up to 150 characters. 

Minimum requirements – the product should be described precisely. Ensure that the title matches the landing page. Abstain from using any promotion content here. Do not mention terms like ‘ free shipping. Do not use caps and refrain from using a dubious-looking gimmicky character. To differentiate variants, you need to use colors and sizes. To optimize for a mobile, mention ‘with contract’ if there is a contract. In the US, if the product is sold on installment, use the term ‘with a payment plan.’  If you are selling books and information products in Russia, you need to begin the title with an age rating.

Google Shopping Feed Attributes title

Description 

Description – this is where you mention the description of the product. It is where you sell your product to your potential customers. 

Example – made from eco-friendly material, the bottle helps keep hot water hot and cold water cold.

Syntax – up to 5000 characters.

Minimum Requirements – ensure that the product description matches that of the landing page. Refrain from using terms and phrases like ‘free shipping. Do not use caps or funky foreign characters. Do not include any misleading information. Also, speak about the product only. Do not talk about your store, competitor, product accessories, or other details. You are allowed to use formatting like listicles, italics, line breaks, and so on. 

Link 

Link – the landing page of the product is mentioned here.

Example – https://www.example.com

Minimum Requirements – you should start the link with HTTPS. Make use of the encoded link. It should comply with RFC 2396 or RFC 1738. The URL should not be linked to any interstitial page.

Image_link  

The image link is the product image URL. 

Example – https://www.example.com/image_yellowbottle.jpg

Minimum requirements – the link should show the main product image. Ensure it starts with HTTPS or HTTP. An encoded URL compliant with RFC 2396 or RFC 1738 should be used. Ensure robots.txt so that the crawler can access the link.

Ensure that:

  • The link displays the product accurately. 
  • Use .gif, .jpg,. png, .bmp, .tiff.
  • For garment products, use images 250×250 pixels. For non-garment products, use 100×100 pixels.
  • The image should be more significant than 64 megapixels. The file should be more than 16 MB.
  • No thumbnail or scaled-up images are allowed.
  • No watermarks, borders, or promotional text allowed.
  • No generic image allowed or placeholders.
  • The only exception is for hardware, vehicles, and parts where illustrations are allowed.
  • For paints, single-color images are allowed only.

Additional_image_link 

It is optional. If there is an additional image, the link can be inserted here.

Example – https//www.example.com/image_yellowbottle2.jpg

Syntax – only up to 2000 characters

Minimum requirements – all attributes of image_link (refer to point no. 5) should be met. The image can show product-in-use and staging. Illustrations and graphics and up to 10 additional photos are allowed.

Mobile_link 

It is an optional attribute. If the product image link is different for mobile traffic, this Google Shopping feed attribute should be used. Use the responsive, optimized landing URL here.

Example – https://www.example.com//image_yellowbottle_mobile.jpg

Syntax – not more than 2000 characters (alphanumeric) allowed

Availability

The attribute should be used to showcase the availability of the product.

Example – ‘last 2 pieces available.’

Supported values – you are also allowed to show additional values like ‘out of stock,’ ‘in stock,’ etc.

Minimum requirements – the availability should be accurate and in sync with the landing page availability figures.

Availability_date 

This attribute shows the date of availability of a pre-ordered product.

Example – 2021-05-21

Syntax – maximum characters allowed are 25. Alphanumeric. It should match with ISO 8601. Syntax to be used are either YYYY-MM-DD or YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm: ss.

Minimum requirements – it is an optional field. Use it only to show availability just for a pre-ordered product.

Expiration_date

It is an optional attribute, too—the expiry date after which the product should automatically stop showing. 

Example – 2021-04-18

Syntax –  maximum characters allowed are 25. Alphanumeric. It should match with ISO 8601. 

Minimum requirements – the data should not be more than the next 29 days 


Price

The price of the product is mentioned in this attribute.

Example – INR 300.00

Syntax – the field must contain numeric characters compliant with ISO 4217

Minimum requirements

  • The price must match that mentioned on the landing page.
  • The currency must match the one mentioned on the landing page.
  • The price and currency applicable in the country of sale on the landing page and checkout page must match, should be mentioned clearly and placed so that there is no ambiguity. 
  • The price mentioned must be valid for online purchases. Users in the said country can order and buy the product at the given price, and there should not be any membership plan associated with it.
  • In the shipping setting, you can insert any minimum order value 
  • Price of zero is not allowed except for mobile devices being sold on a contract.
  • For bulk purchases or multiple packs, mention the minimum quantity or multi-pack that needs to be bought.
  • For the US and Canada, the price should be exclusive of taxes.
  • For all other countries, VAT or GST to be included in the price. Refer to unit_​​pricing_​​measure and installment attributes for more information.


Sale_price

It is an optional attribute that shows the sale price of the product.

Example – INR 300.00

Syntax –  the field must contain numeric characters compliant with ISO 4217

Minimum requirements – same as the price attribute. The Sale_price should be submitted along with the price attribute and non-sale price.

Ensure accuracy, especially with the landing and checkout page.

Subscription_cost

This attribute should be filled with an optional field if there is an annual or monthly payment plan. It is usually used for wireless products for a communication service contract.

Example – Month:1: INR 2000.00

Syntax – there are three sub-attributes:

  • Period – mention either ‘month’ or ‘year.’
  • Period_length – a numeric integer to denote the period of subscription.
  • Amount – compliant with ISO 4217, the exact amount must be mentioned; rounding off to the nearest whole number or currency unit is done to save space. Ensure accuracy with landing page details

Minimum requirements – the price attribute should have the total payable amount during checkout. Include down payment and activation charges. Ensure parity and accuracy, and the plan must be located at a place that is easy to find.

Google_product_category

It is an optional Google Shopping Feed attribute. You need to assign a product category (Google-defined) for your product.

Example – Home & Garden > Kitchen & Dining > Food & Beverage Carriers > Water Bottles or 3809.

Syntax – pick the value from Google Product Taxonomy. Either the numeric ID or full path.

Minimum requirements – only one category to be mentioned, so pick the most relevant one—mention full path or ID.

Google_product_category txt file


Product_type

It is an optional attribute. Choose the product category for your product. 

Example – Home & Garden > Food & Beverage Carriers 

Syntax – alphanumeric with a maximum of 750 characters.

Minimum requirements – it is essential to mention the entire category. The first category mentioned is used in Google Shopping ads bidding and reporting.


Brand 

Except for books, movies, and music recordings, this attribute is a must for all new products. It is optional for existing products. The brand name of the product must be mentioned here.

Example – Google

Syntax – up to 70 characters.

Minimum requirements – mention the exact brand name. The store name can be discussed only if the store or a generic brand manufactures it. For example, ABC jewelry stores if you make customized jewelry.

In the case of no brand name, you need to mention the manufacturer or supplier name. NA or Generic or No Brand or Does not exist cannot be submitted.

In the case of compatible products, you must mention the GTIN of the manufacturer. The OEM brand is not required in such cases.

GTIN

Must mention for new products and optional for existing products, though Google strongly recommends using this attribute. It is the Global Trade Item Number of the product.

Example –  1234567890121

Syntax –  up to 50 characters (max 14 per value)

Minimum requirements – only valid GTIN to be submitted. Dashes and spaces are ignored. Ensure:

  • GTIN is not restricted
  • The checksum digit is mentioned correctly.
  • It is not a coupon.
  • In the case of compatible products, the GTIN of the manufacturer or the brand to be mentioned. The OEM brand is not required. For more details, refer here

MPN

It is mandatory to fill this attribute when there is no GTIN. It is optional for products with GTIN. MPN is the Manufacturer Part Number.

Example – GO12345OOGLE

Syntax – alphanumeric characters up to 70 characters.

Minimum requirements – only manufacturer MPN allowed. It has to be specific to the product.

Identifier_exists 

The attribute is optional and indicates if the product has a unique product identifier – GTIN, MPN, or brand – or not.

Example – Yes

Minimum requirements – the default attribute is yes. There are only two possibilities here – yes, which means that product identifier exists or not; and no, means that the product does not have a GTIN, MPN, or brand. You still need to submit a unique product identifier. For a media product, if the GTIN is unavailable, submit a no. 


Condition

If the product has been used or has got refurbished, the field is required; if not, it is optional. The attribute mentions the condition of the product at the point of sale.

Example – new

Syntax – 3 possibilities 

  1. New – mention brand new, original, unopened packaging
  2. Refurbished – with a warranty, without warranty, restored to work, the original packaging may not be there.
  3. used – original packaging not there used previously.


Age_group

The attribute is used for describing the demographics of the target audience and is required for markets like Brazil, France, Germany, the UK, the US, and Japan. 

It is all mandatory for an enhanced free listing in the Apparels & Accessories product categories. The attribute is optional for all other product types. And countries.

Example – kid

Syntax – newborn, infant, toddler, kids, adult

Minimum requirements – the same value needs to be entered per product. For variants, the value for item_​group_​id has to be the same, and for the age_​group,  a different value has to be entered.


Color

Describes the color of the product. It is a required attribute for countries like  Brazil, France, Germany, the UK, the US, and Japan. Helps in enhanced free listings for products under the category – Apparel & Accessories. It is optional for other product types and countries.

Example – Green

Syntax – up to 100 alphanumeric characters.

Minimum requirements – even numbers like 2,4,6,8 are not allowed. Zero is not allowed, and Non-alphanumeric characters are not allowed.

Do not use only one letter. Referencing the product or image is not allowed. 

Combining different colors is not allowed like BluePinkRed. Describe the color only, not any other value. For multiple products, the first value should be the primary color.

Gender

Mentions sex. It is a required attribute for countries like  Brazil, France, Germany, the UK, the US, and Japan. Helps in enhanced free listings for products under the category – Apparel & Accessories. It is optional for other product types and countries.

Example – Unisex

Syntax – can use male, female, or unisex.

Minimum requirements – specific categories under Apparel & Accessories, for example, shoelaces, it is a required attribute.

Size

The size of the product is mentioned in the attribute. It is a required attribute for countries like  Brazil, France, Germany, the UK, the US, and Japan. Helps in enhanced free listings for products under the category – Apparel & Accessories. It is optional for other product types and countries.

Example – XXL

Syntax – up to 100 characters

Minimum requirements

  • Invariants, the item_​group_​id will be the same with different sizes.
  • If there are multiple dimensions, condense them into one value.
  • If it is one-size-fit-all, then the attribute will be one size fits all, OSFA, OSFM, one size, OS.


Promotion_id

It is an optional attribute. Heps in promoting your products in countries like India, Australia, France, Germany, the UK, and the US. The quality matches promotions to products.

Example – EFG123

Syntax – Not more than 50 characters

Minimum requirements – the unique case-sensitive ID has to be used. Symbols and spaces are not allowed. You need to submit the attribute in the product and the promotion data. You can submit up to 10 promotion_ids for a single product.

Shipping

Optional attribute mentioning shipping cost and location of the product. Use it when the shipping costs are not defined in the Merchant Center account. It is required for ads in countries – the UK, US, Poland, Spain, Australia, Italy, France, and more. For the entire list, refer here. It is required for a free-enhanced listing.

Example – IN MUM:overnight:20.00 INR

Syntax – country (ISO 3166 country code): service: Service Class: price. 

Minimum Requirement – you can use this attribute to mention additional countries or override the Merchant Account Center’s shipping setting.


Shipping_label

The attribute helps assign a product to a shipping cost in the Merchant center account. Optional attribute. 

Example –Perishable

Syntax – up to 100 characters

Minimum requirements – assign a value that correlates with the account shipping setting. These values will not appear to the customer – Sameday, Oversize, Only FedEx.

Shipping_weight

Optional attribute where the weight of the product is mentioned. It is required for shipping cost calculations – carrier-calculated rates/ weight-based shipping services.

Example – 2 kg

Syntax – numeric and the unit

Minimum requirements – support weights from 0-2000 lbs and 0-1000 kg.


Shipping_length

The length of the product is mentioned in the attribute. It is used for carrier-calculated rates.

Example – 20 in

Syntax – Numeric + unit

Minimum requirements – allowed supports are:

  • 1 – 150 for inches
  • 1 – 400 for cm

The attribute is required for the calculation of carrier-calculated rates. You need to submit shipping_length, shipping_width, and shipping_height.

Shipping_width

Optional attribute for defining the product width. Used for calculating shipping cost. 

Example – 20 in 

Syntax – Numeric + unit

Minimum requirements – the supported values are:

  • 1 – 150 for inches
  • 1 – 400 for cm

Supported units are in and cm.

Shipping_height 

The attribute is optional and used for defining the product height. It is required for shipping cost calculation.

Example – 20 in 

Syntax – Numeric + unit

Minimum requirements – the supported values are:

  • 1 – 150 for inches
  • 1 – 400 for cm

Supported units are in and cm.

Tax

Required attribute where the sales tax of the product is mentioned in percentage.

Example – US: CA: 5.00: y

Syntax – 4 sub-attributes – rate, tax rate %, country as per ISO 3166 country code, tax_ship

Minimum requirements – you can use this attribute to override the tax setting in the Merchant Center setting.


Tax_category 

It is an optional attribute and used for the classification of products as per tax rules.  

Example – apparel

Syntax – up to 100 characters

Minimum requirements – this attribute can be used in case a product has a specific tax rate.


Frequently Asked Questions about Google shopping feed attributes

Which of the Google Shopping feed attributes are not required?

Additional_image_link, mobile_link, availability_date, cost_of_goods_Sold, expiration_date, sale_price, sale_price_effective_date, unit_pricing_measure, unit_pricing_base_measure, installment, subscription_cost, loyalty_points and more are optional or not required attributes. 

What is Google_product_category?

Google_product_category is an optional Google Shopping Feed attribute. Every product has to be assigned a Google-defined product category. For example – Home & Garden > Kitchen & Dining > Food & Beverage Carriers > Water Bottles or 3809.

What does the Product_type attribute do?

This attribute helps you to paint your product better and more precisely. Even though it is optional, if used, it gives the crawler another feature to understand the relevance of your product vis-a-vis a search.

How do I add a category to a Google product?

You have to add only one most relevant category. You have to either add the full path or the ID. For example, either Arts & Entertainment > Hobbies & Creative Arts > Homebrewing & Winemaking Supplies or 3577.


Conclusion

Did you know that Google Shopping listings are far more impactful than listings on any other online site, including the big e-commerce marketplaces? Products that appear on the Google Shopping listings have the power to turn prospective buyers into confirmed buyers faster than any other online site, search engine, or e-commerce platform. 

Look at this piece of data:

  • At least 35% of Google searches for products converted into transactions. 
  • Only 20% of product searches on Amazon convert into transactions.
  • The conversion time (time between a product search and purchase) is usually 20 days on Google, while on Amazon, it is about 26 days. 

These facts prove the effectiveness of the feed and the need to optimize the Google Shopping feed attributes. 

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.