If you have a product feed to Google Product Search then you need to make sure you comply with the changes coming into effect on Thursday 22nd September.
Google will gradually begin enforcing the new requirements by removing items from Google Product Search that do not meet the new requirements and, in some cases, suspending accounts that do not comply. The main changes are:
- Availability: Google wouldd like a user to be able to find your products even when they are out of stock. For this reason, the [availability] status of all your items will be required.
- Google Product Category: They have added a new required high-level attribute called [google product category] that contains the category of the item in Google’s taxonomy (currently only required for a select number of categories). This is in addition to the current [product type] attribute.
- Images: Google are making [image link] required and they encourage you to submit up to 10 additional product images through [additional image link]. This way, you can improve the visual representation of your products.
- Apparel: In order to create a better experience for product variants such as dresses or shoes that are available in multiple colours or sizes, they ask you to include information like [size] and [colour] in your product feed. In addition, we require you to provide [gender] and [age group].
- Data Freshness: Google will continue to regularly check feeds for accuracy of pricing, availability, and general product information, and take action against accounts that violate their standards.
If you’re unsure if your feeds comply with Google’s requirements then they do provide a Test Data Feed option. This allows you to upload your feed to Google Merchant Center without making these items available in the Product Search results in order to check and fix feed errors.