Optimize Titles & Descriptions
Provide concise, accurate and relevant titles and descriptions to maximize search-ability. Titles and descriptions should simply describe the physical items without embellishments or unnecessary text. Providing clear, useful titles will help make your product listings more attractive. Do not include promotional or marketing text (i.e. Free Shipping) or exclamation points (i.e. L@@K!!) in your title or any references to your store, sales, or shipping costs. Avoid using repetitive or excessive punctuation, capitalization or symbols. Google recommends that you include attributes such as color or brand in the title to differentiate the item from other products.
Titles can contain up to 70 total characters, and descriptions are capped at 5,000 total characters. Integrate “long tail keywords” into descriptions to help increase searchability. The recommended format for an optimized product title is: Brand Adjective Adjective Noun MPN
Add Accurate Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs) and/or UPCs
Google uses the above information along with the Brand field to match your products against their product database, if the information you provide is inaccurate then it will show up incorrect in Google or may not get listed at all. This is the main way to ensure inclusion in the ‘Compare Prices’ section.
Tax and Shipping Are Required
You can either submit tax and shipping information through your Google Merchant Center account by setting default values, or you can submit item-level override values through your feed. For example, for freight items with specific shipping rates, include that in your source file and create a rule to use that field for those items that have a value, the remaining items will show the default shipping set in your Google Merchant Center.
The tax attribute consists of four sub-attributes which include country, region, rate (required) and tax_ship. The tab delimited example shows each sub-attribute separated by a colon, as all colons are required (even for blank values) so zero value for tax will be ::0: or with the country it is US::0: (Example: California at a rate of 8.25%, where there is tax on shipping) it should be US:CA:8.25:y.
Submit shipping information through your Google Merchant Center account by specifying a flat rate, free shipping by defining custom tables if your shipping rate varies, or by applying a carrier-calculated shipping rate. If using the carrier-calculated option, you must include the weight attribute to calculate this value. If you want to include item-level overrides through your feed, you must use the shipping attribute (which includes four sub-attributes: country, region, service and price). These must be separated by required colons, even for blank values. For example, to show just the shipping price alone :::7.95, for country and price US:::7.95, or for country, region, service and price US:MA:Ground:7.95.
To learn more about the tax attribute, see: Google Tax & Shipping
Include High Quality Images
Make a good impression by providing the largest, best quality images you have to ensure shoppers are seeing clear product pictures. Image sizes should be 300×300 pixels and should not be small pictures that are scaled up and should not contain watermarks. If you don’t have high quality images, don’t submit logo images, thumbnails or placeholder images like “image not available,” ; if you have no image for your item, you cannot submit the item. Accepted image formats are GIF, JPG (or JPEG), PNG, BMP, and TIF and the file extensions for these images should correspond to their format.
Start Collecting 3rd Party Seller Ratings
To improve your Google positioning / page ranking, activate third party seller ratings where available including other pay per click comparison shopping engines, Epinions, ResellerRatings.com, Power Reviews, Rateitall.com (shopping sites), and more. Monitor your store’s ratings regularly and check out your competitor’s ratings here: www.google.com/products/seller?zmi=mystore.com (substitute mystore.com with your or competitor store URL)
Add Rich Snippets to your Google Data Feed
Enhance your product data by adding Rich Snippets to your data feed such as Review Ratings under the field attributes ‘product_review_average’ and ‘product_review_count’. Learn more about Rich Snippets here
Check Your Listings and Data Quality Weekly
To check your store’s listings directly on Google Product Search go to www.google.com/shopping and search for: site:mystore.com (substitute mystore.com with your store URL). Be sure you are logging into your Google Merchant Account at least once per week and check your data quality to view errors and warnings from Google. To learn more, visit Google’s ‘View your published products‘ article.
Avoid Disapproval by Allowing Robots
Google routinely crawls your product pages in order to check for quality issues. If you do not have a Robots.txt file that allows this, you will be unable to show your items on Product Search. Click here to learn more about Allowing Crawlers with Robots.txt
Requirements for Google International Feeds
When submitting international Google feeds, there are three requirements that must be met:
- Your Product Catalog must contain a pricing field for that country in their currency
- Be sure your website displays that currency pricing visibily on the site
- The ID field must be different from your Google US one. To accomplish this create a custom rule as follows:
- Go to Custom Rules (Feeds > Google Shopping Merchant Center > SETUP > Custom Rules) and create a new rule
- Click the plus button
- Name your Custom Rule (i.e. ‘Unique ID for UK’)
- Select ‘ID’ in the first drop-down located next to ‘Set’
- Select your Unique ID field (from your source data) in the ‘Pick a field or enter a value’ box, and click Save
- Enter your text value in the next available Static Value Box (i.e. _UK for UK feed or _DE for Germany, _AU for Australia, etc.) and click Save
- Set the conditions for that rule, in this case, a negative condition to be all inclusive (‘When Product URL is not empty’)
- Click ‘Save’
Adhere to Google Shopping’s Program Policies
Before you start submitting your product feeds to Google Shopping, you should review their program policies– especially if you have a marketplace or auction-based store, are a drop-shipper or sell adult items.
Prevent Feed File Disapproval
Common reasons for disapproval include pricing inconsistencies between your published price and landing page price, broken links, currency and target country mis-matches, including promotional text in titles and descriptions or submitting data from a marketplace store. To learn more and submit a Disapproval Dispute ticket, view Google’s ‘Common Reasons for Disapproval’ page: Google’s Common Reasons for Disapproval
Open a Support Ticket with Google Shopping
If you are experiencing issues with your Google Feed, got disapproved without an explanation, got an error message or need other assistance with your Google Merchant Center account, Open up a Google Shopping Inquiry Ticket