Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Unique Product Identifiers UPI for Google Shopping Starts Today

Hello everyone, and Welcome to LilacsNDreams! Vintage, collectibles, glassware, repurposed, ucpycled, and recycled are a few of my passions. 

Today is the BIG day with Google, and the changes they are laying out for ALL of us who sell online. We might sell with a market place, sell with our own websites, and as Online Sellers we all have to abide by some of the same rules. GOOGLE is our big dog search engine that really holds a lot of things for us. We all do what we can to follow their rules, but they are forever changing, and it is hard to keep up with all the changes they do. But, as of today they are hitting us all with a Very Big step that they are implementing to all of us. Either follow the rules, or you will not show with Google Shopping. This can effect you alone, or if there are too many incidents it can also effect the whole site market place that you sell with too. 

I have been reading different forums with different venues that are discussing it. I mostly like reading from Artfire because the support there is involved with responses, explanations, and trying to get everyone to understand and work together. 

As of today (May 3) for Google Shopping Google is requesting Unique Product Identifiers to be added to specific listings. If your items do not have these identifiers they are requesting they will not be submitted to Google Shopping. 

Unique Product Identifiers are product codes, or other values that may be associated with an individual product, or a listing. These identifiers are like a UPC code, MPN manufacturer part number, ISBN or that of a Japanese or Eurpeon article number JAN, EAN. 

Now, the categories they mention are Media which would use the UPC, EAN, or JAN. Books ISBN 10 or 13. Exceptions would be for the books published before 1970. Apparel, Custom Made Goods will need NO identifiers required at the moment. All Other they want you to show at least 2 of the following identifiers which is -UPC, EAN, or JAN -Brand -MPN. 

WOW! This is really a big deal right now, and it is making a lot of sellers go back through everything, and editing their listings, and making us aware of new listings for what we must do. IF you yourself cannot find the UPIs you can request an exemption from Google. Even they make mistakes if they deny this to you as I have seen with 1 seller of a vintage item. Sadly, if the UPI is available by any other retailer, then you must also include the UPI as well with no exemption. 

Categories NOT currently requiring a UPI: Apparel (including asseccories like jewelry) collectibles, vintage, antiques, one-of-a-kind OOAK, and custom made goods. Below I have copied a small chart being passed around for others to see, and I did get this one from the forums at Artfire too.

I would also like to make note that at the same time these issues are strongly being informed by Google to PLEASE watch your duplicate content also. Google does not permit this. I know, I know, we are all seeing it all the time, everyone seems to be getting by with it, but read auctionbytes with an article recently of how they have shut off iOffer do to rules not being followed. At the end of this particular article is was also noted:  

Additionally, Google has a rigid policy against duplicate listings. "There is a strict "one item, one owner" policy," the terms state. "As the owner, you may only submit one listing per item, no matter if you own multiple websites."

With these changes taken place, and with the tax changes they will also enforce by June 1st, I would strongly to try very hard to follow them...till they change things again. But, also, to help many of you as sellers with your listings too. 

I strongly would like to emphasize too...since I seen it on 1 of my listings out of 97....I had a vintage item not accepted to Google Shopping.......REMEMBER, Google Shopping is not the only search engine. There is still more of google that is used for searching. You also have search engines from Bing, Yahoo, MSN, The Find, and actually there are a lot of them out there. Google is the biggest one yes, but Google Shopping is not the biggest of the Google search engines either. Many people will go to Google, and type in their keywords they are searching. After viewing those pages they might then click on Shopping. But, the Shopping tab is not the first thing considered.

I have seen from Google Analytics that it is not always Google Shopping that shows me, but rather it is from a normal Google Search, The Find, Bing, AOL, and etc. This informs me that my items are still being seen with other searches. The most I can do myself is keep focusing on my keywords, titles, my SEO, tags, and etc. Let Google 'clean house' Should have been done a long time ago, but it is happening now. We can either deal with it, and do the best that we can, or like some have been doing...move on, and give up. Sorry, I am too stubborn for the latter part of what some have done:)

I wish all of you the best of luck with all of these changes. Gonna be tough at first, but things will soon calm with us learning our own ways of dealing with this, reading from others about what they are doing that works, and as I always seem to do...Learn as I go:) Thanks for visiting LilacsNDreams today. Take care, and I wish the best of luck to everyone!:)

CategoryIdentifiers required for each product
Media (i.e., Music, Movies, Video games)UPC, EAN, or JAN
BooksISBN (Either ISBN-10 or ISBN-13. Exceptions apply for books published before 1970.)
Apparel, custom made goodsNo identifiers are required at the moment

Custom made: Custom made items include one-of-a-kind items include items which are custom made, vintage goods, collectibles etc. Custom made items can be in every product category.
All otherAt least two of the following three identifiers:
  • UPC, EAN, or JAN
  • Brand
  • MPN

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