Incorrect Value [identifier exists] is a fairly common but very important error within Merchant Centres that will stop your products from showing on Google, in this Blog post we will be looking at what it is, what causes it and finally how you can easily fix this and get your products showing again.
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What is a GTIN and why is it important
However to fully understand this issue we must start at the beginning, and that starts with the GITN. But what is the GITN? The GITN is the Global Trade Identification Number. This is a unique number assigned to Millions of Different Products. Google then has a large Database with all the different GITNs on it, so it will know which products have a GITN and which products will not have one.
If a product that you are selling on the Merchant Centre does have a GITN number, it MUST be declared, failure to do so will cause this to flag up on Google’s end, and your product will not be allowed to show. This is not an optional field.
Importance of idenfier exists and the Merchant Centre
There are two fields on the Google Merchant Centre which relate to this:
- Identifier Exists
These are both self-explanatory with the GTIN field containing the GTIN number, whilst Identifier Exists shows whether there is a GTIN Number, this will either be True or False. To find these you will need to go onto each individual product on the Merchant Centre and find the Raw feed Attributes near the bottom of the page. The GTIN number if Identifier Exists is set to true should be just below that line.
This is where the source of this error arises. If there is no GITN that means either that product does not have one, or it is not being imported from the feed, and in this case, the Identifier Exists option will be False. In the case of the GTIN not existing this is simple enough, there should be no issue.
What problems can this cause and how to fix them
It is not always straightforward and a couple of things could be causing this to flag:
- The product could very well have a GTIN but it is not being pulled in from the feed, in this case when Identifier Exists is False Google will find the product on its database, see it has a GTIN and stop the product from showing from the Merchant Centre, this is an issue which will need to be rectified on the Feed side of things and Review request will be rejected by Google.
- The product in question could very well not have a GTIN. It could be very similar to another product, an example of this would be compatibility products, like an ink cartridge which is similar to a product with a GTIN and this could confuse Google. Alternatively, you could be a manufacturer of the product and you know for a fact that there is no GTIN and Google will incorrectly claim there is. In this instance the best port of call would be to request a review, using the request a review option in the Item Status area. Simply click on it, click in the box and select Request Manual review, this should then get someone on Google’s end to Check the GTIN and form that one in fact does not exist for your product.
However, there is a caveat to this process which can cause some issues, if the amount of products being afflicted by this issue is large, in some cases it can be in the thousands, there is currently no option to do this en masse, with each separate product having to be review quested individually. There are methods to ease this process but you would still need a separate web page for each review request.
In conclusion, the “Incorrect value [identifier exists]” error in the Merchant Center is a common but important error that can prevent your products from showing on Google. The error occurs when a product does not have a GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number), or when a GTIN is not being imported from the feed. To fix this issue, you will need to go to each individual product on the Merchant Center and find the Raw feed Attributes near the bottom of the page. If the Identifier Exists option is set to false, it means that the product does not have a GTIN or it is not being imported from the feed. To fix this issue, you will need to request a review using the Request a Review option in the Item Status area. However, if the number of products affected by this issue is large, it can be a time-consuming process as each product will need to be reviewed individually. There are methods to ease this process but it will still require a separate web page for each review request.
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