2016 Google GTIN Requirements for Product Feeds

By Tinuiti Team

In 2015, Google required the Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) for products from a list of 50 brands.

Later this year, Google will expand beyond those 50 brands and require GTINS for all products (with an assigned GTIN by the manufacturer).

google gtin requirementA Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is a unique and internationally recognized identifier for a product that helps Google understand exactly what advertisers are selling.

When a GTIN is available, it will appear next to the barcode on a product’s packaging.

Advertisers can submit GTINs in their product data using the ‘gtin’ attribute to help Google classify and display products on Google Shopping.

GTINs vary in length depending on the type of product and where the product will be sold.

Here are the different GTINs you might encounter:


Unique product identifiers define the product you’re selling in the global marketplace.

Common unique product identifiers include Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names.

Providing unique product identifiers, especially GTINs, can make your ads richer and easier for users to find.

Below is a list of the different types of unique product identifiers:

google gtin requirements

According to Google, “When we understand what you’re selling, we can help boost your ad performance by adding valuable details about the product and serving the ad in a more relevant way to users. This also means that your ads can serve in more places on Google, YouTube, and our partner sites.”

Merchants who’ve added correct GTINs to their product data have seen conversion rates increase up to 20%.

So how can advertisers identify their GTINs, especially for large catalogs?

tien-ngyuen“Although there are some tools available to help advertisers discover their GTINs, it can be expensive or extremely difficult to do at scale,” Tien Nguyen, Director of Technology said.

Google GTIN Requirements: How Advertisers Can Prepare

Tip 1: If you sell brand-name products that are sold by multiple merchants, advertisers should take a close look at the new requirements and double check that your product data is correct and up to date.

Tip 2: If you sell used, custom, handmade, or vintage products, this change probably won’t impact you. You can still improve your ad performance by adding unique product identifiers to your product data where they’re available.

Tip 3: Advertisers must submit the correct GTINs and the corresponding brand for all new, in-stock products that have GTINs assigned by the manufacturer if they are targeting consumers in:


Google GTIN Requirements: Important Dates

Many advertisers may have already noticed item-level warnings in the Diagnostics tab for products that don’t meet the requirements. Use these warnings to help you update your product data.

May 16, 2016: Enforcement begins. Advertisers will start to see item-level disapproval in the Diagnostics tab for products that don’t meet the requirements.

After this date, you will need to meet the GTIN requirements to continue serving ads for your products.

Pro-Tip: Retailers shouldn’t wait until they begin seeing item disapproved to update their products. To prevent suspension, we recommend making these adjustments prior to May 2016.

For more information on how to obtain your Google GTINs, email [email protected]


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