Best Practice Advice for Google

Add Feed to Merchant Center via FTP upload

Once you have created an export feed on the Productsup platform that has been customized according to the Google Products Feed Specification, you now need to upload it to Google Merchant Center. This upload is done on the Google Merchant Center platform. It is necessary for you to first create a Google Merchant Center Account, complete the shop information form and verify your website (Settings > General).

This article explains how to upload your feed via FTP upload.

1. Create New Data Feed

Important: Please always start with a "dry run" by submitting your feed as Test Data Feed (the process is identical).

To add a new data feed click on Products -> Feeds on the left side of your Merchant Center.

Figure 1. Merchant Center Upload First Step
Merchant Center Upload First Step


Next click on + to addd a primary feed.

Figure 2. Merchant Center Upload Second Step
Merchant Center Upload Second Step


Fill in the country of sale and select the language of your feed content. Click on Continue .

Figure 3. Merchant Center Upload Third Step
Merchant Center Upload Third Step


There are four methods to upload your feed. All of them work, however we recommend the third one:

Method 1: Upload your feed using Google Sheets

Method 2: Scheduled Fetch / Enter your product feed URL and schedule upload

Enter the file name and define the upload time, the time zone, and the URL to access your feed (ftp or http). You don't need a password for product feeds created on the Productsup platform.

You can locate this URL in the Productsup interface.

Method 3: Regular uploads by merchant / Upload your feed on the Google FTP or SFTP Server

Upload and update your feed after optimizing it directly from Productsup without signing in to the Merchant Center.

Method 4: Upload your feed via Content API

Click on Continue .

Figure 4. Merchant Center Upload Fourth Step
Merchant Center Upload Fourth Step


Click on Continue once you filled in the file name.

Now we need to connect Productsup with the Google Merchant Center FTP. This is a two-step method.

You need to generate a password and take the provided username in the Merchant Center, then reenter these in Productsup.

First click on the three vertical dots at the top right and choose SFTP / FTP / GCS.

Figure 5. Merchant Center Upload SFTP/FTP creation
Merchant Center Upload SFTP/FTP creation


A username is directly provided. A password will be auto generated by Google as soon as you click on Reset Password .

Figure 6. Merchant Center Upload FTP creation
Merchant Center Upload FTP creation


Log in to your Productsup account and click on the Exports A/B tab in left toolbar.

At Google Merchant Center export feed select Setup and click on Add Destination. Choose the option Google Merchant Center FTP Destination.

Figure 7. Productsup platform FTP destination
Productsup platform FTP destination


Enter the same username and password as in the Merchant Center. Activate this FTP destination by clicking on the button beneath Active that says Off.

Click on Save.

If you export the feed now, it will automatically be uploaded in the Merchant Center.

2. Check the result in Google Merchant Center

In the Merchant Center under Products -> Feeds, you will now see that Google is currently uploading your feed.

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After a few minutes (depending of the size of your feed) you will see the results.

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Some Products might not be inserted.

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Don't panic in this case: It simply means that maybe some attributes are not correctly filled or are missing.

Click on the feed name and you will get more information.

After that you can optimize your feed in Productsup to eliminate these errors.

3.Check the settings

Check if the option "Use quoted fields" is enabled.

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Google Shopping Campaigns

You now need to use AdWords to now structure campaigns using Google Shopping Campaigns.

Google Shopping Campaigns are still CPC display ads.

1. What will change in your feed?

Product Listing Ads can now be structured with two attributes in the feed: - adwords_grouping - adwords_labels

For Shopping Campaigns, Google introduced a new attribute: custom label

You can use up to 6 custom labels (0 - 5)

2. List of attributes for Google Shopping Campaigns

In AdWords you can use more than the custom labels for the campaign structure. The following list of attributes from the feed can be used:

  • Category (Google Product Category)

  • Brand

  • Item ID

  • Condition

  • Product Type

  • Custom Label 0 - 4

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3. How to set it up in Productsup Platform:

In Dataflow for the Google Merchant Center Export simply connect the custom label columns from Import to Intermediate and from Intermediate to Export stage.

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4. What you need to consider

  • Create up to five custom labels, numbered 0 to 5, for each item in your feed.

  • Submit one value per item for each custom label attribute.

  • Only 1,000 unique values are supported for each custom label attribute across the items in your account. Products with a custom label submitted after the limit has been exceeded won’t be included in product groups using this custom label. To avoid that update your product data to reduce the number of unique values for the custom label to less than 1,000.

Source & more information about custom labels on Google Support here.

You can also check out our whitepaper on best practice here.

Add feed to Google Merchant Center via API

Upload your product feed to Google Merchant Center (GMC) via API in Productsup.

Introduction

Follow this document to upload your product feed to Google Merchant Center (GMC) via API. To use the FTP upload, see the upcoming document Add Feed to Merchant Center via FTP, then use the Google Merchant Center export template in the platform.

Note

The API only uploads delta files, which means it only uploads new or products with changes.

Note

When you use the API to upload your feed, the platform processes changes immediately and only syncs the changes.

Requirements

To use the API feature, you must:

  1. First, create a feed and use the Google Content API for Shopping export template, not the Google Merchant Center export.

    Add Google Content API for Shopping export template in Productsup.
  2. Add authentication first. See Add OAuth authentication to external systems.

  3. Clean and separate your GMC product feed you uploaded by API and remove those you uploaded via FTP, etc. Combining both the product feed by FTP and API causes feed file conflicts. Switching between two export methods may lead to data loss.

  4. Confirm that the correct column settings for Google Content API for Shopping and the Google Merchant Center export template match. Mismatched settings may cause the platform not to pass column data to GMC.

  5. Once you have created and formatted an export feed on the Productsup platform according to Google's Product data specification, you now need to upload it on the GMC platform. First, you should create a GMC account, complete the shop information form, and verify your website on the GMC settings page.

Note

Google recommends that you limit the size of your batches to GMC via the Google Content API for Shopping (single). The default batch size is 1,000 products. You can expect that Productsup typically sends batch sizes ranging from 100 to 1,000 products.

Add the Google Content API for Shopping export template

  1. Go to Exports A/B from your site's main menu.

  2. Select ADD EXPORT and search for Google Content API for Shopping. Select Add and confirm adding it again as an export.

    add_google_cont_api_shop.png
  3. Prepare and map your feed for GMC.

    Note

    The API is more restrictive than the FTP upload. If you upload an incorrect category or missing mandatory attributes, the product upload fails.

  4. Select Add Destination and choose Google Content API (single account) from the drop-down list. You can optionally customize the destination's description in Name. Select Save.

    add_google_cont_api_destination_single.png
  5. In Merchant Center ID, enter the GMC ID that Google provided to you. If you have a multi-client GMC, enter an ID from your sub-account.

  6. Select the appropriate target country and language for the feed in Target Country and Target Language.

  7. Define how often you want the platform to perform a complete upload in Full Upload Interval (in days). The platform exports new, deleted, changed, and unchanged products to avoid expiration during a complete upload. The platform deactivates products after 30 days or sooner if a specified number of days have passed.

  8. In Merchant Center Cleanup, choose Yes to remove products within GMC that do not originate from this destination or select No.

  9. Choose the authentication in Authentication to use. As previously seen in step 2.

  10. Switch Enable Error Log File to On to access error files as a new data source. You can download the zipped error file from the Notifications window.

    notifications_window.png

    Tip

    The error logs may be spread across different files in the ZIP folder. You can search for something specific in the logs by searching using a keyword, for example, product ID. Some text editors let you search for a keyword across all files in a ZIP file.

  11. For Log API calls, switch this button to On to enable logs. You can find this log in the Notifications window.

  12. Switch Log headers of API calls to On to request to add response headers to the logs.

  13. Enter a date using the YYYYMMDD or YYYY-MM-DD format to stop logging API calls in API call logging end time. Do not let this feature run indefinitely, as it generates excessive files.

  14. Turn on the destination by switching Active to On.

  15. Select Save.

    settings_single.png

Add the Google Content API for Shopping (multi) export template

  1. Go to Exports A/B from your site's main menu.

  2. Select ADD EXPORT and search for Google Content API for Shopping (multi). Select Add and confirm adding it again as an export.

    add_google_cont_api_shop_multi_.png
  3. Prepare and map your feed for GMC.

    Note

    The API is more restrictive than the FTP upload. If you upload an incorrect category or missing mandatory attributes, the product upload fails.

  4. Select Add Destination and choose Google Content API (multi account) from the drop-down list. You can optionally customize the destination's description in Name. Select Save.

    add_google_cont_api_destination_multi.png
  5. In Parent Merchant Center, enter the sub-account GMC ID that Google provided to you.

  6. Merchant Reference Column

  7. Select the appropriate target country and language for the feed in Target Country and Target Language.

  8. Define how often you want the platform to perform a complete upload in Full Upload Interval (in days). The platform exports new, deleted, changed, and unchanged products to avoid expiration during a complete upload. The platform deactivates products after 30 days or sooner if a specified number of days have passed.

  9. Choose the authentication in Authentication to use. As previously seen in step 2.

  10. The Create Merchant Centers button lets you create new merchant accounts when you switch it to On. This only applies when you use the merchant center name or seller ID as the merchant reference.

  11. Switch Enable Error Log File to On to download the zipped error file from a notifications window.

  12. In Merchant Center Cleanup, choose Yes to remove products within GMC that do not originate from this destination or select No.

  13. In Reference Validation (regex), leave the default values #.+# in the field for Productsup to send products to and create accounts for merchant references that pass validation.

  14. In Merchant Reference Type, choose one of the following:

    • Merchant Reference Column contains the Merchant Center Name

    • Merchant Reference Column contains the Merchant Center ID

    • Merchant Reference Column contains the Seller ID

  15. Enter the name of each newly created merchant center account in New Merchant Account Name. This only applies if you use the seller ID as a merchant reference.

  16. Switch Remove Empty Subaccounts to On to remove empty sub-accounts before performing a run.

  17. For Log API calls, switch this button to On to enable logs.

  18. Switch Log headers of API calls to On to request to add response headers to the logs.

  19. Enter a date when you want to disable logging API calls in API call logging end time.

    Note

    This feature can generate an excessive number of files, as you should not leave this feature on indefinitely.

  20. Turn on the destination by switching Active to On.

  21. Select Save.

    settings_multi.png
    settings_multi_cont.png

Clean up your GMC

If you have never uploaded products in your GMC, skip this section and go to Export feed in GMC.

When you upload a feed in your GMC, the feed remains for up to 30 days unless you make changes to the products. Previously uploaded feeds conflict with the products you upload via API. Deleting a feed to clean your GMC has no effect. Instead, to properly clean your GMC, do one of the following:

  • Upload that same feed once again with the attribute expiration_date and mark the attribute expiration date using one (1) day in the future.

Or

  • Upload an empty feed.

Export feed in GMC

  1. Export the feed.

    Note

    Make sure to export unavailable products with the status, out of stock. Otherwise, they appear available in GMC.

    Once the run completes, you can see the result in the notifications:

    Export via API log file on exports in Productsup.
  2. If the export fails, you can check the error messages if you have switched Provide Log File (as import source) to On, as previously seen in step 10. Otherwise, correct your feed and try again.

    Export via API log file in Productsup.

    Note

    There is no file path for you to download client-side when you upload via API in GMC. In this case, you won't see anything in the Feeds tab. After a few minutes to hours, you can see products in the Products tab. After the first upload in GMC, it could take longer than expected before you see products. If there are existing products, the process can take less time.

Google Merchant Promotions

Google Merchant Promotions

Google has launched a feature for Google PLA and Google Shopping Campaigns: Merchant Promotions. A merchant can now display a specific or generic promotion directly on your ad.

List of content: 1. Accepted promotion types 2. Promotions feed 3. Getting started * Case #1: Only a few promotion codes * Case #2: Promotions bulk upload

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Promotion text only shows when Special Offer tag is clicked on Google PLAs/ Shopping Campaigns.

 

1. Accepted promotion types

Merchant promotions must be applied at check-out

Promotions are typically discounts, free gifts, buy/spend more save more deals that a user gets: * When they add a promotion code * Automatically at checkout/in-cart

Promotions types that do not qualify: * Final discount is already reflected in the sale price * Restrictive promotions (e.g. limited to only first-time customers) * Free shipping, code required (Free shipping is the only promotion type that requires a code) * Low value (should be at least $5 or 5%) * Mail-in rebate (redemption procedure is too cumbersome for the user) * Points-based promotions (do not offer monetary value)

 

2. Promotions feed

How it looks like:

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Complete feed specifications can be found here. Be sure to comply with all Google Merchant Promotions Program Policies, especially for the promotion title.

 

3. Getting started

 

Case #1: Only a few promotion codes

You have only a few promotion codes. In this case we recommend you to create and edit them directly in the Merchant Center.

1: First get your Merchant Center whitelisted by submitting your request via the interest form.

2: Create a promotion using the promotion creation directly in Merchant Center form. Click on the "Promotion" button:

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3: Connect promotions to your existing product feed (only needed if your promotion is only applicable to specific products) :

  • Add the promotion_id attribute to your product feed (already available in Productsup)

  • Add promotion IDs to applicable items in your product feed (for example with "Set value if contains")

  • Submit your product feed as usual

4: Check the Promotions dashboard in Merchant Center to track status under “Policy Status” and “SKU Status”– promotions need to be approved for policy and tested on your site before they can go live

 

Case #2: Promotions bulk upload

You have a list of promotion codes. This list is not "Google-conform". Import this list in Productsup and optimize it for the Merchant Center.

1: First get your merchant center whitelisted by submitting your request via the interest form.

2: Create an extra Site in Productsup, and import your promotions/vouchers list

3: Create a promotion feed, using the template Google Merchant Promotions A feed sample is available here.

4: Connect promotions to your existing product feed (only needed if your promotion is only applicable to specific products) :

  • Add the promotion_id attribute to your product feed (already available in Productsup)

  • Add promotion IDs to applicable items in your product feed (for example with "Set value if contains")

  • Submit your product feed as usual

5: Check the Promotions dashboard in merchant Center to track status under “Policy Status” and “SKU Status”– promotions need to be approved for policy and tested on your site before they can go live.

Google Product Ratings

This service is only availabale if you first fill out a form. Please find this form here.

Please also read the official Google information about Product Ratings: link here.

 

1. What are Product Ratings?

Google use a 5-star rating system for its Product Listing Ads (PLA). Google aggregates reviews and converts them in this star-rating system. A product needs a minimum of 3 reviews in order for its rating to be shown.

 

2. Where does Google get the reviews from?

Google aggregates reviews from multiples sources: - merchants (now via Google Product Ratings feed) - third-party aggregators - editorial sites - users

 

3. Why should I upload my reviews?

One one hand, if you sell your own brand or niche product, there is a chance that Google hasn't got reviews for your products yet. Providing reviews can increase the shopper's trust in your brand as well as the visibility of your product.

On the other hand, if your product is similar to other items (in electronics for example), positive reviews may convince the user to select your model over your competitors.

 

4. Is it like the same as seller rating?

Do not mix up seller rating and product rating. Seller rating is also a 5 star-rating system, but it aggregates the reviews about the shop itself (delivery, service, quality,..) and not about the specific product.

Productsup tip: check the reviews from your shop by using the following link:

http://www.google.com/shopping/seller?q=yourdomain.com

Only change the last part with your domain like this:

http://www.google.com/shopping/seller?q=amazon.com

 

5. How can I submit my product reviews?

After filing out the form, you can upload a XML file in the Google Merchant Center.

Official feed specifications here.

Click on +DataFeed

Choose Product Reviews as feed type.

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Add Feed to Merchant Center via SFTP upload

Once you have created an export feed on the Productsup platform that has been customized according to the Google Products Feed Specification, you now need to upload it on Google Merchant Center. This upload is done on the Google Merchant Center platform. It is necessary for you to first create a Google Merchant Center Account, complete the shop information form and verify your website (Settings > General).

This article explains how to upload your feed via SFTP upload.

1. Create New Data Feed

Important: Please always start with a "dry run" by submitting your feed as Test Data Feed (the process is identical).

To add a new data feed click on Products -> Feeds on the left side of your Merchant Center.

Figure 1. Merchant Center Upload First Step
Merchant Center Upload First Step


Next click on + to addd a primary feed.

Figure 2. Merchant Center Upload Second Step
Merchant Center Upload Second Step


Fill in the country of sale and select the language of your feed content. Click on Continue .

Figure 3. Merchant Center Upload Third Step
Merchant Center Upload Third Step


There are four methods to upload your feed. All of them work, however we recommend the third one:

Method 1: Upload your feed using Google Sheets

Method 2: Scheduled Fetch / Enter your product feed URL and schedule upload

Enter the file name and define the upload time, the time zone, and the URL to access your feed (ftp or http). You don't need a password for product feeds created on the Productsup platform.

You can locate this URL in the Productsup interface.

Method 3: Regular uploads by merchant / Upload your feed on the Google FTP or SFTP Server

Upload and update your feed after optimizing it directly from Productsup without signing in to the Merchant Center.

Method 4: Upload your feed via Content API

Click on Continue .

Figure 4. Merchant Center Upload Fourth Step
Merchant Center Upload Fourth Step


Click on Continue once you filled in the file name.

Now we need to connect Productsup with the Google Merchant Center SFTP. This is a two-step method.

You need to generate a password and take the provided username in the Merchant Center, then reenter these in Productsup.

First click on the three vertical dots at the top right and choose SFTP / FTP / GCS

Figure 5. Merchant Center Upload SFTP/FTP creation
Merchant Center Upload SFTP/FTP creation


A username is directly provided. A password will be auto generated by Google as soon as you click on Reset Password .

Figure 6. Merchant Center Upload FTP creation
Merchant Center Upload FTP creation


Log in to your Productsup account and click on the Exports A/B tab in left toolbar.

At Google Merchant Center export feed select Setup and click on Add Destination. Choose the option Google Merchant Center SFTP Destination.

Figure 7. Google Merchant Center SFTP Destination details
Google Merchant Center SFTP Destination details


Enter the same username and password as in the Merchant Center. Activate this FTP destination by clicking on the button beneath Active that says Off.

Click on Save.

If you export the feed now, it will automatically be uploaded in the Merchant Center.

2. Check the result

In the Merchant Center, under Products -> Feeds, you will now see that Google is currently uploading your feed.

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After a few minutes (depending of the size of your feed) you will see the result

dde7801a49f7743626d8e3a69796beb3.png

Some Products might be not inserted

96554f91c5da70917ec1e5cda4e0c981.png

In this case, don't panic: It simply means that maybe some attributes are not correctly filled or are missing.

Click on the feed name and you will get more information.

After that you can optimize your feed in Productsup to eliminate these errors.

3.Check the settings

Check if the option "Use quoted fields" is enabled.

d7be3bf44325a63559f411b96b049bbc.png