Having an optimized Data Feed is essential to your success as an online Merchant using comparison shopping engines or marketplaces. A data feed “rich” with information which can be optimized to differentiate your product from a competitor’s is a key component in what determines displaying your ad in response to search queries. Help yourself by connecting potential consumers to your website and products to complete a sale.

In order to be successful on Google Shopping, your product data has to meet Google’s editorial guidelines. The next important step is to properly optimize your feed. In addition to having every attribute filled in, optimizing your attributes, like title, to actually match the way users are searching for them is paramount.  The more data rich your feed is, the better your performance will be as it will help to match products to relevant user searches. Even non-required product attributes can differentiate your ad from another and have a positive impact on search query results.

Google’s Product Feed Specification states: “Many products like shoes, furniture, and electronics come in a variety of colors, materials, sizes, and so on. To make sure we can accurately display these products to users, you may need to submit detailed product attributes for each unique product style. You’ll also need to group products together with an item group id in cases where the underlying product is part of a group that varies by one or more attributes, like color. Each different version of a product in one of these groupings are sometimes referred to as a product variant. You are recommended to provide the following product information for each unique item you submit if it exists, is relevant, and if the information fits into the accepted values for the detailed product attributes: ‘color’, ‘size’, ‘pattern’, ‘material’, ‘age group’, ‘gender’, ‘size type’ and ‘size system’.”  (1)

Perhaps the most prevalent category where item attributes play a role is in the Apparel category. In the US, the attributes ‘color’, ‘age group’ and ‘gender’ are required for the ‘Apparel & Accessories’ category and the ‘size’ attribute is required for the categories ‘Apparel & Accessories > Clothing’ and ‘Apparel & Accessories > Shoes’.

Examples of products that should use detailed product attributes:

  • A t-shirt may have color, material, and size
  • A couch may have material, pattern, and color
  • A mobile phone may have a color
  • A toy may have an age group

Sometimes product titles don’t even have a product type or noun present. And if one does exist, there might only be one or two adjective to describe the item. Color, Material, Size, Pattern, and Style all play a large role in matching to consumer search queries.

For a summary of required attributes by item’s product category see reference (2)

When naming your item using the ‘title’ attribute, we recommend that you include all relevant detailed product attributes as part of the title. This will help users identify the correct version of the product they are looking for.

If you have several variations of one product, do not provide multiple values for detailed product attributes in a single item. Instead, create an individual item for each variant and group the items together using the ‘item group id’ attribute. If you do not do this, your items might be disapproved.

If you would like an expert assessment on whether your data feed could benefit from further optimization, contact Feedonomics for a free audit.


(1) https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494
(2) https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/1344057