How to Optimize Your Google Merchant Center Feed

December 19, 2018

The Google Merchant Center feed can seem cluttered and confusing considering there are so many data fields to include in your feed. Some fields are required, some are highly recommended and others are purely optional. Optimizing your feed can be a daunting task as it’s challenging to determine where to start – we’ll show you several changes you can make to your Merchant Center feed to help you ramp up your Google Shopping campaigns!


Optimize Merchant Feed Fetch Frequency

Is your Google Merchant Center feed refreshed at least weekly? If your feed is for an ecommerce website, is it uploaded daily? Ideally your feed should be uploaded as frequently as possible to account for the following changes:

  • Changes in product stock and availability
  • New promotional inventory
  • Price changes
  • New product variations
  • Changes in product image links
  • Changes in product landing page links


Ensure Your Feed Contains Data For Required Fields

Your product feed should contain all of the following required feed attributes:

  • id
  • title
  • description
  • link
  • image_link
  • availability
  • price
  • adult
  • Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) – required for all new products with a GTIN-assigned number
  • Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) – required If no GTIN is available


The following feed attributes are required for certain types/categories of products and should be included in your feed if applicable to your products and if you have this information available for your products:

  • Google_product_category – required for software, media and apparel/apparel accessories
  • brand – required for new products with the exception of books, movies and musical recordings
  • condition – required if product is used or refurbished
  • multipack – required for bundle containing multiple quantity of identical products in the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland and Japan.
  • is_bundle – required for bundled products in the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland and Japan
  • age_group – required for apparel made for specific age groups in the US, UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Japan
  • color – required for products available in multiple colors in the US, UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Japan
  • gender – required for gender-specific products in the US, UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Japan
  • material – for products available in multiple material variants
  • pattern – for products available in multiple patterns
  • size – for products


Try to include as much product information in your shopping feed as possible, particularly if the product information is also found on your product landing page. This will lead to a higher quality product feed, higher quality Shopping ads and a higher likelihood of your ads showing up for user search queries related to your product.  Shopping uses feed data to match products to queries similar to how on-page content is used for SEO ranking, so the more relevant data you can give Google, the better.


Include As Much Description in the First 160 Characters of Your Product Description

Product descriptions have a 5000 character limit. However, it is highly advised to keep the most important descriptors within the first 160-500 characters of your description as users will only see the first portion of your shopping ad unless they expand to view the full description. This data is also prioritized when Google matches your product listing to a search query.


Ensure Your Google Product Category ID is Specific

It is important to ensure your Google product category IDs are as accurate as possible for your shopping ads to be to user search queries. Only use product category IDs provided by Google that line as close as possible to your products. The full product category ID list can be accessed here.


Use High Quality Product Images That Comply With Google Policy

Product images should be square and meet the following size requirements:

  • At least 100×100 pixels for non-apparel products
  • At least 250×250 pixels for apparel products
  • No larger than 64 megapixels
  • No larger than 16MB in size

Your product feed images should not contain any promotional text, logos or borders as they may distract from the product itself and would not provide a clear image of your product to shoppers.
The feed image should display the entire product featured in the feed. For product bundles, the image should feature all products included in the bundle.


Following these guidelines will give you a more optimized, well-polished Google Merchant Center feed to improve your Google Shopping campaign performance. Ensuring you have high quality images for your product feed, correct Google product category numbers assigned to every product and having all required feed attributes in your feed are a few of the many ways to improve your Google Merchant Center product feed to ramp up your Google Shopping campaigns.