Google Relaxes Policy Requiring UPIs for Shopping Ads

By Tinuiti Team

Google recently announced that there will no longer be a UPI requirement for products to be eligible for Shopping ads.

The policy reversal from Google means that retailers can now advertise their products using Google Shopping ads without having to assign GTIN or MPNs, although it may be even more important now to include identifiers.

Here’s why.


“This is a huge shift compared to the past where Google disapproved any products in the Merchant Center that did not include GTINs where necessary.”


evan kirkpatrick tinuiti headshot


-Evan Kirkpatrick, VP, Shopping & Feed Management at Tinuiti


What Are Product UPIs?


Unique Product Identifiers (UPIs) are internationally recognized tags that help identify what product is being sold.

Back in 2016 Google announced a policy that required unique product identifiers for products in advertisers’ Shopping Feeds.

gtin tag

These UPIs included Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), or brand names.


What Does This Mean For Advertisers?


When the UPI requirement came into effect in 2016, it created headaches for many retailers and resellers because manufacturers didn’t always supply these tags upfront.

“Although there are some tools available to help advertisers discover their GTINs, it can be expensive or extremely difficult to do at scale,” says Tien Nguyen, Technology Advisor at Tinuiti.

Removing this barrier is why the new policy is a welcome announcement for many Google Shopping advertisers.

“While these products will now be eligible, Google does say that items with the correct UPI tagging will have higher priority for being served, so you should still obtain the correct identifiers whenever possible,” says Kirkpatrick.

“I believe that this will make UPIs even more important as Google has explicitly noted giving favor to products with UPIs. Having UPIs will only become increasingly important as programs like Smart Shopping, Shopping Actions and voice search continue to gain momentum.”

Josh Brisco Headshot


-Josh Brisco, Sr Director of Growth Media at Tinuiti


Want to learn more?

Read the official announcement here.

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