What to Know About the 2015 Update to Google Shopping Feed & Product Taxonomy

By September 1, 2015Google Shopping

Google Shopping Feed Specification 2015 Update

Google has announced an update to Google Shopping Feed Specification and Google product taxonomy, in an effort, as they say, to enhance the customer experience. These latest updates are designed to making it easier for consumers to search for your products.

Some of these updates require you to implement certain changes to your current product data on or before Sept. 15, 2015.

Let’s Begin With Google Shopping Feed Specification

  • You can now submit Units & Quantity Attributes to support products sold in bulk or volume. This is an exciting addition for flooring retailers, for example.
  • There are new requirements involving GTINs that will help you make your ads richer and easier for customers to find the products you’re selling.
  • ID Attribute has changed a bit. The submission rules for ID Attribute have been tightened up, helping to prevent submissions of invalid characters or sequences. For example, Google will no longer accept trailing white-spaces or control characters.
  • Remember Apparel and Variant attributes? Well, now they’re one section, known as Detailed Product Attributes and Item Groupings.
  • Google Product Category IDs are now being introduced as an alternative to the Google Product Category path.
  • Google is expanding their Shipping requirement to the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic and Japan to be able to display the total price to users.

Changes To Google Product Taxonomy

Generally speaking, the change that’s taken place here is that Google has simplified a great deal of their taxonomy paths by “rolling up a number of categories to their parent nodes.” For example, there’s no longer a need to provide subcategories of:

  • Handbags
  • Books
  • Video game console accessories
  • Shorts
  • Pants
  • Shirts and tops
  • Swimwear
  • Coats and jackets

Most of those categories you’ve grown familiar with under Activewear will now just be a part of their non-active counterparts. For example, “Active Pants” will just be found under “Pants.” The same can be said for:

  • Active dresses
  • Active leotards
  • Active jackets
  • Active shirts
  • Active shorts
  • Active skirts
  • Active tanks
  • Active sets
  • Active undergarments

Google has also implemented some rather significant changes to a certain number of verticals, such as Décor, Hardware, Sporting Goods, Arts & Crafts, and Motor Vehicles Parts & Accessories. It’s worth visiting these product categories to fully understand the changes that have been made.

So What Now?

These rather substantial updates will be rolled out over time. Google’s giving you enough time to make the necessary changes to your product data before these updates are truly implemented.

That means you have to update your data by reviewing the Products Feed Specification, the Summer of Attribute Requirements, as well as the Google product taxonomy.

One way to ensure that your product data can be processed correctly is to use the test feeds feature, feed debugger, and the Diagnostics tab. You may also want to review the documentation for the Content API for Google Shopping.

When Do I Need To Make My Changes By?

You can start updating and submitting your product data now. But Google won’t truly enforce the new attributes until Sept. 15, 2015. The expanded shipping requirement is the one exception. Its complexity means Google’s giving merchants until Feb. 1, 2016 to make all necessary changes.

Make sure you don’t fall behind when Google does enforce these new changes. Contact OperationROI today (by calling 1-888-277-5429 or filling out our contact form) to learn more about how we can help you make the necessary changes to keep up with Google’s latest updates.

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