I have a client that lives and dies with Google for his business. Adwords, organics, and Shopping Results are key to driving traffic and orders through his business.
On September 22nd, Google is updating their requirements for the feed they accept for their Merchant accounts. We were successfully uploading over 6,000 items into their feeds previously and I needed to check that our feed would be accepted.
Luckily for me, Google recently added the ability to ‘test’ the data feed. I tried our old feed: 0 (zero) items imported. After taking a closer look at the new requirements, basically there was a re-arranging of the deck chairs. I created a new data feed, with new captions and a couple of their new required fields. Still 0 (zero) items imported.
After scaling down my test from 6,000+ items to 10, I was able to quickly turn test iterations around and found the simple solution to get the import to work. The past data feed required double quotes around strings in their TAB delimited format. This new format requires that there not be any double quotes at all. Basically the TAB character does all delineation between fields. Make sure that none of your fields include a TAB character in any of the strings or you’ll lose that record on the import.
Simple solution but it took me a small bit to figure out the difference from the old feed to the new one. I hope this post saves you a few minutes as well.