What Happens When Your Google Shopping Feed Gets Shifted By One

 

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Position Based Offsets

This is the default behavior, when the “Name Based Map” box is unchecked. With this, the content of the header row, for example “product_id,name,description,…” is disregarded. A map is made based on the position of the column. For example,

column_1='id'
column_2='title'
column_3='description'
...

 

Pitfall

If the order of the columns in the source file changes—i.e. the header row changes from “product_id,name,description,…” to “name,product_id,description,…”—we will be left with an incorrect map. The data that was previously in the “id” column in Feedonomics will now be in the “title” column and vice versa.

 

Name Based Offsets

With the “Name Based Map” box checked, the text in the first line header of the source file is read, and the maps are as follows:

'product_id'='id'
'name'='title'
'description'='description'
...

That is, [id] in Feedonomics should come from the column with the header of ‘product_id’
[title] in Feedonomics should come from the column with the header of ‘name’
[description] in Feedonomics should come from the column with the header of ‘description’

 

Advantage

With Name-based maps, if the ordering of the columns in the import source file changes, the file maps in Feedonomics will not be changed.

 

Best Practices

You should prefer to use Name Based Offsets going forward. Please refrain from transitioning previous builds to Name Based Offsets until your feed specialist gives the go ahead.

 

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Brian Roizen is the Cofounder 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.