GTINs Required on Google Shopping!

Google requires GTIN & Brand for each product in your product feed and will start enforcing that as of May 16th, 2016. That means that products without a GTIN will be disapproved. If you got away so far, by adding Brand and (a fake?) MPN, it is time to go after your GTINs.



GTINs are Required on Google Shopping


Here are 7 questions about GTINs and the consequences for you:




This applies to all new, in-stock products that have GTINs assigned by the manufacturer, in the Google Shopping feeds for these countries.




Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, or the US.






Google already started showing warnings in the Diagnostics tab of your Merchant Center in February. Mid-May, they will actually enforce the presence of a valid GTIN, which means that products without GTIN & Brand will not be advertised.




GTINs help them understand exactly what you're selling. When they understand what you're selling, they can help boost your ad performance by adding valuable details about the product and serving the ad in a more relevant way to users.


This also means that your ads can serve in more places on Google, YouTube, and their partner sites. Merchants who've added correct GTINs to their product data have seen conversion rates increase up to 20%.


What is a GTIN?


GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number. It is a unique identifier for each product. It is better known as the Barcode. You may not have heard of GTIN, but it comes in many flavors that you probably do know, like UPC, EAN, JAN, ISBN or ITF-14.


What if I don’t have GTINs?


There are 2 possibilities:

  1. a GTIN for your products does not exist, because they are unique, handcrafted, vintage or otherwise not mass-manufactured. Simply set the field “identifier exists” to False and you’ll be fine.
  2.  a GTIN for your products does exist but you do not have it. You need to find it and enter it in your store, or at least in your feed. There are various ways to do this:

  • Cheat: this will not work. You can enter random numbers as GTIN, or your SKU or ID or MPN , but Google is connected to all GTIN-databases and they will instantly see that you are feeding them the wrong GTINs.

  • Get the GTINs from your supplier. He should have ‘m all. If not ask the manufacturer. Or look up the barcode on the packaging. A barcode scanner app may help you go faster.

  • There are websites selling GTINs online.

How does it affect your feed in DataFeedWatch?


We will change the Google Shopping templates for those 12 countries after May 16th, so that GTIN and Brand become required fields. In the meantime: check your Google Merchant Center to see for which products you need to add a GTIN.



Written by Jacques van der Wilt

Founder & CEO at DataFeedWatch

Jacques is a shopping feeds industry leader, start-up mentor, and entrepreneur. He's the founder and CEO of DataFeedWatch (acquired by in 2022): a leading global feed management and optimization company that helps online merchants optimize their product listings on more than 2000 shopping channels in over 60 countries. Before founding DataFeedWatch, Jacques held leadership positions in the US and Europe. He is also a seasoned guest speaker at industry events and a mentor at Startup Bootcamp.


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