As of February 14th 2017 (yep, Valentine’s Day), changes to GTIN requirements for Google Shopping Product Feed Specifications will officially go into effect for an additional 11 countries including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Turkey.
Originally announced in May of 2016, this update’s aim to help increase overall ad performance potential and search matching when shoppers in those specific countries utilize Google Shopping.
The original article posted on the AdWords® blog outlined some specifics:
- “‘Gtin’ and ‘google product category’ requirements will be expanded to Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Turkey to improve product matching and overall ad performances. This means, going forward, Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) are required for all products with a GTIN assigned by the manufacturer. GPC is required for all products falling within the ‘Apparel & Accessories’, ‘Media’, and ‘Software’ categories. Not providing values for the ‘gtin’ or ‘gpc’ attributes will result in item disapprovals.”
- “Since providing accurate GTIN information can take more time in expanded countries (Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Turkey), the GTIN requirement updates will go into full effect later on, starting February 14th, 2017.”
A number of additional updates were announced per the original posting, however said updates had been enforced as of September of 2016. The GTIN requirements were the only changes set for official enforcement in 2017.
There will no doubt be more updates and changes throughout 2017 as Google continues to strive for both a better online shopping experience for consumers and a better advertising experience for retailers and marketers.
Numerous changes have already taken place including the complete revamping of the Product Feed Specifications support articles and a full overhaul of the Google Merchant Center UI. We have a feeling that 2017 could bring about just as many if not more changes from Google.