Digital marketing

Google’s Latest GTIN Requirements.


Anyone running a Google shopping feed campaign might be already aware that back in September last year, Google introduced something called a ‘designated brand list’.

If you haven’t heard of the designated brand list, and you do run a Google shopping feed campaign, now’s the time to learn a bit more about it and how Google’s recent GTIN requirement update could affect you in the near future.

When setting up a Google shopping campaign, Google asks for all sorts of information about the product you want to sell in the shopping feed. Everything from the product dimensions, size and colour – to the category, delivery costs and something called a unique product identifier.

The more data Google has, the easier they can match your product with other similar types of products already in the feed – ensuring a product displays for relevant search queries when a potential customer searches in Google.

A simplified example of this would be if someone searches for ‘blue mountain bike’, the shopping feed will show your blue mountain bike product – if the information you’ve provided is relevant to the search term ‘blue mountain bike’.

One of the ways Google’s shopping feed groups similar products together is by using unique product identifiers – a unique 12 or 13 digital number usually found on the product’s label or packaging.

In September 2015 Google announced that anyone selling products from a number of well-known brands (Adidas, Bose, Nike etc.) would have to provide a GTIN code for each individual item, otherwise, the products will be rejected and won’t displayed in Google’s shopping feed.

Google recently announced that GTIN codes will now be required for all brand name products, not just brands on the designated brand list. Any brand name products that don’t have a GTIN code by the 16th of May will be disapproved and no longer show in Google’s shopping feed.

Any shopping feed issues can be monitored in Google Merchant, including notifications about which products currently running in your shopping feed need GTIN codes adding. If products are disapproved form the feed, it could result in your shopping campaign performing poorly and a drop in revenue until you add all of the required GTIN codes.

We’ve already started notifying our clients about the changes, and we are providing support to make sure their shopping feeds include all of the required information by the deadline.

A few of our clients have recommended using a handheld scanner to speed up the process of adding GTIN codes to products in Magento.

If you’d like to find out more about the recent GTIN requirements or need advice on how to update your shopping feed with the required information – get in touch today.


Written by Mark Jenkins
Search specialist and analytical thinker Mark looks after our paid search and SEO services.