Google Shopping Feeds – What are they?

So you’ve probably done some research around Google Shopping and seen “Google Feed” being mentioned a lot. So, what is a Google Shopping feed?. Don’t worry, as we have said a thousand times before, Google Shopping is a great channel but also very difficult to get the hang of when you have never used it before. 

Allow us to explain. 

What is a feed?  

A feed is basically a file made up of a list of products using grouping and attributes to define each product in a unique way. A product feed (or data feed) is an excel, .txt or .xml file that contains all your products information. This information is sent to shopping channels to communicate the information your product listings need to contain. 

What’s the difference between primary and supplementary feeds?      

A primary feed is the required data source that the Merchant Centre needs to be able to display your products on Google. A supplementary feed provides additional data that can be connected to existing product data in the primary feed. They are essentially used to update existing product data (it replaces data from the primary feed). 

What is a Google Shopping feed? 

In simple terms, this is a spreadsheet that describes and organises your product catalogue in a Google-friendly format. 

A Google Shopping feed differs from a Search Feed, as you won’t have direct control over which search terms trigger your ads. Google will determine if your products are relevant to the search query by using the feed information you have provided. 

You can either input these products to the Merchant Centre manually using a Google Sheet, or you can use third-party services that auto-generate the information. Which you decide to do will depend on how many products you have to manage. 

What is included in your product feed?

There's plenty of attributes to include when setting up your product feed to make sure Google Ads serves the right product ads for the most relevant searches. Here's nine of the most commonly used attributes you should make sure you're using! 

  1. ID - Your product’s unique identifier (SKU if possible). e.g. S321
  2. Title – The title of your product. This should match the product landing page. Add size, colour and style, along with any other specifics that shoppers may search for. e.g. Light Pink Large Water Bottle
  3. Description – A description of your product. This should match the product landing page and only include information about the product. e.g. “A light pink insulated large sports water bottle. Perfect for hot and cold drinks. Environmentally friendly".
  4. Link – The URL of your product’s landing page. Starts with http or https. e.g. https://www.waterbottle321.com
  5. Image link – The URL of your product’s main image. Starts with http or https. e.g. https://www.waterbottle321.com/image1jpg
  6. Availability – Your products availability. This should match the availability from the product landing page. e.g. In stock.
  7. Price – Your product’s price. Match the price from the product landing page and ensure it’s in the currency from the country where your product is mainly sold. e.g. £150.00
  8. Google product category – The Google-defined product category for your product. Include one relevant category. e.g. Sports > Bottles
  9. Brand - Your product’s brand name or the name generally recognised by customers. e.g. sportybottles

There might be other attributes that you need to include for your specific product or alternatively, you may not need to include all that are listed above. The full list of Google’s Product data specification can be found on the help page of Google Merchant Center. 

Google Shopping Feeds: Crucial to your success

It is very important to keep your product feeds up to date and optimised to ensure your Google Shopping Ads have the best opportunity to be profitable. You can’t advertise on Google Shopping without a feed, so it’s crucial to the success of the channel. 

Do you need help putting your products in front of customers? 

Book a call using the form below to learn more about how Google Shopping could be an excellent channel to put you in front of the right customers at the right time. 

Rebecca Cooper

Rebecca Cooper

Rebecca is Bidnamic's Marketing Manager, who frequently writes about trending eCommerce topics, as well as looking after marketing, content and website-related activities for Bidnamic.