In order to improve the quality of its services,
Google regularly introduces larger or smaller changes.

Some of them concern product feed, which is used to showcase vendors’ products in search results.

In this article, we focus on five key changes that will go live in 2016 or, in one case, next year.

1. Increased minimum image size

Today, the minimum product image size for all products (except apparel) is 32 x 32 pixels. Once the changes concerning product feed for Google Shopping become effective, these numbers will go up to 100 x 100 pixels. The clothing category will remain unchanged with the minimum size at 250 x 250 pixels.

This means that products whose images are smaller than indicated above will not show up in the offers.

It’s a good idea to use this situation as an opportunity to improve the quality of our images. As we already mentioned in previous articles, a good photo can tip the scales in our favor when a potential customer is considering making a purchase.

2. More emphasis on
“Color” and “Size” values for apparel

When offering apparel on Google Shopping, each time and for every product we will have to specify the values in the “Color” and “Size” fields. This change applies mostly to countries such as Germany, France, Japan and the United Kingdom. If the vendor fails to provide these values, the item will not be listed in the displayed offers.

This change means that the seller has to pay special attention to providing full and accurate descriptions of apparel products, where size and color are of key importance for customers deciding on a purchase.

3. GTIN required for most products

Changes in product feed made in 2015 compelled the seller to provide GTIN (Global Trade Item Number – a unique product code assigned by the manufacturer) when offering goods belonging to one of 50 brands.

Following the updates introduced gradually since May 2016, GTIN requirement will be expanded to all the products that had this number assigned by the manufacturer. Failure to provide the required information in this field will mean that the product will not be displayed in the offers until all the necessary information is complete.

This change applies to countries such as Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Turkey. Since it’s now compulsory to find and complete GTIN for the majority of products offered by vendors, it won’t go live until February 14, 2017.

4. Unit pricing
available for all markets

Thanks to the changes introduced by Google, the “Unit Prices” field will be available for products offered in all markets. This means that we will now be able to enter the value of the product price for specified package size, volume or length.

5. Maximum product feed file size increased

Vendors who offer larger selections of products on Google Shopping will be happy to hear that the maximum product feed file size will be increased from 1GB to 4GB. Thus they will be able to use four times as much data, expanding their product offer to all relevant markets.

What’s the purpose of these product feed changes?

The changes made by Google regarding product feed are designed to improve the way individual products reach specific consumers. More emphasis put on the presentation of content (GTIN, the requirement to specify the size and color of clothes offered and larger pictures) increase the quality of the offer, and thus display the results in a more readable and clear manner.

Adapting to the new requirements will have a positive impact on the way offers of each vendor are presented. Ultimately, this may contribute to increased ROI for stores that decide to follow the new guidelines.