Jun 22

Google Feed Specification 2020 Updates

Each year Google updates their Google Merchant Center (GMC) feed specification with modest changes to how merchants should submit their product data. This year is no different and Google has just announced the changes as follows:

Changes available now:

Two new attributes are now available to submit:

  • product_highlight and product_detail. These attributes let you submit additional product data to Google in a generic fashion. product_highlight allows you to submit bulleted lists of product highlights. product_detail lets you submit any product attribute that does not fit into already existing attributes (like title, price, size, color, material, gender, etc). For example, if you sold phones, you could include things like screen size, CPU speed, and camera resolution as product_detail attributes.

Changes starting on Sept 1, 2020:

  • Google is more pro-actively encouraging merchants to submit attributes like gender, age_group, size, and color. Essentially, if you sell any products with a Google Product Category of "Apparel & Accessories", you should consider gender, age_group, size and color as mandatory. If you do not submit these attributes, your item will still list but it may rank lower.

  • Similarly, Google is now considering description essentially mandatory. Products can still go live without a description but they may rank lower.

  • Lastly, do not submit attributes material or pattern with commas. If your product does have multiple materials or patterns combine them with the slashes or hyphens (not commas).

The two new attributes product_highlight and product_detail could be worth implementing on high-value products. These attributes harken back to the day of custom attributes and may surface on Google "enhanced listings" in the near future -- the VersaFeed team will be keeping a close eye on them.

Overall, these are very mild changes to the feed spec and VersaFeed will ensure that clients' data feeds comply with the changes.

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