Configuring your site to publish product to Google Merchant Center

Knowledgebase Articles: Publishing Products to Google Base (Google Merchant Center)


Please use the following instructions to publish products to Google Merchant Center (previously known as Google Base):
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you set-up Google Merchant Center, you should already have a Google Account. If you have not yet created a Google Account, please do so here:

 
If you already have a Google Account for Google Analytics and/or Google Adwords, there is no need to create a new account.
 

Step 1: Setting up Google Merchant Center

1. Login to Google Merchant centre using your Google credentials. You should be redirected to the general settings page. If not on the left hand side menu select settings and then general.

2. Under shop name type in the name of your shop.

3. In website URL field type in the address of your shop. Please enter the main URL of your home page without the "/index.html" bit. For example: "http://www.bobsflorists.co.uk"

4. Verify the website URL by choosing alternate method and selecting the radio button HTML tag (Add a meta tag to your site's home page).


5. In a new Tab in your browser Login to your Control Panel:  https://admin.gplshops.com/cms.

6. Goto website> edit webmaster verification > and paste the meta tag received from Google. 
NOTE: Please see the following KB article to understand
 How to verify your site using Webmaster Verification services?

7. Publish your website

8. Return to Google merchant centre and edit settings again and tick 'I want to claim this URL'

9. Your end result should be 2 green ticks next to your website URL

 

Step 2: Enable API use for your Google Merchant Account

You should ask Google to enable API use for your Google Merchant Account by submitting the form:http://support.google.com/merchants/bin/request.py?hl=en&contact_type=item_noshow
Please select 'Scheduling' as "Submission method" and 'Other' as "Issue you are experiencing". "Additional information" will be: "Please enable use of  Content API for Shopping for my account.".
Once Google has approved your request, proceed with the steps below.
Please note, that Google may take 7-14 days or more to respond; be certain the email information sent to google is accurate and not blocking Google by spam or similar email filters.

Step 3:  Authorise Publishing from Your CMS

1. Login to your Control Panel using the main URL: https://admin.gplshops.com/cms.

2. Open Manage Catalogue
 
3. Click on Edit Google Merchant Center Settings




4. Tick the Authorise Publishing button.  In the new window enter your Google Merchant Center account ID and click Done.



5. Once Done is clicked, you will automatically be taken to the Login page for your Google Account.


6. Login to your Google Account

7. Click the 'Grant Access' button. You will be automatically returned to the CMS Dashboard



8. On the notification 'Google Merchant Center Authorisation has been successfully completed.', click 'OK'



9. Now select the Publish Products to Google Merchant Center radio button and click Done.



10. The next time you publish your online shop, the products which have the "Product can be ordered Online" checkbox enabled will be published to Google Merchant Center.
 

Step 4: Set up Shipping methods

Starting from 1.09.2011 (previously communicated date was 6.06.2011), this information will be required for feeds targeting the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. See http://googlemerchantblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/update-to-tax-shipping-requirements.html . Though we strongly recommend that you implement shipping methods on GMC ahead of this time.
For the instructions, please refer to Google Merchant Center: Setting up Shipping methods

 

Step 5: Adding Unique Identifiers to your products

Starting from 20.06.2011, unique identifiers for all products except apparel and one-of-a-kind items will be required. See http://googlemerchantblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/enforcement-of-our-unique-identifier_03.html .
By default the platform passes 'Brand' to Google Merchant Center, so you will need to add GTIN and/or MPN attributes to your products manually. See http://www.google.com/support/merchants/bin/answer.py?answer=160161 for more details.

 
 
1. In the CMS Dashboard go to Manage Catalogue > Manage Products > Edit Product > Custom Attribute.2. Click on Add Attribute to create corresponding attributes. The expected format (name/value) can be found here: http://www.google.com/support/merchants/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=188494&expand=GB
For example, if you need to add the ISBN attribute, you will need to enter gtin as the custom attribute name and, e.g., 0451524233 as its value.
See also Custom Product Attributes and What custom attributes can be passed to Google Merchant Center for more information on this topic.
The Product type attribute

This attribute contains the category of the product according to your taxonomy. This attribute is passed automatically to Google Merchant Center. If a product is added to one or multiple categories, this information (category path) will be passed to Google Merchant Center automatically.

Note: There is an obligatory requirement from Google without which products can't be published. The detailed information from Google is listed below:

"We introduced a new attribute named 'identifier exists' that allows you to indicate in your feed that items such as custom goods, vintage items or collectibles have no unique product identifiers. Since you previously received an account exemption from the unique product identifier requirements, you should add the 'identifier exists' attribute with a value of 'FALSE' for items where no identifier exists. For more information on this attribute, please visit: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494.

However, when an identifier does exist for a product but you do not have it, it is important to obtain and add the correct identifier for that product rather than using the 'identifier exists' attribute. Setting the 'identifier exists' attribute to FALSE for items where unique product identifiers exist could lead to item or account suspension.

For accounts that have not received exemptions in the past, enforcement for our updated unique product identifier requirements, including the new 'identifier exists' attribute, will start on 15 July 2013 for the US,

France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and 16 September 2013 for all other target countries. To review our updated unique product identifier requirements, please visit:https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494

See also Custom Product Attributes and What custom attributes can be passed to Google Merchant Center for more information on this topic. 

 

Step 6: Adding the Availability and Google Product Category attributes to your products

Starting from 22.09.2011, the Availability attribute will be required for all products. See: http://googlemerchantblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/important-changes-to-google-product.html .
With Greenlight Power you are used to 2 indicators of a product availability: In stock and Out of stock, which indicate whether a product is available for purchase or not. Google in its turn have a bit different understanding of the Availability attribute, so please take the following information into account during the attribute creation ( http://www.google.com/support/merchants/bin/answer.py?answer=188494&expand=GB ):
 - 'in stock': Include this value if you are certain that it will ship (or be in-transit to the customer) in 3 business days or less. For example, if you have the item available in your warehouse.
 - 'available for order': Include this value if it will take 4 or more business days to ship it to the customer. For example, if you don’t have it in your warehouse at the moment, but are sure that it will arrive in the next few days. For unreleased products, use the value 'preorder'
 - 'out of stock': You’re currently not accepting orders for this product.'
 - 'preorder': You are taking orders for this product, but it’s not yet been released.

 
Google also say:
 
1. You need to clearly indicate the availability of an item on the item's landing page by either explicitly noting the status (such that it's clear which of the above values describe the availability of the item), or mention how many days it takes until the item ships. (Note: It is acceptable to include 'available for order' in your feed and note "out of stock" on your website.)
2. Items that are no longer sold have to be removed from the feed entirely.
 
From now on we will always pass this attribute to Google Merchant Center. If a product's quantity is greater than 0, the attribute's value will automatically be 'in stock'.  If a product's quantity is 0 we will pass it on as 'out of stock'.  You will be able to override this attribute value via Custom Attributes. We recommend doing this if either 'available for order' or 'preorder' values need to be passed to Google.
 
 
Starting from 22.09.2011, the Google Product Category attribute will be required for all items that belong to the 'Apparel and Accessories', 'Media', and 'Software' categories, and are in feeds which target the US, UK, Germany, France, or Japan. Seehttp://googlemerchantblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/important-changes-to-google-product.html .
To add this attribute in bulk to all your products, please use the Import Products functionality (see What product information can be imported from CSV / Excel? ). In the CSV file you will need to use the following attribute format for the Google Product Category attribute: {"name": "google_product_category","value": "Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Jeans", "display": "No" } (a sample 'value' is used).
Google say the following about this attribute:
This attribute contains the category of the product according to Google’s product taxonomy. Use either the accepted shortened values listed below or the more detailed, full category paths listed in Google’s product taxonomy (http://www.google.com/support/merchants/bin/answer.py?answer=160081 ).
Any category from Google’s taxonomy must include the full path. For example, 'Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Jeans' is an acceptable value, but 'Jeans' is not. This attribute only accepts values that are predefined by Google’s taxonomy.
When to include: Required for all items that belong to the 'Apparel and Accessories', 'Media', and 'Software' categories, and are in feeds which target the US, UK, Germany, France, or Japan. If your products do not fall into one of the categories listed below, or if your feed doesn't target one of the required countries, this attribute is recommended but not required. However, this attribute may be required in the future.
If you choose not to provide a 'google product category' value for other product categories, leave the attribute blank. This attribute should be included in addition to, not as a replacement for, the 'product type' attribute.

 
 
 

Step 7: Publish your site

After the site has been published and products are posted to Google Merchant Center you will receive a "Google Merchant Center Publishing Results" email sent to the email specified in the 'Order Notification Email' field (Manage Settings > Edit Email Notification Settings screen). This email will contain information about published and failed to be published products.
How long does it take for my products to appear in Google's Product Search?
Once you have added your products to Google Merchant Center it can take up to 24hrs for your products to be indexed by Google and appear in Google's Product Search results.
Note: If your target country is France, your products may stay in the status 'Awaiting Review' for a considerable amount of time. This status means "Your item is waiting to be manually reviewed by our team for approval", and it is nothing you can do to speed up this process. See corresponding forum post for more details: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/base/thread?tid=449150ea077e6614&hl=en
For the Google Merchant Center Restrictions please refer to Google Merchant Center Restrictions
How do I know that my products have been published to Google Merchant Center?

 
1. After products are published to Google Merchant Center you will receive a "Google Merchant Center Publishing Results" email sent to the email specified in 'Order Notification Email' field (Manage Settings > Edit Email Notification Settings screen). This email will contain information about published, updated and failed to be published products.
 
2. Check presence of the products in your Google Merchant Center account.
 
2.1 Login to your Google Merchant Center account at http://google.co.uk/merchants
 
2.2 Go to Products tab in your account. By default all items (active, inactive, searchable) are shown there.
 
2.3 To see active items only, select 'Active' in the 'Status' drop down list.
 
PRODUCTS ARE SET TO BE PUBLISHED ON GOOGLE MERCHANT CENTER FOR 29 DAYS.  TO ENSURE YOUR PRODUCTS ARE NOT REMOVED FROM GOOGLE MERCHANT CENTER PLEASE REPUBLISH YOUR WEBSITE AT LEAST ONCE EVERY 29 DAYS.

 

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