The Google Merchant Blog announced “important changes to Google Product Search feed specification & policies.” These changes go into affect September 22, 2011 and if you are not compliant, you will find your products missing from Google Product Search.
To see the changes, you can go to this document and select the country that you target with your content. Then read the documentation the loads beneath it. Here is the overview of changes to U.S. merchants submitting feeds to Google.
- Availability: Google would like a user to be able to find your products even when they are out of stock. For this reason, the [availability] status of all your items will be required.
- Google Product Category: Google have added a new required high-level attribute called [google product category] that contains the category of the item in Google’s taxonomy (currently only required for a select number of categories). This is in addition to the current [product type] attribute.
- Images: Google is making [image link] required and we encourage you to submit up to 10 additional product images through [additional image link]. This way, you can improve the visual representation of your products.
- Apparel: In order to create a better experience for product variants such as dresses or shoes that are available in multiple colors or sizes, Google is asking you to include information like [size] and [color] in your product feed. In addition, we require you to provide [gender] and [age group].
- Data Freshness: Google will continue to regularly check feeds for accuracy of pricing, availability, and general product information, and take action against accounts that violate our standards.
Those are just some of the changes for the United States.
Here is some helpful documentation from Google on these changes:
- New Google Product Search feed specification
- Summary of attribute requirements in table form
- New Google Product Search merchant policies
- Tips for submitting apparel products
- List of changes to feed specification
- Google Launches Merchant Center For Google Base Users
- Outing Google Merchant Search
- Google Base & Data Feed Optimization
- 9 Tips For Using Product Listing Ads
- Grab More Attention With Google’s New Search Ads
- Google Opens Local Shopping Merchant Details
- Google Slightly Updates Google Merchant Search