Google: Verifying Your Google Product Feed
In September 2011 Google made some significant changes to their data feed requirements. MightyMerchant has made the appropriate updates to our feed templates, but if you manage your feed yourself it is important that you log-in to your Google Products account to be certain that your feed is running properly. MightyMerchant customers using our Managed Feed Service need take no action. Here is the break-down of our Managed Feed Service vs Automated Feed Service.
We recommend you check on your Google feed regularly. Going through these steps every month will help you stay on top of any feed import or data quality issues that may crop up.
Any or all of the following tasks can help you verify that your products are displaying properly in Google Products:
- If you are not receiving status emails from Google each time your feed is imported (daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on what you set), than you need to specify a technical contact email with Google. Log-in to the Google Products Merchant Center and input a contact email address under "Settings > General".
These emails will tell you if all of your products were successfully uploaded, but there are other potential errors that can arise that will not be reflected in these status report emails.
- Visit Google Products and search for the following: site:mywebsite.com (with your site name instead of mywebsite).
If your products do not display, then something has gone wrong with the latest data import. If some of your products do show up, continue with the checklist below to make sure you don't have any errors or warnings that are preventing a full import.
- Log-in to your Google merchant center, click "Data Feeds", then click on the link under "Status". This will list any errors or warnings that may exist. Errors are problems with a feed item that means that product is unable to be shown on Google Products; it must be resolved before that item can be imported. Warnings are non-critical issues, such as items missing suggested data elements. Items with warnings will still show up in search, but may be improved with the addition of more data for the item.
If you need help fixing errors or warnings with your datafeed, contact HEROweb and we can work with you to address the issues. To expedite matters, please copy and paste the text of the errors/warnings listed in the Google Merchant Center.
- Keep in mind that Google has different feed requirements for different categories. For example, items in the "Apparel" category must have Gender, Age Range, Size and Color specified in the feed. Visit Google's Attribute Requirement Summary page for full details of what is required for your products.
- When your feed is importing correctly and with no errors or warnings, your next step is to work on enhancing your listings for best possible placement. Visit Google Products again and search for some of your items by name. If they do not show up near the top of the page, you can do some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) work yourself to help your products move up in the ranks.
Visit our Do-It-Yourself SEO page for tips on increasing your products' placements both in Google regular search and in Google Products. SEO is a long-term process that you should continually be working on to help your products be optimized as much as possible for the terms your target-audience are searching for on Google.