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Google introduce changes to their Merchant Center product data specification annually in order to improve the experience for online searchers. This week, the search engine giant announced their imminent updates.

What Does This Mean?

For those that are not experienced with Google Ads, Google Merchant Center is a tool designed to help you upload your shop and product data to Google. This makes the data available for Shopping ads and other services from Google. Product data specification is the way in which you must format the information that you submit to Google to successfully create your Shopping ads.

The most recent updates launched March 27th 2019, and Google have since been implementing changes to the product data specification to create a better overall user experience. As a result of the updates to the product specification, previously disapproved products may become eligible to serve, which is important as it could have an impact your budget. If you want to prevent these items from serving, you will need to go to the Diagnostics page of your Google Merchant Center. Click to view your account and you will then be able to review the affected products and remove any unwanted products from your data feed.

Below are details of the changes being applied:

Ads Redirect

The ads redirect Attribute is used to specify additional landing page parameters on your product page. As of October 30th 2018, parallel tracking (this sends customers directly from your ad to the final URL and helps load your landing page more quickly) was required for all Google Ads accounts.

Commencing from March 27th 2019, the aforementioned attribute will be required to have the same URL domain as the link & mobile link attributes. If the values are different, the ads-redirect attribute will be cleared and this can prevent the click measurement from working.

Google Product Category

The Google product category is an attribute currently used to categorise an item which, from March 27th, will become an optional attribute. If you do not submit a value for the attributes, or if the value is not recognized, Google will now automatically assign a category to your products which will be visible in the products details page in the Merchant account.

Certain product categories, including some subcategories of Apparel & Accessories and Media, may require additional attributes such as gender, age-group, size, colour or a combination of unique product identifiers (i.e. GTIN or MPN). Should you not provide all the required attributes for your products assigned category you will receive warning on the diagnostics page in the Merchant Centre account. However, from 2020 these warnings will become disapprovals and the affected products will no longer show.

You can read Google’s full announcement in the Merchant Center. If you are interested in Kumo’s PPC (pay per click) marketing services, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Give our team a call today on 0115 964 8205.


Author Biography


Fred has been working at Kumo since 2017, in paid marketing. As a PPC Marketer, he is responsible for implementing and overseeing PPC campaigns for Kumo's clients, on paid marketing platforms such as Google Ads and Bing Ads.