Google Expands GTIN Enforcement Criteria in Merchant Center

A notice has gone out to all Merchant Center account owners regarding Google expanding the GTIN enforcement criteria when sending a product feed.

Specifically, this notice is in regards to a Merchant Center warning for products labeled ‘GTIN not related to brand’.

To learn more about this particular issue please see this Google Help Doc.

See the official notice below:

Providing correct Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTINs) is vital to ensuring that Google recognizes your products and can offer the best experience possible for consumers. On February 18, 2019 we will be expanding the existing GTIN-related enforcement.

Why we’re making these changes

We’ve seen that including GTINs can unlock performance improvements that may directly benefit your advertising efforts, including:

  • More Visibility: Submitting correct GTINs puts your products in front of more potential consumers; we’ve seen that offers matched to the Google Shopping product catalog may receive up to 40% more clicks than unmatched offers.
  • Better Targeting: Submitting correct GTINs helps us show your products to the most relevant, interested consumers and, in turn, drives a higher rate of conversions.
  • More Ad Formats: In addition to enhancing the performance of Shopping ads, submitting correct GTINs allows for improved product information on and Shopping on YouTube, as well as product discovery on mobile devices.

Update your product data to include GTINs

Your Merchant Center Account may be impacted by these changes.

Please be sure to submit correct GTINs and the corresponding brand for all new, in-stock products that have GTINs assigned by the manufacturer. There are a few exceptions to this requirement.

February 18, 2019: Warnings begin. You will start seeing new item-level warnings for ‘GTIN not related to brand’ on the Diagnostics page for products that don’t meet the requirements. Use these warnings to identify the products that need to be updated.

June 10, 2019: Enforcement begins. Items previously warned for ‘GTIN not related to brand’, lacking the correct GTINs will be disapproved. Reporting for products that don’t meet the new GTIN requirements is available on the Diagnostics page of Merchant Center. After June 10, 2019, you’ll need to meet the GTIN requirements to continue serving ads consistently for your products.

We want to help you get ahead of the enforcement deadlines and ensure that you’re able to provide all of the necessary information to improve the richness and relevancy of the ads we show to potential customers. Start today by reviewing your product data and updating it with the correct GTINs. Contact your manufacturer to request the correct GTINs for your feed items. 

Thank you for your participation in the Shopping ads program.


The Merchant Center Team

Our team recommends monitoring your Merchant Center account for this specific issue starting today and up until official enforcement on June 10, 2019.