Beginning September 22, 2011, Google began requiring several additional fields for products being posted to Google Product Search. If that sounds confusing, don't worry: this article will explain more!
The checklist below reviews the basic changes that had to be made as of September 22, 2011. You can get more familiar with the required and recommended fields for Google by reading Google's article on current Products Feed Specifications, and their simplified table on the Summary of Attribute Requirements.
1. Set Google Product Category using Google's taxonomy for non-option and parent products.
In order for your Google Feed to be generated by Volusion, you need to ensure the Google Product Category field is filled out, based on the taxonomy provided by Google. In addition to being required by Google for all products, this field also triggers the Volusion export, so any products without data in this field will not be exported!
The Google Product Category for child products will be pulled from the parent product.
2. Set Use as Google [Attribute] values for all relevant option categories.
For each option category used to create Options for child products, you must select which Google variant attribute you want the option category to be used for. To do this go to Inventory > Options, and select Option Categories from the Filter menu.
To update multiple option categories at once, click the three-dot actions menu icon, select Customize Columns, select the following check boxes, and click Apply Changes:
- Use as Google Color
- Use as Google Material
- Use as Google Pattern
- Use as Google Size
Next, click the Edit icon at the top of the Google columns to open them for editing. For each option category which applies to one of the Google variant attributes, select the corresponding Use as Google box and Save.
These settings will be used to pull appropriate values for variant attributes from child products that use those option categories.
3. If you Use Custom Text for your Shipping Availability, either choose a default Availability from the menu to allow Google Availability to be mapped, or set Google Availability manually.
If you have elected to Use Custom Text for the Advanced Info > Shipping > Availability field for products, you need to update your Availability in one of two ways. Either:
- Change your Shipping Availability to one of the default values from the Shipping Availability menu. The default values are mapped to one of the four accepted values for Google’s Availability, or:
- Go to the Advanced Info > 3rd Party Integrations and change the Google Availability menu to one of the four predefined values.
Note that you can also update the Google Availability value using an import file or through the product table view.
4. Upload swatch images for Color, Pattern and Material options.
Ensure you have a swatch image uploaded at the bottom of the parent product page for those options in option categories that you have chosen to Use As Google Color, Use as Google Material and Use as Google Pattern. The Volusion system will grab one image per child product for the export to Google; Google mandates that variant images be provided for all products that have the same Item Group ID but differ based on Color, Pattern or Material.
5. Set Google Age and Google Gender for all non-option and parent products.
For all products without options or parent products, you will need to fill out the Google Age and Google Gender fields with the predefined values provided by Google. For child products, these values are mapped from the settings you configure on the parent product.
- Google Age: “adult” or “kids”
- Google Gender: "male", "female" or "unisex"
6. Set Google's Unique Product Identifier values for all products, including unique values for child products.
All products must have at least 2 of the 3 following filled out for all products, although Google recommends having a value for all 3 (note that some types of products require certain fields to be included as one of the 2 of 3 fields):
- Manufacturer (required for Apparel products): This field is on the product's Advanced Info > Misc tab.
- UPC, EAN or ISBN (UPC required for Media/Software products; ISBN required for Books): This field is on the product's Advanced Info > Vendors tab. This value must be unique for all child products.
- Vendor Part #: This field is on the product's Advanced Info > Vendors tab. This value must be unique for all child products.
Note: These fields are used as "Unique Product Identifier" values for Google, and must use the prescribed values assigned by the manufacturer. Inventing or approximating values for these fields will result in the values being flagged as invalid. Google provides links in this article for you to validate these values.
7. Set Product Condition for all products which are not "new".
For all products that need a Condition other than "new", be sure to fill out the Product Condition field on the product's Advanced Settings > 3rd Party Integrations tab. Volusion will use "new" for products that do not have a Product Condition when the Google Feed is generated. Note that Google requires that you use only predefined values in this field ("new," "used," and "refurbished").
8. Set Google Product Type based on your own store's taxonomy (optional).
If you would like to include your own taxonomy for your products in addition to Google's taxonomy, you will need to manually fill out the Google Product Type field at Advanced Info > 3rd Party Integrations on the product page. The information for this field will not automatically pull from your category breadcrumbs, so you will need to update this field either individually or using an Import!