13 Reasons Your Shopping Feed Is Being Disapproved

April 9, 2015


With Google always trying to lead from the front (i.e. ahead of Bing and now Facebook) we have seen a lot of updates in its current distribution channel. For those who don’t know, Google now calls its Product Listing Ads ‘Google Shopping’. Since the beginning of 2014 we have seen updates to the Product Listing Ads with the objective of harnessing good user experience.

Pixus has decided to offer you some useful general requirements that are required by Google to ensure your feed is running efficiently at all times.

A good feed will always require:

1. ID

Most people use this as a unique identifier, and if you are operating multiple feeds in your campaign you need to ensure they don’t conflict. Most campaigns use only one feed therefore it wouldn’t be a problem.

2. Title

This is used as a keyword as it will trigger the ads. The product’s title needs to be described accurately to ensure you get the best chance to appear for the right search. It’s always good to include a feature of the product, for example if its apparel you should include colour or size.

3. Description

Google gives you a limit of 5000 characters to describe your product. Make use of the opportunity by describing the visual attributes of your products in a way that would make it standout without exaggerating. Keep it short and precise but with all the relevant terms (e.g. for a simple t-shirt I would use the age groups, the weight, chest size, colour, material, and brand). Things that you have used in the title can be expanded on here.

4. Google Product Category

The Google Product Taxonomy is a tree of categories that will help you generate values for the ‘Google Product Category’ attribute. In simple terms, this means Google has a structure of the list of all the products. This helps classify the product to a particular taxonomy. For more information see list the here or visit this site to download a spreadsheet of the taxonomy to match your product.

5. Product type

An alternative to Google Product Category is the Product Type. This can be used to describe your product tree. We use Google’s Benchmark and include both Google Product Category and Product Type. But this only replicates the same values, as they are one and the same. You can structure your product tree differently if you wish, especially if it’s a custom made product not in a Google Product Category. However, we recommend using both. It’s not mandatory on the feed but it might give you a warning message if not included.

6. Link

This is a link to your product page. It’s an URL that directs you to the product page containing the product as loaded from the feed.

7. Image link

Similar to the above link, this URL leads you to the image of the product. It’s highly recommended that you use the correct image dimensions as requested by the shopping platform. Google recommends 800x800pixels and it should be a clear image of the product, not a company logo like most people try to use as a substitute.

8. Condition

One of three is allowed: new, used or refurbished

9. Availability

One of three as well: pre-order, in stock or out of stock.

10. Price

We have clients that have been experiencing trouble with their feed because of price irregularities. Google used to allow ex-VAT but now the rules have changed. All prices should be inclusive-VAT to avoid price discrepancies. Therefore, you should ensure the final prices correspond to the stated price on the feed.

11. Brand

Google discourages putting the name of your store unless the brand is the name of the store. Google used to have a Google car shopping service which was shut down.The reason I mention this is because cars that are referred by their brand and company and use the same name (e.g. Toyota) are okay.

12. GTIN

Global Trade Item Number can be one of several units, (usually in the form of a barcode) and varies depending on the region the product originates from.

13. MPN

This number can only be assigned by the manufacturer, (usually in alphanumerical digits). It is applicable to electronics and goods produced in mass. MPN stands for Manufacturers Part Number and is unique.

Google requires at least 2 of these 3 attributes to be on the feed – Brand, GTIN and MPN.

More of these product identifiers can be read here or here.

NB: Shipping attributes can be configured in the Merchant Center, so there’s no need to worry about this. And don’t forget if you are using a manual feed; upload it at least every 30 days to avoid it being disapproved.

At Pixus we are happy to review any shopping campaign you have running or that has been disapproved. We are an approved Google agency and are happy to offer you advice concerning any paid online advertising. Please contact ben@pixus.co.uk or call 0151 4269977 / 0151 4260317.

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