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Google Merchant Center Product Data Specification Updates For 2022

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Google Bringing Back SMS Messaging Support To Business Profiles?


Annually, Google updates the Merchant Center product data specification and Google made some updates to it last night. Some updates went into place on April 27, 2022 and some go into place on June 26, 2022.


The last time Google updated the Merchant Center product data specification was in April 2021.


Here is a copy and paste of the changes listed:

Changes beginning immediately (April 27, 2022)

New attribute to pause ads: To help you manage how your products serve in ads, we’re introducing the pause [pause] attribute. This new attribute will allow you to quickly pause (and then restart) showing your products in Shopping ads. Previously, some merchants have used the availability [availability] attribute and set the value to “out_of_stock” (out of stock) in order to stop ads from showing. Beginning early 2023, you should use the pause [pause] attribute with a value of “ads” if you want to temporarily pause your ads. After this date, using the availability [availability] attribute with an incorrect value could lead to product disapprovals.

Learn more about the pause ads [pause] attribute.

Provide shipping country sub-attribute: When providing the shipping [shipping] attribute, you now need to provide the country [country] sub-attribute to ensure shipping prices are accurate. Item-level warnings (“Missing sub-attribute [country (sub-attribute of [shipping])]”) have already been issued in the Diagnostics page to help merchants identify affected products and will move to errors starting today.

Learn more about the shipping [shipping] attribute and how to show products in multiple countries of sale.

To ensure that your products continue to show and prevent possible disapprovals, please go to the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account to review the affected products and apply the necessary changes.

Updated guidance for unique product identifiers: Unique product identifiers (GTIN [gtin], brand [brand], MPN [mpn]) define the product you’re selling in the global marketplace. The following guidance will help you to use unique product identifiers correctly and accurately.

  • If your products have assigned unique product identifiers and you have them available: Always include them to ensure best performance. If you have some identifiers available but not others, include what you have.
  • If your products have assigned unique product identifiers, but you don’t have them available: Don’t include incorrect identifiers (for example, internal skus or other values specific to your store) or identifiers from similar products. If a product does have identifiers, don’t use the identifier exists [identifier_exists] attribute with a value of “false” (false) or the product may be disapproved.
  • If your products don’t have assigned unique product identifiers: Don’t include the GTIN [gtin], brand [brand], or MPN [mpn] attributes for the product. Also do not include internal skus or other values specific to your store in these attributes. Instead, include the identifier exists [identifier_exists] attribute with a value of “false” (false).

Changes beginning June 26, 2022

Include the availability date for backorder and preorder products: You can specify that your products are available on backorder or preorder when you use the availability [availability] attribute with values “backorder” or “preorder“. Starting June 26, you’ll need to provide the availability date [availability_date] attribute with a date up to a year in the future to specify when backorder or preorder products will become available otherwise your products may be disapproved.

Learn more about the availability [availability] and availability date [availability_date] attributes.

Automatic item updates for condition: To help you keep your product data correct we’re adding automatic item updates for condition. Beginning June 26, 2022, all accounts will be automatically opted-in to use automatic item updates for condition. If you choose to not use the feature, you can opt-out in Merchant Center through the Automatic Improvements setting, under item updates. If you opt-out, your products may be disapproved if they use an incorrect condition value.


Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Daily Search Forum Recap: June 13, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google is testing description overlays on local photos in the Google local pack. Microsoft Bing is testing black review stars. Google said we should not let Googlebot crawl action URLs. Google is testing larger fonts for the snippet title link and smaller fonts for the site links. Google updated GA4 attribution models to associate conversions better to paid search campaigns. Reminder, I am offline today and this newsletter was pre-written and scheduled.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google Fixes GA4 Attribution Models To Better Associate Conversions To Paid Search


    Google posted a notice that it fixed an issue where Google Analytics, GA4, would sometimes not credit the proper conversion attribution to the paid search campaign. Google said it will update the “attribution models in GA4 over the next two weeks to improve the accuracy of conversion credit for paid search campaigns.”

  • Google Tests Larger Fonts For Main Snippet Title Link & Smaller Font For Sitelinks


    Google is testing a larger font size for the main search result title link, followed by smaller fonts for that same snippet’s sitelinks. This was spotted a few days ago by both Umair Khan on X and Lily Ray on X.

  • Google: Disallow Crawling Of Action URLs (Buy Now, Sign Up, etc)


    Google posted a public service announcement saying you should disallow Googlebot from crawling your action URLs. Gary Illyes from Google posted on LinkedIn, “You should really disallow crawling of your action URLs. Crawlers will not buy that organic non-GMO scented candle, nor do they care for a wishlist.”

  • Bing Tests Black Review Stars In Search Results


    Microsoft is testing using black-colored review stars in its Bing Search results. This is instead of the yellow or orange review stars. I am not sure why they are testing it in black, but they are.

  • Google Local Pack Photos With Labels


    Google seems to be testing adding labels and descriptions on the photos within the local business profile listings. These are on both the carousel of images and on the detailed business profile page.

  • I’m Feeling Lucky Notebooks At Google


    Here are some colorful notebooks that say “I’m Feeling Lucky” that were spotted at the GooglePlex, the Google office in Mountain View.

  • Programming Note: Offline For Shavuot On Wednesday & Thursday


    This is a programming note that I will be completely offline for the holiday of Shavout/Shavous, from Tuesday night, June 11th, through late Thursday night, June 13th – I return Friday, June 14th. Any stories published here will be scheduled, written beforehand, and not written during the holiday hours.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.


Note: This was pre-written and scheduled to be posted today, I am currently offline for Shavout.



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Daily Search Forum Recap: June 12, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Yesterday I interviewed Google’s Elizabeth Tucker about the core update, the old helpful content update, Reddit, AI Overviews and the Google Search leak. Google now supports return policy markup at the organization level. Google Maps is testing QR codes in Business Profile listings. Google Ads will ad a new optional verification method. Google is testing shaded site names and favicons in the search results. Google has drop the home activities cards from its search results. As a reminder, I am offline today, this newsletter was pre-written and scheduled.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • I Interviewed Elizabeth Tucker, Googler Responsible For The March Core Update


    Yesterday at SMX Advanced, I interviewed the Google executive who announced the March 2024 core update on the main Google blog. I asked Elizabeth Tucker a boatload of questions around SEO, the core update, the helpful content update, the search data leak and of course AI Overviews. Heck, I even made a comment about Reddit ruling the Google Search results.

  • Google Adds Return Policy Structured Data Support To Organization Level


    Google has expanded its support for return policy structured data to allow you to add the return policy to the organization level, and not have to specify that policy on each and every product detail level. Last year Google began supporting return policies in structured data but at the individual product level – now it is also supported at the organization level.

  • Google Home Activity Removed From Search


    Google Search no longer shows home activities after launching the feature just under four years ago. Google has pulled down the home activities structured data from its search developer documents last night and wrote, “The home activity feature no longer appears in Google Search results.”

  • Google Maps Tests QR Codes On Business Profiles


    Google is testing QR codes on the Google Business Profile listings within Google Maps. The QR code shows on the right side of the action buttons (i.e. directions, save, share, etc).

  • Google Ads Adding New Optional Verification This Month


    Google Ads announced it will add a new optional verification to verify the affiliation of the advertiser/individual with the organization they are verifying. This starts sometime this month, June 2024, but it is not clear to me what the new verification is exactly.

  • Google Tests Shaded Site Name & Favicon For Search Results


    Google is testing shading the background color in gray behind the favicon and site name and URL for the mobile search results. It brings a little bit more of a design flair to the ten blue links, don’t you think?

  • Giant Spinning Rock At Google


    At the Google visitor center they have this giant spinning rock. This rock is mounted on this device that slowly spins it in circles.

  • Programming Note: Offline For Shavuot On Wednesday & Thursday


    This is a programming note that I will be completely offline for the holiday of Shavout/Shavous, from Tuesday night, June 11th, through late Thursday night, June 13th – I return Friday, June 14th. Any stories published here will be scheduled, written beforehand, and not written during the holiday hours.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.


Note: This was pre-written and scheduled to be posted today, I am currently offline for Shavout.



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Programming Note: Offline For Shavuot 5784

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Synagogue Green Flowers

This is a programming note that I will be completely offline for the holiday of Shavout/Shavous, from Tuesday night, June 11th, through late Thursday night, June 13th – I return Friday, June 14th. Any stories published here will be scheduled, written beforehand, and not written during the holiday hours.

I will be completely offline, so any social media posts, tweets, or anything coming from this site, or my social channels are all scheduled beforehand.

I won’t be able to reply to comments, remove spam or break any stories on those days. I will catch up when I get back online. If a core update happens, I will also catch up on that when I get back. There also won’t be the It’s New daily podcast on those days.

Feel free to check out the archives or catch up with the weekly videos or just browse the search pics. Oh, and if you have nothing to do, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

For more on this holiday, check out Wikipedia.

For all those celebrating the holiday – have a good one and I’ll be back late Thursday night.

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