Earlier this year, Google Merchant Center sent out a notice regarding GTINs. What is a GTIN? It stands for Global Trade Item Number and is a unique way to identify a product on a global level. GTINs are printed next to the barcode on your product’s packaging or on the back of a book cover.
There are different types of GTINs, depending on your country and product type:
- GTIN-12: This 12-digit UPC (Universal Product Code) is used in North America.
- GTIN-13: Is a 13-digit number used in Europe and other regions. Also known as European Article Number (EAN) or EAN-13.
- JAN: This 8 or 13-digit number stands for Japanese Article Number. It’s the barcode equivalent to the EAN/GTIN-13.
- ISBN: International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique 13-digit code for a book. The ISBN is printed on the back cover.
We know that having incorrect GTINs can cause a disapproval with Google Merchant Center. Have you received warnings from Google Merchant Center for products labeled “GTIN not related to brand”? If you’ve seen these item-level warnings in the Diagnostics tab, then you’ll want to correct your product data feed as soon as possible.
Google has already started to enforce this new rule – products that do not have GTINs when required may no longer be eligible to participate in Shopping Ads.
It’s essential that you review and update your product data feeds so that your Shopping Ads are not in jeopardy.
There are several benefits to including GTINs in your product feed. Having correct GTINs allows Google to easily match your data to the Google Shopping product catalog. When this occurs, your chances of appearing on Google, YouTube and other Google platforms will increase. This is a great way to boost your visibility and impressions.
The more correct information that you have in a product feed (i.e. GTINs) then the more likely your ads will surface to the users who are searching for that product, leading to a higher rate of conversions. Including GTINs are a great way to increase your engagement and conversions.
If you are having problems finding the GTIN, we recommend asking the manufacturer. For any missing ones, you could use a feed platform with a GTIN finder.
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Brian Roizen is the co-founder and chief architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.