Google Shopping 2016 Specifications: Urgent Changes You Need To Make

The most urgent changes that you need to make to your product feed to fit Google Shopping's new 2016 specifications | Feedeo

Attention, marketers: Your product feed could be close to becoming obsolete.
In order to increase the quality of product ads, Google has introduced a few new changes to the requirements of product feeds. In the end, these changes should improve the performance of your products and ensure that they are found by potential customers.

The most relevant changes to keep an eye on:

We would like to bring your attention to two specific changes because they may have a bigger impact on the performance of your feeds. Neither of them is really new, but they are both becoming global now by affecting ads run in the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Turkey

There is still time, but it is in your best interest to work on the necessary adjustments as soon as possible.

The most urgent changes that you need to make to your product feed to fit Google Shopping's new 2016 specifications | Feedeo

Adding a product category.

Google product categories are predefined values from Google's product taxonomy that indicate exactly the type of item you are selling.
If your products are going to be submitted in 'Apparel & Accessories', 'Media', or 'Software', now there is an added requirement to submit a product category, for instance 'Apparel & Accessories > Clothing'.

To prevent disapprovals, you should have added this new requirement before September 1st. Warnings will start to appear in your Diagnostics tab to help you understand the changes to make.

The most urgent changes that you need to make to your product feed to fit Google Shopping's new 2016 specifications | Feedeo

Required GTIN (Global Trade International Number).

For the same reason of better understanding what you're selling, there is a new requirement to submit a GTIN for all products that have one.

In order to find the GTIN of a product, refer to the barcode of the product's packaging or contact the manufacturer.
You may want to download the Barcode Scanner app to make the work easier.

"Merchants who have added correct GTINs to their product data have seen conversion rates increase up to 20%." (Google Merchant Center)

Make sure to add this change to your feed before February 14th to prevent disapprovals. In products targeting Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and the US, disapprovals have already begun.

Other changes:

  • Enforced 'color' and 'size' attributes. This is only required if you are selling 'Apparel & Accessories' products targeting Germany, France, Japan, and the UK.
    The 'Size' attribute will be required for products in the categories 'Clothing' and 'Shoes'.

  • Added support for unit pricing. There are certain product categories for which customers prefer to know the price per unit; for example, flooring, food items, or business cards. Use the 'price' attribute to provide the total price, and include specific details combining the 'unit pricing measure' and 'unit pricing base measure' attributes.
    Further information about unit pricing.

  • Maximum feed file size increased from 1GB to 4GB.
    (Yay!) This change will impact all countries.
    Contact us if you want to know more about feed submission from Feedeo and how this can impact your ads.

Learn more about product feeds.

  • Minimum image size for non-apparel products increased from 32x32 to 100x100 pixels. This change will impact all non-apparel products (the minimum size for apparel products remains 250x250 pixels). Keep in mind that this is just the minimum size required to display your ad; the recommended image size is 800x800 pixels.

Disapprovals will begin on September 1st.

"Ads with large, high-quality images have proven to be more effective and lead to better performance" (Google Merchant Center)

  • Maximum image size increased from 4 to 16MB. This should also help your ads perform better by uploading higher quality pictures.

One final summary and reminder on ad images: The recommended size for images in all categories is 800x800 pixels, and no more than 64 megapixels. The product should occupy between 75% and 90% of the total size.

Information via Merchant Center Announcements.

Important note: For those of you using Feedeo, just know that we will contact you and keep you updated about these important changes on your feeds. Contact us now if you have any questions.

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