E-commerce sites that have their products listed on Google Product Search need to pay attention: A big sweep of updates to the feed formatting and policies has been implemented and will be enforced starting on September 22.
The Feed Changes
As announced on the Google Merchant blog, the company is releasing a new set of feed specifications that “will have a strong impact on the user experience.” Here’s a breakdown of the new items that you must include:
- The “Image” attribute is now required in every country except Japan. Users can still submit up to 10 additional images for their product.
- The “Availability” attribute, which indicates whether an item is currently out of stock, is now required in the U.S., UK, Germany, and France.
- Product categories will have to be specified for the following categories:
- Apparel & Accessories (including sub-categories of “Clothing” and “Shoes”).
- Media (including sub-categories of “Books,” “DVDs & Movies,” and “Music”).
- Software (including the sub-category “Video Game Software”).
- Items in the “Apparel” category in the U.S. will require the “Age Group,” “Gender,” “Color,” and “Size” to be listed in the product feed.
- A new set of “Variant Attributes” will now be required in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, and Japan for any product that varies in “color,” “size,” “material,” and “pattern.”
You can check out the full details on the Google support page that covers the changes.