Google Merchant Centre is full of terms and abbreviations. Understanding them can be a headache if you’re new to eCommerce and marketing.
So, to make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a full glossary of these terms to help you get up to speed. We recommend bookmarking this to keep it handy for when you’re next working on your Merchant Centre listings!
The Ads/Free Ratio in Google Merchant Centre is a metric that measures the number of ads that are shown relative to the number of free product listings on Google Shopping. It is calculated by dividing the number of ads shown by the number of free listings, and it is expressed as a percentage.
For example, if 100 ads are shown and there are 1000 free listings, the Ads/Free Ratio would be 10%. This means that for every 100 ads that are shown, there are 1000 free listings on Google Shopping.
The availability field in Google Merchant Centre is a field that specifies whether a product is currently in stock or out of stock.
The availability field is typically set to “in stock” or “out of stock”, but it may also have other values depending on the specific product and the retailer’s inventory management practices.
This Availability data is displayed to customers in Google Shopping and other Google services, so it is important for retailers to keep it up to date and accurate.
Bestsellers in Google Merchant Centre refer to the most popular products that are being sold on Google Shopping. These products are determined based on factors such as sales volume, customer ratings, and other relevant metrics.
The brand field in Google Merchant Centre is a field where you can specify the brand of a product that you are promoting through Google Shopping.
While this field is optional, it is one of three fields of which you must populate two, along with MPN and GTIN. Populating the Brand field can also help to increase rank for searches for products from a specific brand.
The brand field can be added to your product feed and submitted to Google Merchant Centre along with the other required fields for your product.
A click in Google Merchant Centre is reported when a user clicks on an ad or listing for a product in the Google search results or on the Google Shopping page. The number of clicks a product receives can be a useful metric for measuring the success of an advertising campaign and for comparing the performance of different ads or listings.
Competitive visibility in Google Merchant Centre refers to how well a merchant’s products and offers are performing compared to those of their competitors. This is measured by various metrics such as impressions, clicks, and click-through rate (CTR), which are used to assess the visibility and popularity of a merchant’s products in comparison to their competitors.
By monitoring their competitive visibility, merchants can identify areas where their products are performing well and areas where they may need to improve in order to increase their visibility and sales.
The condition field in Google Merchant Centre is a field where the seller can specify the condition of the product they are listing. This field is typically used for new or used products.
For example, if a seller is listing a used product, they can specify that the product is “used” “new” or “refurbished” in the condition field. This information helps buyers understand the condition of the product they are considering purchasing.
The Content API for Shopping is a web service that allows developers to manage their Google Merchant Center accounts programmatically.
This API allows developers to perform actions such as uploading product data, managing product data, and getting product data. It is designed to make it easier for developers to manage their Google Merchant Center accounts in an automated and efficient way, as an alternative to an XML Feed.
CTR stands for Click-Through Rate. It is a metric that measures the number of clicks that an advertisement receives divided by the number of times the ad is shown (impressions).
CTR is often used to evaluate the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, as a higher CTR typically indicates that the ad is more engaging and relevant to the audience.
The description field in Google Merchant Centre is a section where you can provide detailed information about your product. This field allows you to describe the features and benefits of your product.
It is also a good idea to include keywords in your product description, as this can help improve the visibility of your product in search results.
EAN: European Article Number
EAN is a barcode used to identify products sold internationally. It is a 13-digit number that is unique to each product and is used to automate the checkout process at retail stores.
EANs can be found on the packaging of consumer goods. You can find the EAN on the product packaging or by contacting the manufacturer. To get an EAN code for your product, you must apply for one through an authorised organisation.
Not all products need an EAN code. EAN codes can be used as SKUs, but not all EAN codes are suitable for use as a SKU.
Excluded Destination Attribute
You can use the [excluded_destination] attribute in your data to prevent Google from showing your products on Shopping Ads, in Free Listings, in Local Listings or other parts of the Google Network.
This is particularly useful if products are included in your feed which you do not want to pay for clicks for, but which you might be happy to show in Free Listings, or maybe some products are available to a local audience for collection only, but some are online purchase only.
Feed labels in Google Merchant Centre are tags that can be added to a product feed to help organise and categorise the products in the feed. These labels can be used to group similar products together or to categorise products by style, size, colour, or other attributes.
Feed labels can be useful for managing large product feeds and for making it easier to find and identify specific products within a feed. They can also be used to create more targeted and effective Shopping Campaigns in Google Ads.
Free listings in Google Merchant Centre refer to products that are listed in Google’s search results without the need for the merchant to pay for the listing.
These listings are based on information provided by the merchant through their product feed, and they are typically displayed alongside paid listings in Google’s search results. Free listings can help merchants increase visibility for their products and drive traffic to their website.
Free Local Listings
To be eligible for free local listings, a merchant must meet certain criteria, such as having a physical storefront in the same country as the Google Shopping audience, and providing accurate and up-to-date product information in their feed.
Free local listings can help increase the visibility and discoverability of a merchant’s products on Google Shopping, and can help drive more traffic and sales to a merchant’s website. However, free local listings do not guarantee that a merchant’s products will appear in search results, and they do not offer the same level of control and targeting as paid advertising on Google Shopping.
Google Product Category
The Google Product Category is a taxonomy used by Google to classify and organise products for Google Shopping ads. It is a hierarchical system that assigns each product to a specific category based on its characteristics and features.
GTIN: Global Trade Identification Number
A GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) is a unique, standardised identifier used to identify products in the global supply chain.
GTINs are typically 14 digits long and are used in conjunction with barcodes to make it easier to scan and track products. GTINs are not assigned to products that are not intended to be sold or to all products intended for sale in the global marketplace.
GTINs do not expire and are unique to each product.
The higher position in Google Merchant Centre refers to the ranking of a product listing in search results.
A higher position means that the product is more likely to be seen and clicked on by users, which can lead to increased visibility and sales for the product. In general, a higher position is considered better for a product listing, as it can help increase its chances of being seen and selected by potential customers.
The image link field in Google Merchant Centre is a field where you can specify the URL of an image that shows your product. This image will be used by Google to display your product in various contexts, such as on Google Shopping or Google Images.
To use the image link field, you will need to provide a valid URL that points to an image of your product. This URL must be accessible by Google and must be in a supported image format, such as JPEG or PNG.
Once you have provided a valid image link, Google will use this link to display your product image in various contexts. This can help to attract more potential customers to your product and increase sales.
It’s important to note that the image link field is optional, but it is strongly recommended that you provide a high-quality image of your product to help increase its visibility and attractiveness to potential customers.
An Impression is a measure of how often an advertisement, such as a shopping ad from Google Merchant Centre, is displayed on a user’s screen. Each time the ad is displayed, it counts as one impression.
Impression data can be useful for tracking the reach and visibility of an advertisement, and it can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of different ad campaigns.
Item Group ID
The item group id field in Google Merchant Centre is a unique identifier that is used to group together similar products. For example, if you have multiple sizes or colours of the same product, you can use the item group id field to group these products together.
This allows you to manage and track these products as a single entity, making it easier to manage your inventory and track sales. The item group id field is typically used in conjunction with other fields, such as the item id and the product title, to provide detailed information about the products in your inventory.
The Item ID is a unique identifier that is assigned to a specific product in the Google Merchant Center. It is used to identify and track the product within the Merchant Center, and it can be used to reference the product in other Google tools and services, such as Google Ads.
You can create your own Item ID for each product – they are typically a combination of numbers and letters. It is important to keep track of the Item ID for each of your products, as it can be useful for managing and tracking your products within the Merchant Center.
The link field in Google Merchant Centre is the URL of the webpage where the product is displayed on the merchant’s website. This field is used to provide a link to the product page and is an important part of a product’s listing in Google Merchant Centre.
The link must be for a product page and must be unique in your data – you cannot use links to category pages, nor use the same URL for multiple products.
Local Inventory Ads
Local inventory ads are a type of advertising offered by Google Merchant Centre that allows businesses to promote their products to local consumers through Google Search and Google Maps.
With local inventory ads, businesses can show the availability, price, and location of their products to potential customers who are searching for products near them. By promoting their products through local inventory ads, businesses can drive more foot traffic to their stores and increase sales.
Local inventory ads are different from other types of Google Ads in that they are focused on promoting local availability and driving in-store sales.
Local Product Inventory
The Local Product Inventory is a feature in Google Merchant Centre that allows retailers to manage their in-store product inventory and show it to potential customers on Google. This includes information such as the availability and price of products, as well as the location of the store where the product can be purchased. By using the Local Product Inventory, retailers can make it easier for customers to find and purchase their products online and in-store.
The MPN (Manufacturer Part Number) field in Google Merchant Centre is a unique identifier that is assigned to a product by its manufacturer. This number is typically used to identify the product within the manufacturer’s internal inventory system, and it can be useful for tracking and managing products as they move through the supply chain.
Including the MPN field in your product data can help improve the accuracy and relevance of your product listings, which can in turn help improve the performance of your ads and drive more traffic to your website.
While this field is optional, it is one of three fields of which you must populate two, along with Brand and GTIN. Populating the Brand field can also help to increase rank for searches for products from a specific brand.
Page Overlap Rate
The page overlap rate in Google Merchant Centre is the percentage of a product’s impressions that occurred on the same page as a competitor’s product. It is a measure of how often a product’s ad is shown on the same page as a competitor’s ad, and it can be used to evaluate the competitiveness of a product in the marketplace.
A higher page overlap rate may indicate that a product is in high demand and is being shown alongside many competitor’s products, while a lower page overlap rate may indicate that the product is not as competitive in the marketplace.
PLAs: Product Listing Ads
Product Listing ads are a type of advertising that allows retailers to show images, prices, and other relevant information about their products in Google search results. To create a Product Listing Ad, retailers must have a Google Merchant Center account and create a product feed that includes information such as the product name, price, and image.
Product Listing Ads use a pay-per-click pricing model and the cost can vary depending on factors such as the competitiveness of the keywords and the relevance of the ads to the search query.
The price field in Google Merchant Centre is a required field that specifies the price of a product. This field is used to display the price of a product in Google Shopping ads.
To populate the price field in Google Merchant Centre, you will need to provide the product’s current price, including any applicable taxes and fees. You can also specify the currency in which the price is expressed, and you can include any promotional or sale pricing information that may be relevant to the product.
Price competitiveness in Google Merchant Centre is a measure of how competitive a product’s price is compared to similar products. It is calculated by comparing the price of the product to the prices of similar products that are available on the Google Shopping platform.
A higher price competitiveness score indicates that the product’s price is more competitive compared to other similar products. This metric can be useful for retailers to understand how their product pricing compares to their competitors, and to make informed decisions about their pricing strategy.
A product feed in Google Merchant Center is a file which contains a list of your products and their attributes.
It is used to upload your product information to Google to display Product Ads in Google Shopping, Google’s shopping comparison service. The product feed allows Google to understand the product details, such as product name, description, image, price, availability, and other relevant information, so it can match and display the products to users searching for related items.
To create a product feed in Google Merchant Center, you need to:
- Set up a Merchant Center account: If you don’t have a Merchant Center account, sign up for one.
- Choose a feed format: You can create a product feed in a spreadsheet format such as CSV, TSV, XML, or use Google Sheets.
- Define your product attributes: Choose which product attributes you want to include in your feed and make sure they meet Google’s data requirements.
- Organise your product information: Collect and organise the product information you want to include in your feed, such as product names, descriptions, prices, images, and so on.
- Create the feed: Create the feed using your chosen format and populate it with your product information.
- Validate the feed: Check your feed for any errors or missing information and make any necessary corrections.
- Upload the feed: Upload the feed to Google Merchant Center and wait for it to be processed.
- Monitor performance: Regularly monitor the performance of your feed and make any necessary updates or optimisations to ensure it continues to meet Google’s requirements.
Product reviews in Google Merchant Centre are customer reviews of the products that are listed on your Merchant Centre account. These reviews can provide valuable insights and feedback about the products you are selling, which can help improve your sales and customer satisfaction. You can view and manage the product reviews for your products in the “Product Reviews” section of your Merchant Centre account.
In Google Merchant Centre, a product title is the name of the product that is displayed to users on Google Shopping and other Google services.
The product title should be unique and not duplicated across multiple products. It is important to provide accurate and up-to-date product titles in Google Merchant Centre, as this can help improve the visibility and performance of your products on Google Shopping and other Google services.
The Product Type attribute in Google Merchant Centre is a category or classification that is assigned to a product. The Product Type field is typically used in combination with other product attributes, such as the brand, condition, and availability, to provide a comprehensive and accurate description of the product.
Advertisers can use the Product Type field to create their own taxonomy, similar to [Google Product Category] but without prescriptive definitions. This helps to segment and work with groups of products in Google Shopping campaigns.
In Google Merchant Centre, promotions are special offers or discounts that merchants can apply to their products. These promotions can be applied to individual products or to entire product categories, and they can be used to attract customers and drive sales.
When a promotion is applied to a product, it will be displayed on the product’s listing in Google Shopping, along with the discounted price and other relevant details. Promotions can be a useful tool for merchants who want to drive traffic and sales to their products on Google Shopping.
Regional Inventory in Google Merchant Centre refers to the inventory of a product that is available for sale in a specific region or location.
This information is used by Google to show relevant ads for products that are available for purchase in a particular area. For example, if a user is searching for a product in a specific city or state, Google may show ads for products that are available for purchase in that location.
ROAS: Return on Ad Spend
ROAS is a measure of the effectiveness of an advertising campaign in terms of the revenue generated for every pound spent on advertising.
ROAS is calculated by dividing the total revenue generated by the total amount spent on advertising. A higher ROAS is generally considered better as it indicates a higher return on investment.
To increase ROAS, businesses can identify their target audience, use relevant keywords, test different ad formats and placements, and track and analyse their results.
Optimising websites and landing pages with eCommerce conversion rate optimisation techniques can also help improve ROAS.
In Google Merchant Centre, scheduled fetch is a feature that allows you to automatically retrieve your product data feeds on a regular basis. This means that your product data will be fetched regularly and therefore should be more accurate, which can help improve the performance of your shopping ads and help you reach more potential customers.
With scheduled fetch, you can specify the frequency at which your feeds should be retrieved, such as daily, weekly, or monthly.
The shipping weight field in Google Merchant Centre is a field that specifies the weight of the product, including any packaging or additional materials, that will be used for calculating shipping costs.
This information is important for accurately determining the cost of shipping the product to the customer, and it can help ensure that the correct shipping rates are applied to the product. The shipping weight field is typically measured in pounds or kilograms, depending on the unit of measurement used by the merchant.
Google Shopping Ads are a type of advertising format offered by Google that allows retailers to showcase their products on Google Search and other Google properties.
These ads typically consist of a product image, title, price, and store information, and they can be targeted to specific keywords and locations.
Shopping ads are designed to help retailers reach potential customers who are actively searching for products like the ones they offer. They can be a useful tool for driving traffic and sales through a retailer’s website, and they are managed through Google Ads or and Google Merchant Centre.
A Supplemental Feed is an additional feed of product information that can be used to provide more detailed or updated information about the products in your Primary Feed. This information can include details such as product availability, price, and condition.
Supplemental feeds are optional in Google Merchant Centre, and they are only used in specific cases where more detailed or updated information is needed. For example, if you have a large number of products in your primary feed and some of the information changes frequently, you may want to use a supplemental feed to provide updated information without having to update your entire primary feed.
Trusted Store Badge
The Trusted Store Badge is a certification program offered by Google that recognises eCommerce businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to providing excellent customer service and support.
In order to earn the Trusted Store Badge, a business must meet certain criteria, such as having a high rate of on-time shipping and a low rate of customer service issues. Once a business has earned the Trusted Store Badge, it can be displayed on their website and in their Google Ads to help increase customer trust and credibility.
UTF-8 stands for Unicode Transformation Format-8 bit, and it is a way of encoding text so that it can be represented using 8-bit bytes. This allows for a wide range of characters to be represented, including most of the characters used in the world’s written languages.
Errors can be caused in Google Merchant Centre if the submitted text for Product Titles and Descriptions is not correctly encoded in UTF-8
An XML feed is a text-based file that uses a series of tags and attributes to describe and organise the data it contains. This makes it easy for both humans and computers to read and understand the information in the feed.
XML feeds are used by Google Merchant Centre to help merchants list and manage their products on Google Shopping and other Google platforms. By providing accurate and up-to-date information in their XML feed, merchants can ensure that their products are displayed correctly and are easily discoverable by potential customers.
XML feeds are typically created and managed from within an advertiser’s website and/or using a feed management software or service, which allows merchants to easily upload, edit, and manage their product information.