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Google Merchant Center Management

Google Merchant Center Management: How eCommerce Businesses Reach Shoppers via Rich Results

Retailers can showcase their products for free and reach more targeted customers for free through professional Google Merchant Center feed management and rich results.

Visual features are the highlights of Google Search results pages (SERPs) with which a buyer can interact. Winning these product-related SERP features means more clicks to your site and shopping cart. Google is focused on providing shoppers with choices that most likely align with what they are searching for. E-commerce schema markup types can assist your Google Merchant Center products and populate your products when someone wants to buy them.

Table of Contents

Getting started is simple. You simply need to be a retailer selling products on a website, in a brick-and-mortar store, or both. Getting found by buyers online is typically a lot harder. And that is where your Google Merchant Center can make a BIG difference!

Why well-managed Google Merchant product listings are important:

  • Organic Google Shopping results are displaying more and more products naturally. For example, “Popular Products”
  • More SERP Product Carousels variants are being triggered.
  • You can gain a Google Product Panel, also known as a “Shopping Knowledge Panel”(This includes 19 advanced Google search operators you need to know).
  • Across our international search marketing network, many see the new AI Google Generative Experience (SGE) successfully connecting retail products to the Google Merchant Center.
  • “75% of shoppers used Google to search for store or product information,” according to Connect your e-commerce store to Google to reach millions of shoppers.

Google’s developer page seeks to empower SEOs and MCA admins to take advantage of the above opportunities.

“Merchant listing experiences offer enhanced experiences including the Shopping Knowledge panel and Popular Products, as well as shopping experiences in Google Images and Google Lens.

The structured data required for merchant listings and product snippets is described in our Product structured data documentation.” – Expanding Eligibility with Product Structured Data

At Hill Web Marketing, we prefer setting up an API Console project to use the Content API for Shopping with a given Merchant Center account. API Console projects help to manage API access and authentication for Content API solutions.

How often are my Google Merchant Center account updates needed?

Variables come into play as to how often updates are necessary to ensure Google Merchant Center feed accuracy. It’s important to have a skilled professional managing this aspect of your Google Shopping product’s SERP visibility. Updates to both new opportunities, feed requirements, and retired aspects of product schema markup are all important to know.

In our experience, and given the increase in Merchant Center Listing suspensions, this means an expert whose full-time job has them daily in the know. Personal experience cannot be sufficiently replaced by sending code snippet insertions. It is best managed daily with direct access to avoid product visibility opportunity loss and possible and possible suspension.

“Generally, item-offers may be updated about four times per-day, and still remain within the boundaries of all physical inventory, landing-page, and price related policies.” – Google [1]

“To guarantee an optimal user experience, your local products feed must be uploaded regularly so that it reflects accurate product information and pricing. At a minimum, you must update your local products feed once a day.” – Google [2]

Price updates are the most common in our experience. For multiple prices on product pages: such as price for other variants, original currency, or time-sensitive promotional prices, Google requires these to be clearly differentiable from the advertised base price.

If you post both a base price and a members-only price on your product landing page, then purchers should find these differences clearly stated.

Required Product Data for Merchant Center Accounts

Monitoring each client’s Merchant Listings report in Google Search Console (GSC) is a big help in ensuring that eCommerce websites stand out in search results.

Many who are unfamiliar with the nuances of implementing these GSC report insights miss tasks like correctly adding a returns policy and shipping details for product landing pages. This data should be reflected almost site-wide (for both product and category pages) in addition to the following.

Basic product schema markup attributes:

  • Product title (or name).
  • Description.
  • Image(s).
  • Stock availability.
  • Pricing.
  • Size formats.
  • Manufacture/Brand.
  • Product variants.
  • Reviews.
  • Unique product identifiers such as Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN), brand, and MPN.

Google Merchant Center product data attributes:

  • Basic product data.
  • Price and availability.
  • Product category.
  • Product identifiers.
  • Detailed product description.
  • Shopping campaigns and other configurations.
  • Marketplaces.
  • Destinations.
  • Shipping.
  • Tax.

Google encourages product structured data to include all required schema fields that will make a site eligible to display product return policies in “merchant listing experiences”. These coveted rich results are exclusive to merchants. A structured data type communicates to search engines when data is about a specific data type, this includes a merchant return policy.

Structured data types have properties (attributes) that provide information about the data type.

The MerchantReturnPolicy data type must have two required properties.

  • applicableCountry
  • returnPolicyCategory

When MerchantReturnFiniteReturnWindow is implemented, then the merchantReturnDays property becomes a requirement.

While Google can glean this data through either your Structured Data (SD) or through your Merchant Center settings, it is best to provide both in correct and full format. You can enhance your product pages with attributes and schema markup.

Correct Merchant Center settings are important to keep current. Qualifying online store owners who have implemented product markup and fix errors will see their Shopping tab listings populate. Google Search Console “Shopping” warnings still display when your product Structured Data isn’t accessible to read and reflect. If your GMC settings are correctly managed on a daily basis, it is possible to ignore these warnings in your GSC. That takes consistency and skill from your GMC manager.

Paid shopping ads provide many other ad formats and campaign types that are tied to your product landing pages. A professional Google Ads manager can determine the best fit for advertising such item offers. In my experience, it is important that they work closely under the directives of your schema markup and GMC expert. And suspension numbers are also up.

Google also checks to see that merchants are transparent about consumer privacy and data collection procedures.

Additional Google MCA requirements:

There is more to it than just meeting all product data specifications. Each Merchant Feed (MF) product data must additionally meet the following requirements: [3]

  • Google’s overall shopping ads policies.
  • Linked landing page requirements.
  • Tax rate data requirements.
  • Shipping rate data requirements.
  • Checkout requirements and best practices.
  • Currency and language requirements.

How To Generate Merchant Listings Rich Results in SERPs

Former Google Search Console product structured data reports are replaced by newer ones. Under the shopping section, we continually check client “Merchant Listings” report and the “Product Snippets” report.

Additional information on how Google Search views your products can be found under the “Product” results in traditional reports by navigating to “Search Appearance” from the sub-menu below your table chart. By quickly making the necessary adjustments revealed here, you can stay in the flow of having your products displayed in Google Rich Results.

Google has already integrated even more data from the Merchant Center into the Search Console. The Google Search Console’s “Shopping” tab report notifies merchants when products stop appearing on the Shopping tab due to any issues, similar to information available in Google Merchant Center.

Currently, you cannot accomplish everything best using structured data alone; that is best done in the Merchant Feed. We like how MF price updates are immediate, whereas product price updates in your structured data need to be crawled first. For sure, product structured data is expanding; however, not at the same pace as XML feeds; XML feels simply aligned better. Together (SD + MF), a trust score is created. You get the dataset when the HTML is crawled.

Local market products can also be shown in SERPs

The GMC is all about products – and is very inclusive of retailer types.

By using the “Buy in Google” feature, products can be purchased directly on the SERP! This means that you should not miss this opportunity if your local storefront doesn’t provide an online shopping cart or internet purchases. The Google Merchant Center lets retailers list products available in a local store on the local market.

We suggest taking advantage of this – local market products can also be shown in SERPs.

Google’s documentation explains:

“Products in the apparel and accessories category can be eligible to show in more visual, browse listings that include images, titles, brands, ratings, and more product information. Users can explore products many brands and retailers offer, with links to retailer and brand sites to learn more. This is available on mobile in the US only as a standard listing type.” – Where Google shows your free listings [4]

Product data accuracy score

A solid SEO strategy for obtaining a featured snippet includes creating high-quality and relevant content that concisely matches shoppers’ search intent (that doesn’t include promotional language). We also focus on the appropriate new Google structured data properties and excellent HTML structure. When a featured snippet opportunity surfaces, we implement the preferred format (dataset, paragraph, list, table, video).

Understanding how the Google Search Index [canonical_link] works can ensure all products are associated with the correct URL in Google’s Search index. This helps prevent Google from indexing URLs with additional parameters.

Merchants can find their ads are dropped or suspended because the structured data on the landing page is different. This is partly why we prefer doing both product schema implementation, and MC data feed management to keep information aligned. We like to extend our XML files to include additional outlets, like Amazon feeds once a client’s Merchant Feed is solid.

Accurate product data can populate your Google Knowledge Graph, Knowledge Card, and more. These visually rich elements commonly appear on the right side of Google SERPs; Google displays what it is confident it knows about that retailer entity.

Merchant Center Policy Updates & Product Return Specification OpportunitiesAvoid Google Merchant center account suspensions

Google talks about helping business entities “increase clicks” and “improve rankings of products”. One suggested example was that merchants should a return cost. This matters to buyers. For example, I recently purchased Tricker’s boots and then learned that I need to return ship to Japan to get the right size. Big bummer!

Main concepts as well as “useful to have” return policies specified withing Prodcut schema structured data:

  • Return Policy URL.
  • Return Window Type [Finite, Infinite, Final Sale (no returns accepted)].
  • Refund Type [Store Credit, Full Refund, Exchange].
  • Return Fees [Original shipping, return shipping, restocking fees].
  • Are in-store returns offered? [Yes, No].
  • Exceptions [Category, Return Information including window, type, fees]

Exceptions would be things like “this policy applies to everything except consulting, pets, and open-box electronics…” continues to add more ways for a common taxonomy to point into. At a minimum, businesses can strategically use document text or URL values.

Eligibility for Rich Results without product structured data

Google offers a second way to gain returns policy shopping experience eligibility. Knowing this is important to shoppers, we now have a second way to configure the necessary product data details. A return policy can be established in your Merchant Center account. They are associated with all products, with specific groups of products, or for a single product. This is done by using the return policy label [return_policy_label] attribute in your product feed.

Favorite Merchant Center entities specified in product return schemas

Property Expected Type Description
itemDefectReturnShippingFeesAmount MonetaryAmount Specifying the amount of shipping costs for defect product returns. This applies if property itemDefectReturnFees equals ReturnShippingFees.
returnPolicyCountry Country or Text This typically applies to international sales. The country where the product is to be sent to for returns, for example “Canada”. ( two-letter ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes work)
alternateName Text Other name(s) that the purchaser may use to desribe the item.
merchantReturnDays Date, DateTime, or Integer Aligning with specified, fixed return date or the number of days (from the delivery date) that an item can be returned.
inStoreReturnsOffered Boolean Example: Ideal for clothing/shoes where they can try something else on, maybe saving the sale; the returnMethod property is best for advanced applications.
customerRemorseReturnFees ReturnFeesEnumeration What return fee may be involved when the product is returned due to customer remorse.
customerRemorseReturnLabelSource ReturnLabelSourceEnumeration This makes the required method clear by which the customer obtains a return shipping label for product returns due to customer remorse.
returnPolicySeasonalOverride MerchantReturnPolicySeasonalOverride Example: Ideal for Christmas gift returns or other seasonal time frames.
merchantReturnLink URL Identifies a Web page or service by URL on the seller’s domain, for product returns. Supersedes productReturnLink.

How an agency can active a MC Project for set up

If you lack direct Merchant Center access, you can request a Merchant Center authority to delegate the access. Once connected, an experienced person who is familiar with the platform can start processing and generating JSON-LD Schema Markup from the Product details (provided all the required fields are correctly there). Apps and plugins are prone to “lag” or error (like humans 😄).

For us, it’s become a daily routine to assess that all Merchant Center data and schema markup is current and valid. We stay on top of it – because our clients have revenue to gain or lose!

Linking your MC account will associate it with a partner. This may assist with better support services and merchant integrations. Linking doesn’t give the partner access to your MCA.

Nation-Wide and State Product Return Policy Compliance

In addition to Google’s Merchant Center product details and return policy requirements, you should be adhering to your state return policy requirements. If you are unaware of them, or do miss full compliance, they will apply to you regardless.

If you prodcuts are not just sold locally, but to a U.S. national audiece, then retailers fall under the rules set forward by the United States Chamber of Commerce. Many retailers are not aware of them, or lack the time to stay current with updates. This, therefore, is best mananged by a knowledable retail product expert.

Compliance warnings for products according to Google

“To ensure that the ads and free listings we show to people shopping online meet all local regulations, you must submit all the legally required attributes for your products. If products are missing or have incorrect values for any legally required attributes, they are classified as non-compliant and displayed with a compliance warning in Merchant Center.

National and state product return law commonly requires retailers to:

  1. Clearly notify customers about restocking fees.
  2. Prominently display a no-refund policy, if you have one.
  3. Adhere to state guidelines if you don’t have a policy.

Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) business entities are urged to post return notices at the point of sale (POS), on contracts, on invoices, on sales receipts, and on their website.

Some state laws impose return policy minimums that range from 10 days up to 60 days. A business owner can post any time frame for exchanges and refunds when their state doesn’t specify guidelines. For instance, a 30-day money-back guarantee for business or medical software is common but no refunds are permitted for technical support calls. Policies for perishable goods are different.

The New “Google Merchant Center Next”

The “Google Merchant Center Next” version was announced at Google Marketing Live 2023

Google Merchant Center Next started emerging and even automatically upgrading accounts as of October 24, 2023. It offers upgraded features that make it even easier to manage and promote your business across Google. Along with this occurrence, more entities reported finding their accounts suspended and the need to tackle the process of reinstatement.

This allows agency MC account managers a simplified process to automatically integrate product information from client websites. Merchant Center Next will expand features to better manage how products appear on Google, while avoiding manually uploading a feed.

Merchant Center Next will show all qualifying merchants with online and brick-and-mortar locations every products in a single view. This helps manage online and in-store product inventory more easily – in one spot. Check the small icon at the top right to know which MCA version you are using.

How Merchant Center Next will change and evolve is still a bit of a mystery. Currently, the “Insights” within the Next Performance tab are helpful, especially for business entities who need to prioritize product error fixes. Merchant Center Next may detect product details from your website and pull it in automatically. This makes it all the more important to provide all the needed details on your product landing pages.

Google Merchant Center Next helps improve product discoverability

GMC Next provides helpful warnings:

  • Unsupported image type: Here you can learn what image formats are valid, “Use an image in the accepted format (JPEG, PNG, GIF).” We can provide this information using the URL for the main product image with the image link [image_link] attribute. Then, the product image is displayed to potential searchers that demonstrate purchase intent in ads and free listings for your product.
  • Duplicate identifier: This occurs if there are multiple products in your product details having the same product identifiers, such as GTIN and MPN. Fix your product details to ensure each product has a unique identifier.
  • Missing shipping information: Add shipping information in the Merchant Center so that customers know the anticipated delivery time and cost.
  • Limited performance due to missing ISBN or GTIN: Actually, we find this issue is common. It’s more than just adding it. It also requires adding your products product’s globally valid ISBN and GTIN details correctly.
  • Pending initial review: This is a reminder that you need to allow 3 days or more for your new product information or review to propagate through.

Small merchants using Merchant Center Listings

Google has added a new feature that is particularly helpful to small businesses. It currently applies to United States-based small merchants using Merchant Center or a Google Business Profile (as well as those leveraging the Google YouTube app on Shopify and some sellers on Etsy).

Steps to add the “small business” attribute:

  1. Log into your Merchant Center.
  2. Review your “business information” tab.
  3. Click on either “details” or “about your business”.
  4. Toggle on your “small business” attribute.
  5. Within your Business Profile, to the “more” section within “edit profile.”

The platform may elect to automatically add the small business attribute to some merchants’ listings. This is based on things like how many products you offer, the number of locations you have, E-E-A-T factors, or the level of web traffic gained.

How is the Google Merchant Center an Advantage to Merchants?

The key advantage is that retailers can quickly get products in front of their ideal buyer. Quite simply, this leads to more sales and revenue. However, there are more benefits that reduce friction for online buyers.

  • It serves as a retailer gateway to Google Shopping SERPs where your products may be showcased to potential buyers.
  • Buyers may prefer the option to click on displayed products and purchase them directly on Google (via “Buy in Google”).
  • It provides you with more information from Google as to your products’ performance in Google Search. These insights alert you to key errors, warnings, and opportunities to sell more directly to the right buyer.
  • You have an immediate way to learn what, if anything, you can do to keep your products visible in Google Search at the right moment to the right shopper.
  • Accurate online product inventory data helps improve customer experience and reduces buyer frustration due to missing or inaccurate details.
  • The MC supports and helps amplify brand association.
  • Accurate data builds shoppers’ trust that the product they want will be shipped in a timely manner and/or available in stores when they arrive.
  • Your MCA can help reduce the percentage of returns and poor product reviews. By fully complying with detailed product information, buyer expectations are met. Knowing precisely what they are buying and when it will arrive matters for client satisfaction.

Google Merchant Center Admin Role

Wait times, potential suspensions, mistakes, and omissions are best avoided by establishing only one MCA manager with admin access.

Daily management is the best way to protect the opportunities of an effective MCA to avoid errors and possible suspensions. Immediacy and ease are important for effective management. MC feeds need to adhere to the product data specifications for the programs each account has opted into. When we’ve sought to do this by purely consulting, here are common challenges we encounter.

Verifying and claiming sites under a multi-client account

Google recommends that MCA owners verify and claim a domain URL with the parent account login email of the advanced account setup. We often find that new MCA users are unaware of how important it is to use the parent account email. Ownership is often attributed to the original email used. Typically, the parent MCA is required to verify and claim the top-level domain.

For marketing agencies having a Merchant Aggregator Account, with multiple Merchant Center accounts, schema markup audits can catch any content changes that impact schema markup.

Common inefficiencies and mistakes that occur within Merchant Center feeds:

  • “Filename not allowed” error: The individual who published the filename was unaware of the rules that must be adhered to. For example, a filename doesn’t contain spaces.
  • A developer or web designer incorrectly adds the product schema markup code. This commonly occurs by adding it in the wrong place on the correct page, incorrectly aligning visible details on the on-page product page, adding it to the wrong page altogether (similar product or product collection pages), or missing overall Google schema requirements.
  • A developer or web designer takes added time to get updates installed by someone sending code scripts and their learning curve. Often, this route has taken multiple new landing page publications and tests to get it right. This becomes an issue as Google Shopping Ads require stable landing pages. Google warns that too many or too frequent policy flags can trigger a more permanent suspension from the program at any time.
  • The authority Google Merchant Center Manager (GMC) and Schema Code Manager lack immediate notice of violations, missed opportunities, and schema markup drift.
  • Web designers that install popup boxes (calls-to-actions, subscriptions, etc.) that cannot be easily closed and block product details.
  • If product landing pages are kept consistent with your products. They should be identical to products in your metadata and feed. This applies across all user’s devices, browser choices, locations, cookie installs, ad targeting choices, or additional considerations that are either current matters or that come into play with updates.
  • A dedicated individual need to take the lead to ensure only that only links to the domain from your Merchant Center account are uses. You should not redirect searchers to another website outside of the domain you claimed in your Merchant Center account. [4]
  • A developer or web designer incorrectly adds the product schema markup code. This commonly occurs by adding it in the wrong place on the correct page, incorrectly aligning visible details on the on-page product page, adding it to the wrong page altogether (similar product or product collection pages), or missing overall Google schema requirements.
  • A developer or web designer takes too long to get updated installed by sending code scripts. Google Shopping Ads require stable landing pages. Google warns that too many or too frequent policy flags can trigger a more permanent suspension from the program at any time.
  • Web designers that install popup boxes (calls-to-actions, subscriptions, etc.) that cannot be easily closed and block product details.
  • If a product landing pages are kept consistent with your products. They should be essentially identical to products in your product metadata and product feed. This applies across all user’s device, browser choices, location, cookie installs, your ad targeting choices, or additional consideration that either current matter or that come into play with updates.
  • A dedicated individual needs to take the lead to ensure that only links to the domain from your Merchant Center account are used. You should not redirect searchers to another website outside of the domain you claimed in your Merchant Center account. [5]
  • Like all schema types, product structured data related to merchant products must have the correct identifiers in place. Then, when Google checks its system, everything shows alignment, and it can augment your data and display it on the SERPs. Google gives priority to Google Merchant Center settings when merchants leverage both the Merchant Center and structured data for the returns policy.

“Retailer shipping policies can get complicated and may change frequently. If you’re having trouble indicating and keeping your shipping and return details up-to-date with markup and have a Google Merchant Center account, consider configuring your shipping settings return policies in Google Merchant Center Help.”

GMC product restrictions

Admins are responsible to know all product restrictions and compliance. Some types of products have restructions for free product listings and the GMC has a clearly defined and quite strict policy on unsupported product types. Interestingly, when it comes to medical devices, test kits where samples are collected at home and analyzed in a lab are not considered services and are elgible. We review this frequently updated criteria while setting up client free listings. [6]

Another few feature (January 2022) that we love is the ability to tag these free listings. This helps us glean insights to increase shopping performance.

“Auto-tagging for free listings is now available in your Merchant Center account. With auto-tagging, after someone clicks your free product listing and free local product listing, auto-tagging adds a bit of additional information — a parameter called “result id” — to the URLs people click through. – Update for free listings: Auto-tagging now available [7]

Prohibited MC content falls into four categories:

  1. Prohibited content: What a merchant cannot do.
  2. Prohibited practices: the need to comply with the overall schem of things a retailer cannot do to advertise with Google.
  3. Restricted content: What can be advertised – but with restrictions.
  4. Editorial and technical: Quality standards for Google Shopping ads and alignment with how your website works.

There is still more for the MC admin person to manage and keep current on.

Free Google Search product listings types:

  • Shopping tab listings: These display products sent via Google Merchant Center and displayed under the Ads carousel.
  • Google Search “All” tab: Your product pages can be eligible to display as rich results that may include helpful details about a specific product. Google may elect to display these enriched search results by leveraging the data from your Google Merchant Center feed and valid structured data markup on the website.
  • Panel of product information: We are seeing more blended results for searches for specific products. They may include a panel of overall product information from multiple sources. This commonly includes product details (price, availability, ratings, and brand annotations), listings of retailers who sell that product, and product reviews.

The tech giant continues to test and expand data that sometimes includes hours of operation, directions, phone, and even the approximate travel time from the searcher.

Why Google Merchant Account Suspensions Occur?

MCA violations that cause issues:

  • While all product details may be supplied based on the information available to Google about your business, if a reason is determined that customers may be misled on Google, they often suspend accounts.
  • Google requires that the information communicated on your website and product landing pages about your tax and shipping charges and in your Google Merchant Center account match. When these rates are not the same, Google will often suspend the account.
  • The agency is not current in understanding what constitutes violations of its policies on prohibited content. Continuous or egregious breaking of the rules may lead to permanent account suspension.
  • A mismatch in the billing address or other details where Google looks for alignment and validation.
  • Your image URLs should not have an ampersand or comma in them.
  • If a URL cannot be crawled by Google. For example, someone (or a plugin) mistakenly configured your robots.txt file so that crawling is impacted.
  • The MC’s automated process may label products because they share terms or descriptions related to closely related products that have legally required attributes.

Note: We use automated systems to identify products that might violate local regulations. These checks are applied to all products for all merchants.” – Google: About compliance warnings for products [8]

Google cares: the tech giant uses both automated and human reviewers to assess compliance.

For example, if a retailer’s domain has no posted return policy, California law provides that in most cases, as long as the customer has their receipt, they are entitled to full refund or equal exchange within 7 days of purchase. Consumers can notify the consumer protection division of their local district attorney’s office concerning these violations. A form to file a complaint is also provided online (Cal. Civil Code § 1723.) [9]

If your products are not just sold locally, but to a U.S. national audience, then retailers fall under the rules set forward by the United States Chamber of Commerce. Many retailers are not aware of them or lack the time to stay current with updates. Therefore, a knowledgeable retail product expert best manages this to ensure sales volume. [10] Many retailers are not aware of them or lack the time to stay current with updates. This, therefore, is best managed by a knowledgeable by a knowledgeable retail product expert.

Plan Strategically to Create Ideal Buyer Experiences

Excellent conversion rate optimization (CRO) is all about knowing your products and knowing your ideal audience.

Research your customers’ journey from a search query to getting their questions answered to checkout. Establish a better shopping experience than your competitors. This often begins with improvements to your product data, landing pages, brand imagery, and the checkout process. Buyers typically purchase if they can quickly find what they want.

When shoppers can use rich content to make an informed purchase decision, they can complete the transaction in just a few steps. This typically involves rich Snippets (also known as “Google Rich Results”) that display additional data and rich imagery. Highly visual elements are the building blocks of Google SERPs that a user can perceive or interact with.

When resources are tight, prioritize the most important products. You have to know your product demand and where your revenue opportunities are highest revenue opportunities are highest. Some products have more impact on your shopping performance than others. Start by assessing how complete your product data is for those products.

Conduct tests to discover optimization techniques that increase product visibility to your target audience. For example, color commands the eye and may increase your key performance metrics. Test various SEO tactics to determine what will drive results that increase product sales.

Take advantage of opportunities to differentiate your ads and listings with offers, in-stock local inventory ads, Product Ratings and Customer Reviews. Schema markup can highlight your creative offers and value propositions so that they stand out visually on the SERP.

In 2023, Google Merchant Center added another attribute named checkout_link_template. We like new attribute because we can include a checkout URL in your product data which gives online shoppers a way to go directly to your checkout page from your free listings. [11]

You also want to ensure that users have cross-device checkout capability.

The setup process of Google Merchant Center product lists can be daunting in order to get things started and keep your listings valid. We find that merchants’ free product listings and Shopping tabs typically provide additional, well-targeted organic traffic. Why not nab this lead over your competition?

Updates concerning GMC Next guidelines

Ginny Marvin, Google Ads Liaison, answered questions about Goolge Merchant Center Next on Twitter, December 4th, 2023.

“Support for rules & supplemental feeds is coming early next year & we know they’re important to many. We won’t invite merchants using these features to migrate until they’re available in GMC Next. All existing rules will continue to function after migrating.


If you’ve migrated to GMC Next and now need to access these features in the meantime, you can switch back to classic mode.” – Switch to the classic Merchant Center experience [12]

SUMMARY: Improving Product Data in Your Google Merchant Account

To recap and avoid confusion for beginners, this is different from how you add products to your Google Business Listing.

Google rich product listings updates open up vast opportunities for more businesses to gain rich listings and sell more. You may partner with Hill Web Marketing to ensure you stay on top of these latest beneficial advancements for your sales goals. The following go hand-in-hand:

Google Merchant Center Integration and Schema Markup Audits












[10]; also see “Return and Refund Laws in the U.S.”

[11] and