How to create the correct Feed for multiple countries?

Selling in multiple countries using Google shopping ads is a very lucrative thing for merchants since Google shopping has given incredible returns. According to surveys by Search Engine Watch, 82% of search ad spend in the UK comes from Google shopping, and in the USA, it is about 76.4%. 

Your product data feeds live within the Google merchant center feed. The product data feed lists all the products you want to sell and needs to be in a specific format.

By default, there are few countries where your product data feed is readily available. Your primary country of sale and the language selection for the product data feed determines which all additional countries your products are available for sale.

Requirements to be fulfilled to Create The Correct Feed for Multiple Countries?

Product data has to be in a certain format and meet a few requirements to fulfill the needs of the Google feed software. You would need to know them before you begin, let us take a look at those details here:

1. Shopping ad policies to Create The Correct Feed for Multiple Countries

Your ad must adhere to the following policies as set by Google shopping center.

1. Prohibited content 

These are content you cannot promote on the Google network:

  1. Counterfeit goods – Goods that mimic a famous original brand by copying the logo or trademark are not allowed on Google. Your content, as well as your website, has to stick to this rule.
  2. Dangerous products – Products are categorized as dangerous, which can harm the public. Some examples of such products are recreational drugs, weapons, tobacco products, instructions for making explosives, etc.
  3. Products that enable dishonest behaviors – Google honors honesty, and any product which teaches you to commit dishonest acts, such as hacking or providing academic cheating products, will not be allowed.
  4. Inappropriate content – Google believes in diversity and respect for all; hence offending products will not be allowed. Such content includes graphic details of a crime scene, racial discrimination, blackmail, etc.
  5. Unsupported Shopping ad content – Google wants to give an optimal user experience hence some ad content that is in a format that Google does not support fully will not be allowed.


2. Prohibited practices 

To provide useful and relevant shopping ads which are also safe for the users, Google has prohibited some practices as outlined below:

  1. Abuse of ad network – Malicious content, sites that have nothing unique to offer and our more about traffic generation, trying to gain unfair advantage in a shopping campaign, making attempts to bypass the review process – all such things are seen by Google as a means to abuse the ad network and are not allowed.
  2. Data collections that are inappropriate – Google wants users to feel safe while providing data, so they have restrictions on what kind of data can be requested from the user and with complete care.
    1. Data that needs careful handling and can be collected are full name, ethnicity, sex, driver’s license number, SSN, religion, etc.
    2. Data collection, which is seen as irresponsible, is –Not using secure SSL (https://) for collecting data like a username along with the password, bank account numbers, national identity, etc.
  3. Misleading information about self or the product – Google wants content to be upfront and honest without misleading the user so that they can make an informed decision.  So ads that do not meet these criteria are not allowed, and they have been grouped under the following categories:
    1. Promotions that make users commit to something without divulging complete information and the user’s consent. Making them purchase something, download any app, etc., comes under such commitments.
    2. Dishonest or misrepresentation of you or your products. The product feed needs to be realistic and accurate.

3. Restricted content policies to Create The Correct Feed for Multiple Countries

Google believes that legally or culturally sensitive content should not be shown when and where it is inappropriate. That is why some content is allowed only on a limited basis and might not be shown to every user in every location. There are additional requirements that a merchant needs to fulfill to run such ads, as listed below:

1. Adult content 

There are restrictions on promoting adult content on Google. Adult merchandise, nudity or images of exposed skin, and sexually suggestive content. Sex toys, adult magazines, and lingerie that are sexually suggestive are all examples of adult merchandise that are not allowed.

If you are going to promote adult content, then you will have to follow the below-mentioned guidelines:

  1. Do not violate the laws and regulations of the target location.
  2. You cannot target minors.
  3. No child sexual abuse content, underage sexual themes, and non-consensual sexual content are allowed.
  4. Services that look like they are promoting sexual acts as compensation will not be promoted.
2. Alcoholic beverages 

There is a restriction on promoting alcoholic or similar products, and merchants need to take care of a few things, as listed below:

  1. Do not violate the rules and regulations of the target location.
  2. Do not promote that drinking can enhance the sexual, athletic, intellectual, or social standing of anyone.
  3. Do not show alcohol in conjunction with doing something which needs an alert mind and dexterity. Things like driving or operating machinery cannot be shown along with drinking.
  4. Do not show excessive drinking in a good light or in a fun way by making it part of any completion.
  5. Do not target minors for ads that have alcoholic beverages.
  6. Do not show any health or therapeutic benefits of drinking alcohol.

These restrictions apply to alcoholic drinks like beer, wine, hard alcohol, non-alcoholic beer, and non-alcoholic distilled spirit.

3. Copyrighted content 

There is a restriction on using or promoting copyrighted content on Google. If you need to do that and have legal authorization, please contact Google to learn how to handle such content. You can also fill up a form on Google support sites in case of disputes related to copyrighted content usage.

4. Gambling-related content 

There are restrictions from Google on content that promote gambling. Things that come under the purview of gambling are; lotteries, promotional offers for gambling sites, etc.

5. Healthcare-related content 

Google restricts healthcare content such as over-the-counter medicines, sexual enhancement treatments, prescription drugs, fertility-related content, etc. This restriction is subject to the countries you target and the product you are promoting.

6. Political content 

Things like promoting political parties or advocating political issues have restrictions on Google shopping ads. They must adhere to the rules and industry standards of the target locations and “silence periods” of elections, as applicable.

7. Trademarks 

One can enter trademarks in the title or description of their ads, as long as it is for the trademarked product or any product compatible with it. If someone thinks that the use of their trademark owners might confuse the user related to the product’s origin, then such claims can be submitted to Google.

4. Technical and Editorial requirements  

To provide engaging and quality content to users, there are some editorial requirements for the shopping ads content to fulfill.  The content should be clear and professional. We will discuss the landing page requirement in the next section.

2. Landing page requirements to Create The Correct Feed for Multiple Countries

Users who click on your shopping ad are led to the landing page. The landing page should match the ad you have put up for the user to engage more with your ad. Some of the critical things that a merchant should take care of concerning landing pages are:

  • Submitting landing page
    • Get the user to the default landing page using URLs and have mobile-friendly landing pages that will be shown on mobile devices like phones or tablets.
    • To better understand the traffic to your landing page, you can use ad_redirect to include tracking parameters.
  • Show your product clearly – The product data and landing page should match the key elements of your product. They need not be identical but logically refer to the same product. The product price needs to be mentioned clearly, which also takes care of the tax in the target country.
  • Consistent user experience – Whichever country the user comes from, the landing page’s content should show the exact details. The language and currency of the product data and landing page need to be the same.  Regional pricing models are not supported on Google ads, so the same price applies to all regions in the target country. The availability of the product and its condition should be the same in the product data and on the landing page. All information submitted must comply with local regulations.
  • Pages are live and working – Do not link your URL to an image or file; always use a landing page. The page should not be under construction or display 404 errors. Mobile landing pages should be different for mobile devices. People should be able to return to the page where they clicked on your ad through the browser back button.  The domain you claim in your merchant center account should be the only domain you can link your ad to; nothing outside of it.


3. Tax rate data requirements 

One must fulfill the below requirements to show ads for their products on Google ads. If these are not followed, the ad will be rejected, and one can see the status in the Diagnostics center of the Google merchant center feed.

  1. All locations in the US need to be covered, even if there is no tax charged for some. For those locations where no tax is charged, the tax attribute should be set to 0.
  2. The tax information submitted should be complete, correct, and comply with local laws.

4. Shipping rate data requirements 

Shipping costs are significant reasons for a user to buy your product. That is why Google has some requirements around this:

  1. Submit all kinds of charges that are involved while shipping like “logistics,” “delivery,” “carrier,” etc. They must be accurate and complete. The rate should be the direct shipping rate to the customer, not any “store” or a rate requiring membership.
  2. Even if you do not ship to the user’s location, the landing page should still display all the product details to the user when he clicks on your ad.
  3. Local laws must be abided by when providing shipping information.


5. Currency and language requirements to Create The Correct Feed for Multiple Countries

The language and country selection should be supported by your country of sale. Below are possible scenarios when you are trying to sell your product across borders:

  1. Translating landing page, currency, and flow into languages used in the country of sale. The taxes should be levied based on the rules of the target country. All currencies should be the same, whether product price, shipping rate or taxes.
  2. Run the product campaign in multiple languages that a country supports. So your landing page will support different languages in that country, and the price will be in the country’s currency.
  3.  Use the currency conversion feature if you do not want to convert your prices into the local currency of the country.  You can upload the data with prices in your preferred currency. Your ad will appear in a language of your choice with the currency of your choice, and Google will automatically convert it into the currency local to the country of sale.


An automatic way of setting it up

  1. The shipping needs to be configured for Google ads to appear in all relevant locations. The shipping service in the merchant center can be set up for a product or a group of products with the use of the “Shipping_label” attribute.  Shipping cost, delivery time, etc are some of the settings you should set up for each shipping service.
  2. You must target the right locations for your product by setting up location targeting in Google ads. 
  3. While setting up shipping, you can choose to let your ad appear as per someone’s physical location (Location of preference / LOP) or the location of interest (AOI or area of interest), or both.


Country grouping  

You can automatically advertise in many countries using the same product data. Which countries you can do so depends on the country group of your product’s primary country of sale. There are 3 country groups:

1.  Group A countries 

In this group, one can show data in any other country within the group using the same language.

LanguageCountries in Group A in which data may automatically show
EnglishAustria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
DutchBelgium, Netherlands
FrenchBelgium, France, Switzerland
GermanAustria, Germany, Switzerland
ItalianItaly, Switzerland

2. Group B countries 

If all relevant policies of a country are followed then product data of countries in Group B can also show up in Group C countries.

LanguageCountries in Group A in which data may automatically show
Chinese (simplified)Canada, United States, Australia
Chinese (Traditional)Hong Kong, Taiwan
EnglishArgentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vietnam
RussianUkraine, Russia
SpanishArgentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, United States

3. Group C countries 

In this group, one can show data in any other country within the group using the same language.

LanguageCountries in Group C in which data may automatically show
ArabicAlgeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia

Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cambodia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe
FrenchAlgeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia
PortugueseAngola, Mozambique
RussianBelarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan
SpanishCosta Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Manually setting up countries of sale or languages  

For countries that are not covered in the above groups, one can add them manually into the primary feed. The feed must conform to the newly added country of sale for that feed to connect to multiple countries of sale. Here is the process of doing it:

  1. Sign in to your Google merchant center account.
  2. Navigate to Products -> Feeds
  3. Select the feed to which you want to add a new country of sale.
  4. Click Settings -> Add
  5. Select the new country and language
  6. Click Add.

Summary of Correct Feed for Multiple Countries

It is the need for businesses of today to expand to different countries in order to get the advantages that come from a larger scale. To do that one must have their product feeds in good shape and free from technical errors as well as accurate and honest. The product should be well understood by the target country’s audience and also comply with the rules and industry standards of the different countries of sale.

Further readings on Google Feed 

  1. How to Troubleshoot your Google Shopping feed?
  2. What are the Requirements for the Google Shopping feed?
  3. Tips to Optimize Your Google Shopping Feed
  4. How to create the correct Feed for multiple countries?
  5. Google Shopping Feed Guide.

CEO and co founder of AdNabu. Exploring the intersection of data and marketing