Way back in October 2015 Google announced policy changes regarding brand and GTIN attributes, whereby they stated that certain brands must have both a brand and a GTIN attribute in order for them to remain approved within a merchant feed.
Google have now issued a further update regarding merchant feed specifications and are now showing warning messages in any merchant centres that have not yet provided GTIN attributes to ANY product, not just items related to the previous list of brands.
The warning message will look like this:
As mentioned in our previous blog, by ensuring GTIN’s are applied to your products you are making your items as unique, and your products can therefore be easily identified within the global marketplace. By including this attribute in your feed you will be helping Google to make your ad richer and ensure it is much easier for users to find the items you are selling.
It is possible that certain items do not have a GTIN, for example products which are non-visualsbranded, handmade or made to order products. If your site has any products like this, you can set the ‘identifier exists’ option to ‘false’ to inform the feed that this item does not have a GTIN.
Any item which does not have a GTIN attribute by 16th May 2016, or does not have the identifier set as false, will now be disapproved from the feed entirely, meaning that product will no longer be visible within your Google Shopping campaigns.