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Google Shopping Unique Product ID Changes - July 15, 2013


I hear Google is making some changes to Google Products again.  In particular it sounds like they are going to require Unique Product Identifiers on every product.  I have some handmade items and don't have UPC or Manufacturer Codes.  Have you heard of it and what can I do?


You are partly right.  Google is changing their Google Products feed again but it will still allow you to include handmade items that don't have UPC codes.  However, we'll need to update your feed to include a new IDENTIFIER EXISTS attribute.

Below is a copy of Google Announcement regarding these changes.

Google Announcement

Thank you for your participation in Google Shopping. As we announced on May 8th, we’re changing the way we enforce our unique product identifier requirements. You can read the full announcement at:

We’re reaching out today to remind you of this upcoming change, and the updates you’ll need to make to your items that are missing unique product identifiers.


Starting July 15, 2013 for the US, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and September 16, 2013 for all other target countries, we’ll begin verifying that all items submitted to Google Shopping include either unique product identifiers (brand, MPN, and GTIN) or the new ‘identifier exists’ attribute with a value of FALSE. After these dates, non-compliant items might then be disapproved and disappear from Google Shopping.


Please ensure that all of the products you’re submitting contain unique product identifiers. For more information on how to include unique product identifiers for your items, please visit:

For products for which no identifier exists, such as custom goods, vintage items, or collectibles, the recently introduced ‘identifier exists’ attribute allows you to indicate that these items have no unique product identifier. You‘ll need to add the ‘identifier exists’ attribute with a value of FALSE for those products. For more information on this attribute, please visit:

When an identifier exists for a product but you do not have it, it is important to obtain and add the correct identifier for that product rather than using the ‘identifier exists’ attribute. Setting the ‘identifier exists’ attribute to FALSE for items where unique product identifiers exist could lead to item or account suspension.


In the past, we granted account level exemptions to our unique product identifier requirements for merchants that submitted products such as custom goods, vintage items, or collectibles. For accounts that are currently exempted from requiring unique product identifiers, Google Shopping will start enforcing the new requirements for unique product identifiers on July 15, 2013 in the US, and September 16, 2013 in all other target countries. Account level exemptions for unique product identifiers won’t be supported after these dates – the 'identifier exists' attribute should be used instead.


Date Created: 06/30/13