Google Shopping Taxonomy Changes 2015


In the ever-evolving world of Google Shopping, change is never far away. In this update, we summarise the Google Shopping taxonomy changes 2015, how they affect your Google Shopping feed and what you need to do about it.

We reported a change to the Shopping Feed Specification in July 2014, when Google announced mandatory character limits, changes to apparel attributes and changes to cater for the huge growth in mobile search traffic.

More: Why Google Shopping is Essential for eCommerce Success

In its recent update, Google included significant changes as follows;

Refined the Requirements GTINs

The GTIN is the unique identifier for each product and helps Google to identify it in the “global marketplace”. It helps Google match the right product to a user’s search query and also makes sure that your listing appears in the price comparison table against other retailers of that product.

The GTIN is one of the three unique identifiers of which Google requires two to approve your listing.

Google is Introducing Stable, Numeric Identifiers

Currently, your products must be included in the most relevant category which is predetermined by Google – you can’t just make up your own, your product listing will be disapproved. As an alternative, you’ll now be able to use a predetermined numeric identifier to achieve the same result.

Current category: Clothing & Accessories > Clothing Accessories > Sunglasses

Alternative, numeric category: 178

Changes to the Taxonomy

Some product categories have been simplified; Apparel, Medicine and Drugs, Books and Video Console Accessories. You’ll need to check that your feed data is still compliant with those changes to avoid those products being disapproved.

More subcategories have been added and in some cases significant changes made to Arts and Crafts, Decor, Hardware, Sporting Goods and Car Spares and Accessories. If your eCommerce store sells those categories of products, updating your listing is recommended – that will help your product listing ads match more queries and increase traffic from your Google Shopping campaigns.

What To Do Next

Check the changes to see how they affect your product feed. You can (and should) start using the new taxonomy changes immediately. Google will start enforcing compliance for some changes from September 15th 2015, after which you may find some of your products start being disapproved.

Changes to the delivery price policy will be enforced from February 2016 when you’ll need to provide more accurate delivery prices for products in your feed.

Speak with a SpecialistOur AdWords Management Services

Want to read more?

Get early access to digital marketing news and all the highlights from the Tillison blog.