The Google Merchant Center (GMC) service is available in more than 20 countries. It helps promote your online store in the Google search engine.
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GMC is a platform on which a seller can download product information from their store. It is essentially a centralized data warehouse that allows businesses to take advantage of additional opportunities for promotion – Google Ads contextual advertising and Google Shopping advertising campaigns.
And if the first tool can be configured without registering in the Merchant Center, the second will not work.
Google Merchant Centre, this is what we gonna discuss in this article today.
Google Merchant Centre Account Registration and Settings
To get started with the service, you need a Google Account – create a new one or use an existing one. Go to the GOOGLE MERCHEN CENTRE registration page and click the “Create Account” button.
Enter the name of your online store, country, and time zone.
Specify how users will buy your products. By choosing the option “On my site”, buyers will see information about the product in Google services, and to buy it – go to your site.
Before creating an account, make sure that your store does not violate the GMC rules listed below.
Basic Requirements Google Merchant Guidelines
- You can only add items that are sold in your store. The link in the product ad should lead to a page where you can buy the product.
- Ads must be in the language of the target country and prices must be in local currency. The same language must be used in advertisements, websites, product pages, and feeds.
- Product information must match the information on the landing pages.
- The terms of exchange and return of goods must be clearly stated on the website. If the purchased goods cannot be returned, this must also be reported.
- The seller must comply with the requirements for the collection and storage of information about buyers.
- To work with the GMC, the seller must confirm in the Search Console that he is the owner of the site.
- The site must provide reliable contact information and clear payment terms. You also need to check the security and convenience of ordering.
- It is recommended that you log in to your GMC account at least once every 14 months to help your system understand that your product information is up to date.
After reading the rules, click the “Create Account” button to complete the registration.
Before adding a feed, it is necessary to fill in information about the company and confirm the rights to the site.
Feeds in Google Merchant Center
A feed is a file that contains products information on your site. It is from him that the search engine takes data to generate ads.
This file determines the relevance of your ads, so you must meet all of Google’s requirements.
Creating a Feed
Open the “Items” menu item and click “Create Feed”. Provide basic information: country of sale and language.
Enter a name and choose how to create a feed.
Here are the ways to upload products info data to google merchant center:
- Google Spreadsheets: Allow the service to access your disk. Then, fill the Google Merchant Center feed that automatically loaded into your drive with product information.
- On schedule: Product data will be stored on your site and automatically uploaded to the GMC at specified intervals.
- When you have selected the method of creating the feed and filled in all the required fields, click the “Create feed” button. After that, the finished feed will appear on your page.
- Downloads: Product data will be stored in a file on your computer and downloaded manually.
- Content API: Developer tool that allows you to create applications that work with GMC directly.
Requirements for the design of the feed
You can create a feed using Google Sheets or another spreadsheet tool such as Microsoft Excel.
There are mandatory and optional attributes for feeds. If they are filled in incorrectly or one of the required attributes is missing, the ads will not be displayed.
- Identifier (id) – a permanent unique identifier of the product, up to 50 characters. Examples: 35476900, AK5428.
- Title – the name of the product, up to 150 characters. Example: Women’s running shoes.
- Description – Description of the product, up to 5000 characters. Example: Comfortable women’s running shoes, season – spring/summer. Made of eco-leather.
- Link – a direct link to the product page.
- Image link (image_link) – a link to the main image of the product. Example: https://www.site.com/image56.jpg.
- Availability – The availability of goods in the store. Examples: in_stock (available), preorder (pre-order).
- Price – the cost of goods, the number must be recorded according to ISO 4217.
- Brand – brand of goods, up to 70 characters. Example: Reebok.
- GTIN or mpn – international product codes. Example: 3234567890128.
Read the full list of attributes, variants of their values, as well as design requirements on this page.
5 Common Mistakes when Creating a Feed
Violation of Google policy
Google has several rules regarding product ads. You may be blocked if you post prohibited content, perform prohibited activities, or violate editorial and technical requirements for advertising. The full list of rules can be found on this page.
- The price and availability of the product in the ad do not match the information on the landing page: In addition to the mandatory price attribute, there is an optional sale_price attribute – the value of the discounted product. If the product is participating in the sale, you need to specify the second attribute in the feed, indicating the reduced price. If you simply change the required attribute by making the discounted price the primary one, Google will take it as an attempt at fraud and block the ad. Therefore, you need to make sure that the data on the site does not contradict the data in the ad.
- The values of the title, description, and image attributes do not meet Google’s requirements: The title and description attributes help the system understand how relevant your ads are to user queries. They should not contain capslocks and advertising appeals, for example, FREE SHIPPING, Only today! etc. The title and description text must be different. The image must be fully consistent with the ad, be clear, have a good resolution, and contain no additional text.
- Targeting is set to multiple countries on the same domain: Feed for each country must be localized. This applies to currency settings, language, required attributes, etc. To use GMC in several countries, you need to have different domains and feeds for each territory.
- Missing or incorrectly specified unique product identifier: Google requires the addition of a GTIN to properly identify and classify products in your ads. This code is present in most products and is on the package next to the barcode. These codes may differ from country to country. All rules and exceptions are described on this page.
- There is no possibility of online payment and address delivery in your store: This is not directly related to the feed, but may cause it to be blocked. For Google Shopping to work correctly, the store must accept payment online and guarantee address delivery to customers.
The Google Merchant Center is a product repository that allows an online store to use the Google Shopping tool to promote. To get started with GMC, you need to go through a simple registration process and then create a feed.
A feed is a table that contains information about the products you want to promote. The integration of GMC and Google Ads accounts allows you to create feed-based ads.
I hope this google merchant center guide helps you understand better GMC.