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Google’s Identifiers: Brand, MPN and GTIN

Posted on June 22, 2016 by Jacques van der Wilt

Google's Identifiers

Why does Google need the Identifiers?

Google wants to understand exactly which products you are selling. If they are able to identify each product, they can
– match it with search queries
– compare it with the same products (of other merchants) on Google Shopping

The best way to compare products, is to compare their unique identifiers, like Brand, GTIN and MPN.

Identifier exists (or not)

So first, Google wants to know if unique identifiers, like GTIN and MPN actually exist for your products. For most products that are manufactured, they do exist indeed. So you set the ‘identifier exist’ to True.
DFW Identifier Exist

Only for Custom goods you can set it to false: Custom goods are unique products that are hand crafted or no longer manufactured. Examples are hand knitted sweaters or antique furniture or vintage items.

Setting it to ‘False’ for products that do have an identifier will not work; Google will disapprove those products or even suspend your account.

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Brand, MPN and GTIN – What is required?

Let’s take a closer look at these 3 unique identifiers:

1. Brand

The brand name of each product. Google requires you to add this field to your feed in all cases. The only exception is for custom-made items where you have set the ‘identifier exist’ field to ‘false’. But you might as well add your own brand if you offer custom made products.

2. MPN

A unique identifier issued by the manufacturer. If you have the GTIN in your feed, the MPN is not mandatory. Without GTIN, Google does require you to add MPN & Brand. The exception for custom goods applies here as well.

3. GTIN

This is the numerical version of the bar code. It is called UPC in the US and EAN in Europe. A unique ID according to international standards. GTIN is an identifier that is created by GS1, an international non-profit organization.
Google has a database with most of the world’s GTINs. If you include the GTIN for each product in your feed, Google can identify each product and knows all product specs exactly. Also: if you provide the wrong GTIN, Google will know instantly and they will disapprove that product.

GTINs are required in Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

What if you don’t have Brand?

A field for Brand is often easy to create:

All products have the same brand

You just add that one brand for all products:
DFW Brand static value

Map Brand from Title or Description

If the Brand is mentioned in the Title or the Description or another field, so you map it from there:
DFW Brand mapped from Description

What if you don’t have MPN?

There is an easy way to get around that problem: Map your MPN from SKU or Variant ID or another field that contains a unique identifier per product. It won’t be an official MPN then, but Google usually accepts it.

DFW MPN mapped from Variant ID

What if you don’t have GTIN?

There is no workaround and adding the right GTIN for each product is the only option. You can ask your supplier or the manufacturer, check or scan the barcode on your products or visit a GTIN-database to look up the right GTINs. Here’s More info on finding your GTINs.

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About DataFeedWatch

DataFeedWatch is data feed management software that enables merchants on Magento, Shopify, Volusion, 3Dcart, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, OpenCart, and numerous other shopping carts to optimize their product data feed for Google and 750+ Shopping Channels in 40 countries. DFW-Analytics also shows the performance data for every individual product on each channel, so merchants can boost their RoI by quickly identifying and removing unprofitable products.

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Posted in: Data Feeds,Google Shopping,Tips & Tricks

Comments (4)

  1. Zach Larsen April 30, 2015

    Wow! This really helped me out while planning an article over at Zachariahlarsen.com

  2. Craig Mckenzie November 19, 2015

    Hi how do we get around this if we make custom products to order, we dont have GTIN OR MPN. Struggling with this as our feed has been suspended now until we sort it, any advice apprceiated

  3. Mateusz Miodek November 23, 2015

    Craig, for custom products you should set “Identifier exists” field to “False”. See second paragraph of this post for more info.

  4. LIChelp July 20, 2016

    Thanks -datafeedwatch.com

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