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Google Product Listing Ads Trouble

Question

I'm having trouble connecting to a product from Google Merchant Center in Google AdWords using a Product Listing Ad.  When I modify the Add product target using "Add a group of products using Google Merchant Center feed attributes", I get the following error message:

  • This target does not match any products in your Google Merchant Center feed.

PLA-error1.png

Any idea what's wrong?

Answer

Looks like this is a known problem with Product Listing Ads.  I found the answer on the following blog site:

PLA-error2.png

I did verify this product shows up in Google Merchant Center and all your account number matched, which they did.

PLA-error3.png

Clicking on the above link shows you the details behind this product.

PLA-error4.png

The data in the "Information you provided us" section does look like it is being populated correctly in Google Merchant Center.  Why this data isn't being recognized in Google AdWords is a mystery that only Google can answer.

 

Date Created: 10/09/13

 

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  • Avatar
    Support Group

    Question

    The last week or so the product listing ads have not been serving. I am hoping someone can check to see if the product feed is still updating.

    Answer

    I see a couple of problems with your Google Products feed.

    1. Brands

    You don't have any brands, designers or manufactures defined on your website.  Google requires us to send either the UPC code of your products or the Brand Name and Manufacturer Part Number (MPN).  UPCs are always better so if you have valid UPCs for your products those will always be sent first.  If you don't have valid UPCs for your products then Store Manager sends the Brand Name and MPN.  As you can see you can see the Brand Name is important when you don't have UPC codes for your products.

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    Modern Retail always recommends adding the Brand, Design or Vendor names of your products to Store Manager.  As you can see from above it not only helps you with marketplaces such as Google but significantly helps when it comes to SEO.  If all of your brands are unknown we could configure a Category in Store Manager as the name of your store.  This would then send your store's name as the Brand and the MPN from your POS system, which could be a barcode or other unique identifier from your POS system. This might be enough so Google accepts these products as your own or "private labeled" to your store.

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    1. Google Product Category

    You need to define the Google Product Category in Store Manager by following these instructions:

    Marketplace Selector with Google Products

     

    google-products-problems.png

    There's a report in Store Manager called Product UPCs.  This report will tell you if Store Manager is seeing valid UPCs for your products.  UPCs cannot be uploaded or changed in Store Manager and instead must be entered in your Point of Sale or ERP system.

    product-upcs.png

     

    Date Created: 10/16/13

  • Avatar
    Support Group

    Question

    Are you able to update the Brands/Product Category etc. within the feed?

    Answer

    You can easily manage Brands in Store Manager.  Adding Brands, which are called Categories in Store Manager, will automatically update the brands on your website and the brands in your Google Products feed.  You can edit your Brands (Categories) by going to Products > Categories in Store Manager and hitting the Add button at the top of the page.

    add-categories.png

    You can also easily edit the other Google Product variables such as Gender, Age Group and Google Product Type by using Store Manager's Marketplace Selector.  You can read more about how to use this feature here:

    Adding brands to your website and updating the Google variables in Marketplace selector should resolve most of the errors you're seeing with your Google Products feed.

     

    Date Created: 10/21/13

  • Avatar
    Support Group

    Question

    The way we manage the PLA campaign is based upon the product type found in the feed which is copy & pasted directly into the auto targets:

    google-product-type.png

    If the feed is no longer serving because of the errors caused by the Product Category & Brands then it will affect the rest of the feed.

    Answer

    Yes, we send the Department name defined in Store Manager as the Product Type in Google as you shown above.  However, based on the above conversation regard UPC codes and Brands, these are also needed.  Additionally, as explained above you need to configure the Google Product variables using the Marketplace Selector in Store Manager.  You can find this selector by going to Marketing > Marketplaces > Marketplace Selector in Store Manager.  Looking at your configuration I noticed a lot of Departments still need to be configured, as well as, defining the Gender, Age Group and if it is an Apparel / Handmade product.

    marketplace-selector3.png

    Finishing these configuration settings and setting a Brand for each of your products in Store Manager should greatly improve the quality of the data we're sending to Google Merchant Center and Google AdWords.

     

    Date Created: 10/21/13

  • Avatar
    Support Group

    Question

    If I assign the proper Google category to each department, will that solve the problem we are having or will it still not pull products without UPC codes?

    Answer

    Yes but you must also assign the other values on that page like Gender, Age and if it is Apparel / Handmade. The Apparel / Handmade checkbox is important because it will kick-in an exception where you don't need the UPC. However, you cannot check this box for non apparel or handmade items because Google will catch you.

    marketplace-selector4.png

    For those items that do not have UPC codes, Store Manager will try to use a Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) in combination with the Brand Name. This will only be used when a UPC code is not available. IMO this Google rule makes little sense because they really don't understand MPNs and we often use a unique identifier from your POS system if an MPN is not provided, which always seems to work.

    Sorry I know this is complicated! Just remember UPCs are always preferred and when those aren't available then we'll send a combination of the Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) and Brand Name.

     

    Date Created: 10/21/13

  • Avatar
    Support Group

    Question

    I think I understand you, 99% of our products do not have a upc code so can we assign the gender/age/ product category and click on apparel/handmade for our apparel items and just use our sku as a unique identification # for all the rest such as shoes?

    I noticed that our accessories such as necklace & earing are under apparel and accessories (in the goggle category)so will we be able to select the box that says apparel/handmade or is that reserved specifically for clothing?

    Answer

    If you understand everything I've told you then I'm really impressed!

    Honestly, we have not been able to truly figure out what Google considers an Apparel item. They have twisted Froogle, which became Google Products, which became Product Listing Ads into a wretched mess. They were initially very stringent on apparel with UPCs and later figure out this would never work and introduced this MPN / Brand Name idea.

    One thing you can try, which I cannot guarantee will work, is to create a Brand in Store Manager using Store's Name. I bet if you check off your Store Name as the Category (Brand) for all your products in your catalog Google will assume you are the manufacturer and will allow it.

    You can create a new Brand, which Store Manager calls Categories, by going to Products > Catalog > Categories. Simple hit the Add button at the top of you page and add your Category (Brand) name.  If your store doesn't have name brands and instead manufactures its own lines, then try entering your Store Name as a Category.

    add-category.png

    You of course will need to then select this Category for every item in your catalog if you have manufactured all your items.  If not, follow the above steps and configure the appropriate brand in Store Manager and select the correct brand for each product.

    select-category.png

    If you have thousands of products you can create a Support Request to have Modern Retail populate this new Brand field for you.  Of course this will only work if you have one brand name assigned to every product in your catalog.  Unfortunately, if you have multiple brands defined then you will need to manually update these brands yourself.  Luckily, Store Manager has a column on the Product Catalog page showing what Category (Brand) has been defined for each of your products. This makes it easily to see which products have it defined and which ones don't.

    product-catalog-category.png

     

    Date Created: 10/21/13

  • Avatar
    Support Group

    Question

    How do I populate the Google Taxonomy?  There is a field in the feed called google_product_category.  Currently it is blank, and the daily feed delivers a warning that this field should be populated, although it is working without.  They appear in the file like this:

    Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Pants

    Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Pants > Leggings

    Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Dresses

    Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Dresses > Day Dresses

    Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Dresses > Little Black Dresses

    Answer

    These can easily be configured in Store Manager by following these instructions:

     

    Date Created: 10/22/13

  • Avatar
    Support Group

    Question

    Today's feed appears to be empty. Also, when I look in the marketplace selector tab, there is no product view.

    Answer

    I believe there are two things preventing your products from showing up in your Google Products feed:

    1. Google Variables Not Set

    In order to properly configure your Google Product feed you must define all the Google Variables in Marketplace Selector.  Please read the following help page for more information:

    Marketplace Selector with Google Products
    2. Unique Product Identifiers

    In order for your products to be listed in Google you need one of two things assigned to every product in your catalog:

    UPC Codes

    This is the preferred method.  Having UPC codes assigned to every product in your catalog will ensure your products show up correctly in Google.

    MPN & Brand Names

    If you don't have UPC codes for your products, Store Manager will automatically try a combination of the products' Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) and Brand Name.  This is the only other combination Google will accept when UPCs are not available for your products.  Please read the above discussion regarding creating Brands for your store.

    Thank you.

     

    Date Created: 10/23/13