In a recent blog article Google revealed some changes to the feed specification for Google Shopping, its integrated shopping engine, which is accessible via the “shopping tab” on the search engine’s homepage or via the Product Listing Ads. The changes will be compulsory from 30th September, 2014.
In its FAQ, Google precises:
“As we previously announced, we have updated the Google Shopping Feed Specification to add and revise attributes and update policies to further improve the experience for shoppers. Please note that some of the updates require changes to your current product data that need to be implemented by September 30, 2014. For more details, read carefully through the enforcement section below.”
The changes to the Google Shopping feed are summarised below:
The links to landing pages for mobile devices will now be submitted separately from those for classic pages. Therefore, mobile shoppers will be sent to a page which is optimised for viewing on their smartphone or tablet.
Google Shopping is expanding support to merchant-defined bundles. The feed specification now includes the ‘is bundle’ attribute, which should be used when submitting merchant-defined bundles.
Google will also simplify the [availability] attribute by merging the values [in stock] and [available for order]. Google will also include an [availability date] attribute, to indicate on what day the products ordered will be shipped.
To provide more examples and clearer guidance on all things apparel, apparel articles has been updated. Google are also adding new values to ‘age group’ and introducing two new size attributes to allow an even more detailed apparel description and filtering (‘size system’ and ‘size type’).
Google proposes new recommendations regarding how to submit high quality images that draw users’ attention to your products. For example, submit images taken on a white, grey or lightly coloured background – that way the product will be clearly visible and recognisable to users on all devices.
In order to ensure all product data and all types of media are displayed optimally, the feed specification now clearly states how many characters can be used for most attributes.
Google has replaced the existing destination URL policy with the new landing page content policy. This refined policy comes with more background details, additional examples and explanations as well as an implementation guideline for submitting landing page URLs.