Google to enforce unique product identifiers on free merchant listings

By | September 14, 2021


Google will start enforcing the requirements to have unique product identifiers on your product listing feeds with Google Merchant Center tomorrow, September 15, 2021, the search company announced.

What are unique product identifiers (UPIs). Google said a unique product identifier, also known as UPIs, are considered products that include Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names in the product feed you submit to Google Merchant Center.

Enforcement begins tomorrow. Google said “in order to unify the enforcement of UPIs across programs, specifically the enforcement for multiple different products that use the same GTIN, we’re expanding this enforcement and applying it to products listed in free listings.”

This enforcement begins tomorrow, Google said, “beginning September 15, 2021, the following enforcement will apply to products shown in free listings.”

What enforcement will occur? Google said it may disapprove product feeds if they do not have UPIs. Google said “different products that use the same GTIN with the same variant attributes will be considered ambiguous and will be disapproved.” This includes “variant attributes” that include condition [condition] and multipack [multipack] for all products, as well as color [color] and [size] for apparel products, the company said. Also, Google said “if a group of products are identified as duplicates, only one will remain active and eligible to show in free listings.”

Why we care. If you are taking advantage of the free Google Merchant Center and you are not using UPIs on your products in those feeds, you may soon start seeing those products being rejected and disapproved. Your next steps is to ensure you have UPIs on those products in those feeds. You can find a list of these approved unique product identifiers over here in the Google help docs.


About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.



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