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All about unique product identifiers in Google

What are unique product identifiers?

Unique product identifiers are product codes or other values associated with an individual product. The most commonly used set of unique product identifiers are Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), which include UPC (in the US), EAN (in Europe), JAN (in Japan), and ISBN.

GTINs numbers are assigned by Uniform Code Council (GS1).

An alternative identifier is Manufacturer Part Number (MPN). Similarly to GTINs, MPNs are product numbers used to help identify individual products in the database. Unlike GTINs however, MPNs are assigned by manufacturers.

An auxiliary product identifier, used in conjunction with MPN, is brand.

If you do not have a brand field in your system you can easily map it from other fields containing brand:

Or, if you have just one brand, add brand as a new static value:

Why does Google need unique product identifiers?

Google uses product identifiers to identify products and thus position them in their own products catalog. Also, according to Google These values are very important for matching users' queries to your products.

What unique product identifiers do I need to use?

The most common requirement regarding product identifiers is 2 of 3 – any pair from brand, mpn and GTIN.  However, this is not always the case and depends on the country as well as the product type.

To check the requirements applying to your products please visit https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/1344057?hl=en

What if I don’t have unique product identifiers for my products?

If you are selling custom goods, it is possible to send them to Google without any identifiers. In such a case you need to add to the feed a field called identifier exists and set its value to false for all the products.

In other case, when identifiers are required and you do not have them, please inquiry your suppliers. In most cases manufacturers have MPNs and GTINs at disposal.

If it is a few products that are missing identifiers you can try to look them up in the online database:

As a last resort you can try mapping MPN from your own product IDs.

Google so far doesn’t validate those numbers on the feed upload. Please be aware however that this doesn’t comply with Google’s Policy and your products may get disapproved at any time.

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