English - United States
First thing’s first: in this article, destination refers to the place your advert will appear around the web like in the Google Display Network, in text ads, free listings, on Google Shopping, and so on. This article will not discuss geographical location.

To be clear, we’re talking about the additional attribute, [excluded_destination]. This can be added to your feed via your feed provider or via a supplemental feed.

Why should I exclude destinations in Google Merchant Center?

There are various reasons for excluding advertising destinations for your products on Google Shopping. You may wish to exclude destinations for your product if:

  • Your product has weak product margins (in order to avoid earning non-converting traffic in destinations involving the PPC model.)
  • You want your products to appear for free listings but not on the Google Shopping carousel.
  • You’ve signed a non-compete clause.
  • Your website is down for maintenance or a holiday. You will still be charged if a user clicks your ad, even if your website is temporarily inactive.

Whatever the reason, it’s entirely up to you and your Google Shopping strategy. Just make sure you’re making the right choice for each product by excluding destination or setting the availability as out of stock.

Should I use [excluded_destination] or [out_of_stock]?

Many retailers initially use only the free listings destination of Google ads, as they don’t wish to pay for clicks, but are interested in the value of Google Shopping ads and the opportunity to benefit from the brand visibility Google offers.

Often, such retailers set the availability of their products as out of stock to avoid paying for unwanted clicks in paid-for destinations, like display ads. However, this prevents them from being advertised anywhere, hindering your profitability.

Is your product actually out of stock? Read this guide to setting availability status instead!

Instead, retailers can change the destination(s) their product will appear in. Here’s how...

Step by step guide to excluding destinations for products

Step 1. In the Merchant Center, click “products” along the left hand sidebar, and then click “feeds”.

Choose the feed you wish to make changes to - this is likely your primary feed. Once you've selected "Feed rules", it should look something like this:

Screenshot 2021-07-09 at 12.43.21 (2)-1

Step 2. Choose “feed rules”, click the blue button to add a new feed rule, and search for excluded destinations.

Screenshot 2021-07-09 at 12.43.45 (2)-1Screenshot 2021-07-09 at 12.45.16 (2)-1

Step 3. In the new page, choose “set to multiple”.

Screenshot 2021-07-09 at 12.45.40 (2)

Then select the destinations you don’t want your product to appear.

For instance:

  • Shopping ads
  • Display ads

If you have the following variables, you should ensure you include them when adding the excluded_destination attribute:

  • Local inventory ads
  • Shopping Actions (This is only available in the USA)
  • Surfaces across Google

Screenshot 2021-07-09 at 12.46.39 (2)
Step 4. Next, click OK, and save the draft. You can verify and confirm your new draft rules in the table under "Feed rules".

Screenshot 2021-07-09 at 12.47.19 (2)

Step 5. To activate your draft rule, click “apply” above the blue button you used to add your new feed rule.
Screenshot 2021-07-09 at 12.47.05 (2)

That's it!

My final tip...

If you submit conflicting information, like using both the excluded_destination and included_destination attributes, the excluded_destination value will always take precedence.

For more guides to using Google Merchant Center, advice on optimizing your Google Shopping campaigns, as well as much more, check out our resources section.

Want to speak to a Google Shopping specialist? Our team are just a few clicks away.

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