At J Street, we’re always looking for new areas of the tech universe to explore. One area I’ve been particularly interested in lately is E-commerce and how Google, the overseer of all things, shapes doing business on the internet. These days, it’s easier than ever to sell products, engage with customers, or promote your brand online. The rise of E-Commerce platforms in the last decade has helped small businesses and enterprises alike grow at unforeseen rates. A titan in this arena is Google Merchant Center, a single online dashboard where businesses manage their appearance across all Google E-Commerce products.
Often, existing and new clients alike will approach us with questions about optimizing their E-Commerce platform and improving their relationship with Google. I’ll admit this is flattering, but we don’t have much skin in the E-Commerce game. But I always want to be a little knowledgeable about tech trends so that I can offer a bit of advice. Google Merchant is probably the most effective way to build your online business these days. The most important element of Google Merchant is having sophisticated Data Feeds. A Google Data Feed is a file within Merchant Center that contains a list of products you want to appear on Google. When you add your products, you’ll assign attributes to each one. Your data feeds will use these attributes to group your products together; much like the databases we work with at J Street every day!
But of course, it’s easy to get lost in the mix when dealing with the giant. A lot of times, merchants can have their data feeds rejected, blocked, or flagged by Google without explanation, making it difficult or impossible to sell products. I found this really helpful article that offers reasons for why this can occur and details steps to overcome this circumstance. I’ll list some of the key points below:
Does your Data Feed follow Google Data Feed specifications? Google has strict and interrelated rules for how you classify and attribute your products. Make sure you’re following these outlined specifications.
- Does your Data Feed include restricted products? There is a whole host of banned products that Google won’t allow to be sold on their platforms. Going further, some products may seem fine on the surface but include restricted ingredients that will flag Google’s algorithms.
Are There Any Google Data Feed Errors In Your Google Merchant Login? A feature of Google Merchant is a login dashboard that will break down any errors in data correlation and offer suggested optimizations. There can also be critical errors, which will automatically get your feed blocked.
The world of E-Commerce is a confusing one, especially as business owners try to master optimizing their relationship with Google on top of running their business. If you’re having trouble with Google Data Feeds and optimizing your online business, contact us today. We won’t be able to directly help, but we’re always here to listen and can refer you to a few of our partners who are Google and E-Commerce experts.