Google Changes Shopping Feed Specifications

google-shopping-cartGoogle Shopping is updating their feed specifications as part of the rollout of the new Google Shopping based on product listing ads. The changes will affect accounts in the U.S., as well as globally.

The biggest change is for Google Shopping accounts that are currently exempt from using unique product identifiers, often used for things such as custom goods, vintage items, and collectibles. Those accounts will no longer be exempt from using unique product identifiers, but will now use an "identifier exists" attribute. More details on all the Google Shopping attributes can be found here.

Another change that will have the biggest positive impact to shoppers is Google's recommendation of using high resolution product photos of at least 800 x 800 px. Shoppers love the ability of having larger product images they can zoom in on products. This change is only a recommendation, not a requirement, so those merchants with sub-optimal images don’t need to worry, although for increased revenue it makes sense to make better imagery available.

Lastly, for those sellers with a mix of non-family safe items on a family safe site, you can now tag those items individually as non-family safe.

The full list of changes can be found here.

Not all of the changes will be made available immediately, but Google wants to give merchants enough time to adapt to the changes prior to them being officially released.

The change from those exempt from requiring product identifiers will take place on July 15 in the U.S. and September 16 globally, while enforcement for other accounts will begin July 15 in U.S., France, Germany and the UK, and globally September 16.

You can view the new feed specifications and the summary of attribute requirements for more details for Google Shopping merchants.

About the author

Jennifer Slegg began as a freelance writer, and turned to search engine optimization and writing content for the web in 1998. She has created numerous content-rich sites in niche markets and works with many clients on content creation, strategy, and monetization. She writes about many search industry and social media topics on her blog, and is a frequent speaker at search industry conferences on SEO, content marketing and content monetization. Acknowledged as the leading expert on the Google AdSense contextual advertising program, she runs JenSense, a blog dealing exclusively with contextual advertising. She is also the founder and editor of The SEM Post. She is known by many as her handle Jenstar on various webmaster forums.