Nothing is more frustrating than learning that your products aren’t appearing on search like they should. Before you find yourself in this predicament, get familiar with the updated Shopping Feed Specifications from Google that were enforced in September. These data requirements for Google Shopping can impact your products’ presence on Google search and potentially prevent your items from showing up at all. You certainly don’t need this at the start of the holiday shopping season.

Google’s Shopping Feed Specification update affects most product data, including:

  • Product identifiers

  • Product titles and descriptions

  • Mobile URLs

  • Item availability

If you haven’t given much thought to Google’s new format specifications, you’re not entirely out of the loop, so don’t worry. Google Shopping feed data changes are fairly easy to implement. Let’s take a look.


The new update forces advertisers to stop using the “available to order” feed attribute. It is now replaced by “in stock,” “out of stock” or “preorder” descriptions. The only time you will have “available to order” in your descriptions is if you sell items that require more than four days to ship and you haven’t made the Shopping Feed Specification changes. To make the update, audit your inventory feed and replace any outdated availability descriptions.


Advertisers now have 150 characters to work with for their product titles. If you have titles that are longer than this, you run the risk of Google rejecting these items. Go through your list of titles and shorten those that are longer than 150 characters. Do keep in mind the SEO strategy and your store’s focus and branding. Even short titles could probably use a refresh that will help with search visibility.


The Shopping Feed update cut its allotted description in half, from 10,000 characters to 5,000. This means you have to do more with less, but the shorter descriptions will also be more direct and easy to digest. Remember, the product descriptions play a role in SEO, so choose your wording carefully.

Product ID and MPN

Another cut from the update, Google product IDs are down to just 50 characters. In order for your products to be accepted within Google’s Shopping Feed Specifications, product IDs will need to be 50 characters or less, and MPNs less than 70. Since product relevancy is dependent on the ID number, relevancy will be reset for any affected products, as if they were brand new to your store.

The holidays are just around the corner. Will you be ready?