Google Updates Shopping Feed Specifications

Jul 2nd, 2014

Over the last year, the team at Google have worked tirelessly to make sure both retailers and consumers are getting the most from their online shopping needs

The main focus of the improvements has always been to get the best possible information from the merchants to build a clean, concise experience for the user – this is still the case.

Google has announced updates to the information it now requires from those sellers who use the search engine’s Shopping Feed feature. It is hoped that when the changes are enforced as of September 30th 2014, those searching on the site for items will be able to find them quicker and more accurately than ever.

The update will concentrate on changes to five key areas, they are:

Mobile landing page

In order to make the user experience better for those who choose to shop on mobile or tablet devices, the new item listings will be redirected to an optimised site meaning they get the most relevant content and that the content is clear on their device.

Merchant-defined custom bundles

In order to offer the most transparent shopping experience, merchants are now required to display bundles appropriately on the shopping feed, for example if a camera comes with an additional case and lens then this must be identified as one item or bundle.

Apparel attributes

When it comes to selling articles of clothing, sellers are required to give more detailed descriptions and clearer guidance on the items. Google has introduced two new sizing values and age groups so that filtering of these products is better for the end user.

Item availability

The ‘in stock’ button will now be merged with the ‘available to order’ button and for all of those retailers who can guarantee delivery of an item in a timely manner, their customers may click ‘in stock’. For pre-ordered items, Google are offering an ‘availability date’ attribute which gives a clear indication as to when dispatch is likely.

Mandatory character limits

These limits will allow for clearer descriptions and make the process of filtering searches even quicker and more accurate. The merchant will be required to offer as much information to the customer as possible through this improvement.

Google has emphasised the importance of merchants reading the new feed specification and a summary of requirements to ensure they fully understand the attribute requirements before creating a new feed. The attributes are required for all of the items being sold, which in turn means that if an attribute is not given to the item, it will not show up in Google’s shopping results.​

In a bid to make the quickest possible transition to the new format, all merchants can begin submitting the changes to their product listings immediately. Any non-compliant listings could find themselves being disapproved and removed from the Google shopping pages, so getting to grips with the system is a must.

Retailers, how do you see the updates affecting your business? Let us know in the comments box below…


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