In a bid to improve the consumer experience with Google Product Search listings, the search giant will soon be requiring three new types of data for feeds targeting the U.S., and one new type for those targeting the U.K. A fourth type of data, which is recommended, but not required, will allow merchants to specify a sale price and effective dates for the sale, so the special pricing can be displayed during the time the sale is in effect.
The company announced the changes today and the first will take effect on May 3rd.
The first change in required data, which applies to both the U.S. and the U.K., is that Unique Product Identifiers — brand name and model number, for example — will be required for all products except apparel and one-of-a-kind items. The Unique Product Identifiers will help Google tie the listings to the appropriate product pages, which feature user reviews, photos, related items and videos.
Additionally, as of June 6th, shipping and tax information will be required on all product listings, to allow consumers to make more informed decisions.