May 08, 2018

Google Merchant Center

If you want to create product listing ads of your products and make them available in Google Shopping platforms, you need to have a Google Merchant Center account to upload your product data (aka Data Feed) to Google.

What are Product Listing Ads?

Product Listing Ads are the ads that run under Google Shopping campaign. These ads are shown to users searching for or interested in the type of product that you are selling. For example, if someone is searching for juicers the product listing ads will be shown in the Google search results (as shown in the image).

Google Merchant Center

Unlike Google search campaign you do not require keywords or create ads for your product to target the customers, instead, you need to upload a data feed into your Google Merchant Center Account. Google will fetch the information about your products from Google Merchant Center and use it for the shopping campaign.

Setting up your Google Merchant Center Account

To set up your Google Merchant Center account you need to provide information about your business and website. Also, Your website must meet some basic requirements related to:-

  • Information about your business
  • User’s safety and experience
  • Billing terms and conditions
  • Secure and complete checkout process
  • Returns Policy

If you meet these basic requirements, you need to verify and claim your website URL before you start uploading product data.

Verifying website URL

From your Google Merchant Center Account dashboard go to settings. Under General setting, click on the link “verify your website in webmasters tool”. Now you can verify your website URL using one of the following ways:-

  1. HTML file upload (recommended)
  2. HTML tag
  3. Google Analytics, or
  4. Google Tag Manager

Claiming website URL

To claim the website URL you have verified, go to Edit Setting under General Setting and check the box for “I want to claim this website”. Finally click Save to confirm that you own your website.

Note:- While more than one person can verify for same website URL, Google Merchant Center requires that only one account holder claim the URL and hold the right to upload the product data for this URL.

Once you verify and claim the website URL, your Google Merchant Center account is ready for you to upload the product data feed.

Uploading Data Feed

Data Feed is a list of an attribute that you need to provide in order for your product to be listed in Google Shopping Campaign. Following are the few categories of attributes you need to provide:

  • Basic Product Information- For example title, description, image link, the condition of the item.
  • Availability and Price- For example availability, availability date, price, sale price.
  • Unique Product Identifiers- For example: GTINs, MPN, brand.
  • If your product falls under the adult category as per Google Shopping Campaign Policy, you need to use “adult” attribute to indicate that.

You can upload data feed in the text (spreadsheet), tab limited or XML format. Also, you need to update product data at least every 30 days else your ads won’t be shown.

Before you upload your data feed, you’ll need to register in Google Merchant Center. This will let Google know to expect your file. To register your feed, navigate to the Feeds tab in your Google Merchant Center account and click the “+Data Feed” button at the top of the page. This will load the “Register a new feed” interface. Fill in the data feed information required to complete the registration process.

Once you’ve created and registered your data feed, you can upload a data file using:

  1. Direct Upload (files under 20MB in size)
  2. FTP Upload (files under 1 GB in size), or
  3. Automatic Upload/Scheduled Fetch (files under 1GB in size)

After the product data feed is uploaded to Google Merchant Center, all you have to do is set up a shopping campaign in Google AdWords account for your product listing ads to appear on Google Shopping platforms.


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