Google will dump your products on 16th May unless you add GTINs

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Google featThere is exactly a week left before many retailers who use Google advertising have an unpleasant shock and start to see item-level disapprovals for products that don’t meet Google’s new requirements.

You will need to add GTINs to your product feed if you target Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, or the US.

From May the 16th Google will require GTINs for all products with a GTIN assigned by the manufacturer. This almost certainly impacts you if you sell new, brand-name products that are sold by multiple merchants. You won’t be impacted if you sell used, custom, handmade, or vintage products but Google says that you can still improve your ad performance by adding unique product identifiers to your product data where they’re available.

Google will want the GTIN (if assigned by the manufacturer), Brand and Manufacturer’s Part Number (MPN) for all new products in your product feed (That’s “new” as opposed to “used”, not just a new feed!).

eBay Product Identifiers “Does not apply”

If you’re one of the eBay sellers who blithely bulk edited all their items to “Does not apply” then sadly your eBay listings will likely never appear on Google again. If you’re wondering why sales are down this could be the reason.

eBay have been haranguing sellers for months to ensure that product identifiers (GTIN, Brand and MPN) have been added to all our listings. This is the reason why.

Why are Google insisting on Product Identifiers?

Google say that “GTINs help us understand exactly what you’re selling. When we understand what you’re selling, we can help boost your ad performance by adding valuable details about the product and serving the ad in a more relevant way to users. This also means that your ads can serve in more places on Google, YouTube, and our partner sites. Merchants who’ve added correct GTINs to their product data have seen conversion rates increase up to 20%“.

24 Responses

  1. And haven’t the ones bulk using ‘does not apply ‘ been crowing about it for months…..
    Think they may have some work to do.

  2. Where does this leave the sellers of used collectables that do not have any of these numbers? Does the product feed situation only apply to new items?

    Just reread the article and used items are unaffected so question answered.

  3. What this will mean is that more people will be frantically copying our EANs and applying them to any old product just to comply.

    Has anyone else noticed the the new start review system is EAN linked? Some seller out there can very easily upload a rubber chicken with your EAN number and the reviews for that rubber chicken will apply to your genuine part.

    Not sure if people are aware of this but we have customers who have copied various EAN codes and applied them to other products.

  4. Does this mean we have to put barcodes on ALL products on our website or only products that use google shopping or PPC? i.e will our website we downgraded in Googles eyes for not having barcodes?


  5. “If you’re one of the eBay sellers who blithely bulk edited all their items to “Does not apply” then sadly your eBay listings will likely never appear on Google again.”

    When I edited my listings on Ebay the EAN section was changed to “Does not apply”. This wasn’t any attempt at making it easier or being lazy but simply the commercial equipment that I sell doesn’t have EANs, bar codes etc. Where relevant all necessary manufacturer and model numbers were inserted so it will be interesting to see what difference this will make.

  6. A lot of my products I sell on eBay do not come with barcodes. I am however a member of GS1 and have access to barcodes. Is it wise to put a barcode on all my eBay items ? They are unique unbranded items that no one else sells.

  7. Can someone clarify whether it is a requirement to put an MPN for own brand products on eBay.

    Currently I have ean numbers (GS1) on each listing but have put MPN as “does not apply”.

    Do I need to change this?

  8. Sort of on topic.

    The EAN is having a dramatic effect on Searches within eBay

    If you have an item in Amazon Prime there is a good chance it is giving you a massive boost on eBay searches.

    Based on the fact lots of “sellers” drop-shipping your item out of Amazon prime at £15-20 more on eBay using your unique identifiers of your own label product.

    This is not only making the own branded product look popular but the product owners listing is massively cheaper than everything else listed. Hence the boost in search.

  9. How, or does this, apply to remanufactured products? Would it be required to use the GTIN for the original OEM product? Or do we need new ones? I work for a printer cartridge retailer and handle the online inventory. We also sell compatible versions, not just reman.

  10. Official, compatible, and remanufactured are all different products and will need their own unique barcodes.

    If they all use the same barcode they will appear as the same product in Google Shopping. So firstly 2/3 will get rejected as duplicates and secondly it will annoy customers if they think they’re getting an official cartridge but you send them something different.

  11. i sell collectable photographs / prints, and car brochures which by nature dont have any barcodes or identifiers.

    the closest you may get is occasionally a brochure by ford may have FAxxxx which stands for ford advertising, but this is meaningless to 90% of people that buy them.

    and the prints are sometimes my own photography, would i be better off buying in barcodes and applying them to my own items including the self taken photography?

  12. I sell products which don’t have GTINs, my competitor sells the same items (which still don’t have GTINs). My competitor is registered with GS1 and has created their own GTINs for these products. So if I do the same, we’ll end up with two GTINs for the same thing? What is the point of that?

  13. Why not just use the same ones as your competitor they are the same item?

  14. I have added ean to most of listings and cant see any difference in a search results on ebay and google. YOu can still find ebay listings in google resoults without GTINd. how about your listings, any differences?


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