Google Product Search
How do I get my products listed in Google Product Search?
In order for your products to be listed in Google Product Search, you must create a Google Merchant Centre account for yourself, and tell it where it can find product information.Note: Currently Google Merchant centre only accepts feeds targeted to the US, UK or Germany.
The following steps should walk you through the process:
- Set up a Merchant Centre Account
- Create a data feed
- Test your feed
- Schedule your feed
- Customise your feed
Set up a Merchant Centre Account
Go to http://www.google.com/merchants/ in your web browser. If you have an existing Google account, then you can log in here with your current details. Otherwise you’ll need to sign up for a Google account.
Once you’ve sign in / signed up you’ll be asked to agree to the Google Merchant Centre Terms of Service and to provide some information about yourself as a merchant:
Fill in the required information and after providing all of the required information, you’ll be presented with your Google Merchant Centre dashboard:
Create a data feed
To set up your products to be imported automatically go to “Data Feed” and then click the “New Data Feed” button. Choose your target country. Then enter the feed name as below (It’s actually irrelevant as far as I can tell!)
Once you’ve created your feed, you’ll be taken back to your feed list.
Test Your feed
You should always test your feed by submitting it manually. The first step is to “download” the feed file from your site. Instructions for Firefox and Google Chrome are included below.
Go to “Tools > Options” and choose the “Applications” tab. In the search box, enter “feed”, and make sure that the action for “Web Feed” is set to “Preview In Firefox“, and hit “OK“.
Open your site’s feed in Firefox, e.g.
The basic contents of the feed should be displayed in the browser, including product title, description. Note: Images won’t be displayed at this stage.
Choose “File > Save Page As“. In the dialog, choose a folder to save the file in, and make sure that “Save As Type” is set to “Web page, XHTML only“, and not “Web page, Complete”.
Open your site’s feed in Google Chrome, e.g.
The text content of the feed should be displayed in the browser, including product title, description. Note: Images won’t be displayed at this stage.
Choose “Page > Save Page As” (Ctrl-S). In the dialog, choose a folder to save the file in.
Manually upload to Google
Click on “Manual Upload” on your feed list, and upload your feed file. Google will process your file, and will let either add your items, or email you a list of failures.
Schedule your feed
From your feed list, you need to create an automatic schedule, by clicking on “Create” under “Upload Schedule“.
Choose a frequency that makes sense for your site (Bear in mind products will expire and be removed from Google Product Search after 30 days anyway – so you must refresh Monthly at least). Hit schedule and away you go!
With the default settings Google will email you if it finds any errors in your feed, or with your products.
Customise your feed
The core code sends the following attributes to Google.
- Title (Product Name)
- pubDate (Date Added)
- g:imageLink (Product Image)
- g:condition (Defaults as “New”, but see below for how to override)
Depending on what you sell it might be useful to send additional information. For example, if you sell books you might want to send g:author and g:isbn to provide the author, and ISBN information.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to send these, just by adding them as Custom Meta fields on the product page: