EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2501 - March 17, 2011     3 of 5

Google Changes Product Feed Requirements

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Google is making some changes to its data requirements and feed specifications in order to help Google Product Search shoppers accurately compare prices and learn more about products they want to buy. The changes affect only Google Product Search listings and will not apply to Google Commerce Search or AdWords ad formats. Google may reject product feeds from merchants who fail to update their feeds with the required data.

Starting May 3, Google will begin requiring unique identifiers for all products except apparel and one-of-a-kind items. The "unique product identifiers" help Google match products to the correct "product pages," which show shoppers user reviews, prices, related items and videos for a particular product (example: Canon S95). Products without unique product identifiers may not be listed in Google Product Search, though the feed may not be disapproved.

Google will also begin requiring shipping information for Google Product Search on June 6th, and will begin requiring tax information for all feeds targeting the United States, also effective June 6th. Product listings that do not include tax information at the account level, or in the "tax" attribute, may be rejected.

Google also said it is adding two attributes to the United States Product Search feed specification, "sale price" and "sale price effective date."

"The attributes are recommended for the items that you have put on sale, but are not required. If you do include these new attributes, you should continue to provide the "price" attribute with the non-sale price from your website."

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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