New Merchant Center tools: Optimize your Google Shopping Product Feed for spring season

Adference PPC Blog

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Thanks to a number of updates, a few things have changed feed-wise in 2017. If you did not get the chance to use them on your feed yet, use the fact that the new year is still young and get your feed up to par now! After all, your product feed is the foundation for any PPC campaign. Optimizing your feed will help ensure that Google is able to pull the right information from your Google Shopping Feed the moment your product ads are eligible to show.


In late September, Google has provided us with new Merchant Center tools that make it much easier to organize your feed. Google now differentiates between primary feeds and supplemental feeds. Supplemental feeds help you to provide additional information for products in your primary feed. With the help of feed rules, supplemental feeds can be used to update product information once or repeatedly in your primary feed: 


Let’s do some tidying up in your feed!

  1. Avoid errors and keep product information up-to-date

As obvious as it sounds, a good start for any optimization is to make sure that the information in the feed is correct and still valid. Ads that contain wrong or irrelevant information will affect user experience negatively and lower your conversion rate.

For instance, use the new feed rule “Take latest” to update changes in price. Submit a supplemental feed with the feed id and price attribute:

  1. Use the product categories provided by Google

A powerful way to ensure that your ads are shown only when they match the search query, is through the category names you use in your feed. Use the attribute google_product_category in accordance with the Google product taxonomy.

Depending on the type of products you sell and the country you target, the categories you choose may be required, or optional. For Apparel & Accessories, Media and Software, you are required to structure your items according to the categories provided by Google. We highly recommend that you use the category names provided by Google to structure your product hierarchy:


  1. Arrange your products in a multi-branched structure of product categories

To increase discoverability for your products, it is important to use the right product category to specify what your product is about. We suggest that you use at least 2-3 subcategories to specify the product category. Using even more subcategories (if possible) will only make it clearer to Google what it is you’d like to sell.


  1. Maintain attributes according to Google standard

Make sure you are using the Google attributes right:

Even an attribute as commonly used as gender is often not used consistently. Whether you use “Mens”, “Ladies” and “Uni” – or the correct terms suggested by Google, “male”, “female” and “unisex” – can have a big impact on the success of your ad placements. Here, Google provides us with a list of attributes:

Use modification operations to rename your items in bulk:

  • Use “Find & replace” to change all instances of “#aed09b” to “green
  • Use “Standardize” to rename “ladies” to “female


  1. Provide the product type in maximum detail

As a user of our Google Shopping feature, you might already know that our optimization algorithm, designed especially for Google Shopping, exploits information based on the structure of the feed. It uses this information in order to build a learning hierarchy in which similar products learn from each other’s performances and use it for their own decision-making.

If you use Adference for Google Shopping or you would like to start using our solution, it is important to know that an ideal feed for Adference reflects as many meaningful product type levels (attribute: product_type) as possible. An example of a maximally structured feed, using as many sub-categories as possible, is Apparel & Accessoires > Clothing > Outerwear > Coats & Jackets > Denim Jackets.


  1. Explore the Opportunites tab in the Merchant Center

Opportunities are personalized notifications and recommendations that help you to improve your product data quality. Recommendations range from quick adjustments to more fundamental fixes in your feed. In any way, they are worth following, especially if you’re new to Google Shopping.


If you have any more questions on how to get your Google Shopping product feed ready, please contact your account manager. If you need help with your product feed before starting your 30-day trial, simply send us a message. We are happy to help!

For more information on the update introducing the new Merchant Center Tools, also check out the blog post Google Shopping 2017 Updates you Shouldn’t Miss over at our friends from DataFeedWatch.

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