Google Shopping Feed Changes – Custom Goods Affected After July 15, 2013

Google recently announced
Updated Google Shopping Feed Specification Changes that are going into effect shortly. They list six changes for merchants submitting data feeds.

The two most important ones that may impact merchants are:

  • Custom, Vintage or Collectible Goods that do not have unique identifiers will be required to submit a new field “identifier exists” beginning on July 15, 2013 for US merchants.
  • Google is recommending submitting higher resolution images with at least 800 pixels in height and width. This is not a requirement, just something they believe will help products stand out.

Custom Products Without Unique Identifiers

Previously, if your products did not have unique identifiers, all you needed to do is get an exemption from Google for these products.

Starting July 15, 2013, Google will now require that any product that does not have a unique identifier will have to be submitted with a new attribute:
“identifier exists”

This new attribute will need to be set to “FALSE” for any product without a unique identifier.

The previous policy of obtaining an exemption from Google will not be supported after July 15th.

How to Submit identifier_exists using ShopSite

If you’re using ShopSite as your ecommerce solution, and you currently submit a feed to Google, it’s quite easy to add this new attribute:

1. Setting the extra field name to match the Google attribute (identifier_exists)

Preferences -> Extra Fields

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2. Putting the word “FALSE”  for each custom product in the matching extra product field

Products -> Edit Product Info

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3. Sending the extra field to google:

Merchandising -> Google Search -> Configure

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These 3 steps will allow you to remain in compliance with Google’s new rules come July 15th. It is safe to submit this new field now, as Google supports it.

Make sure you take action before July 15th if you sell custom products that don’t have unique identifiers and submit a feed to Google. This will allow these products to continue to appear in Google Shopping.

As for the larger image recommendation… Although Google is not requiring these larger more detailed images, their recommendation can easily become a mandatory one down the road. It might be worth investing the time and effort to meet their recommendation if you get an appreciable amount of sales from Google Shopping.

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