Surfaces across Google with Channel Cloud
This program allows the hundreds of millions of people every day that are doing shopping related searches to see product results from your store on various Google surfaces in unpaid product listings, including Google Images, the Google Shopping tab, Google Lens, and Google Search.
Examples of listings on surfaces across Google
People search Google to find information about products, retailers, and brands.
- Product attributes, including price, availability, ratings, and brand annotations, may be eligible to show as rich snippets in web results related to product queries. Available on mobile and desktop in the US as a standard listing type.
- When people use Google Search to shop for clothing and accessories, they often want to see more visual results. Your products in the apparel and accessories category can be eligible to show in more visual, browsy listings that include images, titles, brands, and ratings, and more product information. Users can explore products offered by many brands and retailers, with links to retailer and brand sites to learn more. Available on mobile in the US only as a standard listing type.
- Results for searches on specific products may include a panel of product information containing product details, listings of retailers who sell that product, and product reviews. If your product catalog includes the product being searched and is being synced with GMC, your listing will be eligible to appear in this experience. Available on mobile in the US as standard listing type.
Merchants can show their products in unpaid listings on the Google Shopping tab by opting their products into surfaces across Google. (Paid listings will continue to appear in ad slots). This allows shoppers to see more products from more stores.
- Product attributes, including price, availability, ratings, and brand annotations, may be eligible to show in unpaid, organically-ranked listings. Available on mobile and desktop in the US as an enhanced listing type.
Google Images (images.google.com)
- Product attributes, including price, availability, ratings, and brand annotations, can show in results related to product queries. Available on mobile and desktop in the US as a standard listing type.
- When people look for products and brands on Google Images, they may see images labeled with the “Product” annotation, which signifies that the product in the image can be purchased. Product attributes, including price, availability, ratings, and brand, can show on images and the expanded view of images that contain the “Product” annotation on Google Images. Available on mobile and desktop in the US as a standard listing type.
- People can tap on the Google Lens feature on mobile devices to see Google Images of similar products. These results can contain “Product” annotations, and product attributes, like online availability. Available on mobile and desktop in the US as a standard listing type.
How does Channel Cloud help with Surfaces across Google?
Google Merchant Center (GMC) account
To take advantage of Surface across Google, you will need a Google Merchant Center (GMC) account. Once you have logged into Google with an existing Google account e.g. gmail, Codisto Channel Cloud will automatically create a GMC account for you if you don't have one. Alternatively, you can choose to link an existing GMC account.
You must also follow the required policies to show products on surfaces across Google and for Google Shopping listings you must follow Shopping ads policies.
Site verification & Readiness checklist
Channel Cloud will automatically verify your website with Google and run you through a readiness checklist to make sure you products will be accepted by Google when we sync them. Checklist items include things like contact information including a telephone number and/or email, a returns policy and billing terms and conditions.
Once you've completed the readiness checklist we're ready to begin sycning products.
Product sync with GMC & listing types
Once your GMC account has been authorized to be used by Channel Cloud and the checklist completed, Channel Cloud will automatically begin syncing products making them eligible for Surfaces across Google. Please note, the first time you upload new products to Google they are required to be checked for adherence to Google policies for GMC. Google's check can take several days and you should be patient for the check to be completed.
Channel Cloud will automatically create standard listings containing an Id, Title, Link, Image Link and price. Wherever possible, Channel Cloud will also automate the attributes required for enhanced listings (required for unpaid Google Shopping Listings). Any attributes that can't be automatically set can be easily configured manually.
One of the main benefits of Channel Cloud over alternative Google sync products that use a traditional feed based approach is Channel Cloud is real-time sync which means Google is updated as soon as your website product data changes. This protects against Google suspending products in merchant center as well as protecting against paying Google for ads on out of stock products - see Product Listing Ads for more on this).
It is a Google requirement that GMC is refreshed every 30 days for products to retain their eligbility status in Google. Channel Cloud performs this automatically even if there are no changes to product data over that time.
Best practices for showing your products on surfaces across Google
Google crunches an extraordinary amount of data in order to optimize where and when products are surfaced. Having great images and using additional attributes in your product data is the best way of maximizing your chances of your products being surfaced for the same product search by a Google user.
1) Help Google understand the products that you're selling
- Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN): Submit these for all products for which GTINs exist. Learn more, or
- Brand and Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPN) Learn more
2) Apparel-specific data to include in more visual listings
Use high-quality images
Channel Cloud will automatically sync your images but having up to 10 high quality images is best practice.
image_link: Submit URLs to high-resolution product images to improve your chances of capturing shopper attention. We recommend removing any UTM sizing parameters and submitting images that are at least 650x850 pixels.
Define demographic attributes
Use Attribute Mapping in Channel Cloud to map less common attributes like:
gender: Use this attribute to specify which gender your product is designed for, or submit “unisex” if no gender is specified. Google uses gender in combination with your size and age_group attributes to standardize sizing and departments that are shown to users (a t-shirt with “male” and “kids” indicated for the gender and age_group could show for “boys t-shirt”).
age_group: Use this attribute to indicate which demographic your product is designed for. This attribute is used in combination with gender to help ensure users see the correct size information (“women's” for “adult,” “female” and “girls” for “kids,” “female”).
size_type, size_system: Use these attributes to help further specify the standardized size of your product.
condition: Use this attribute to help shoppers understand whether your product is used or new.
multipack: Use this attribute to indicate if your product is multiple, identical items grouped as one product (“10 pairs white cotton socks”).