On Monday July 11th, Google announced that there are new Product Search feed specification requirements in an effort to allow “shoppers to quickly and easily find the information they need on Google Product Search – and in turn send more shoppers to our merchants” (quoted from Google’s blog: http://googlemerchantblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/important-changes-to-google-product.html). They’ve already started making changes by adding local availability and more comparison options. I’m taking the time today to remind you to make sure that you’ve taken proper measures to prepare your feed for the new requirements.
The New Fields
Fields that will be required as of September 22nd, 2011:
- [availability] – Whether the item is in stock or not
- [Google product category] –This attribute is only required for a select number of categories, but it allows you to choose the category which the item falls under within Google’s taxonomy
- [image link] – images will be required for each item, and they encourage to submit up to
- 10 additional images per product
- For apparel: [size], [color], [gender], [age group]
- Pricing and product information will be checked frequently – action will be taken for merchants who violate Google’s standards
If you utilize a feed service, your provider should be well prepared for the new requirements. There will be some data that will involve store owners adding custom properties to the store to accommodate the required data for the feed, but default text, logic and new rules set up by your feed manager should ease the burden of the new requirements.