Google Shopping Feed Spec Updates Announced

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Google has announced several updates to the specifications for Google Shopping Feeds and Product Taxonomy, most of which will go into effect September 15.

Here are the changes to the Shopping Feed specs:

  • Instead of having to enter the entire Google Product Category path, you can use an ID from the new list of Google Product Category IDs.
  • In the US, Units and Quantity attributes are now available for products sold in bulk or high volume.
  • Apparel and Variants are now included under a new section called Detailed Product Attributes and Item Groupings to help merchants describe their products with more detail.
  • There are now tighter requirements for GTINs and ID Attributes.
  • Shipping requirements, which enable the total price to show to users, is expanding to Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Japan. The shipping rate specs won’t be enforced until February 1, 2016 because getting that implemented is more complex for many merchants.

The updates to the Product Taxonomy are recommendations, not requirements. However, some categories have been retooled significantly, including Arts & Crafts, Decor, Hardware, Sporting Goods and Motor Vehicle Parts & Accessories. A number of child categories have been eliminated, there are more categories under Food, Beverages & Tobacco as well as the Mature categories.

The full list of 2015 changes is available in Google Merchant Center Help. Merchants can begin submitting updated feeds by the end of this week.

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