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Merchant Centre feed only works when manually uploaded

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭



I have an issue where I can only manually uploaded feeds work. When fetching a feed from a URL, I get the error below even though delimiter detection is set to auto:

The column delimiter could not be automatically detected from your feed. To select a column delimiter, click edit next to your feed name in your account and select the correct option.

When I enter my feed URL into Search Console's Fetch as Google function, I receive different statuses for the same link. Sometimes I get Completed, Redirected, and Temporarily unreachable.


However, visiting my feed URL manually always produces the feed correctly though, and usually takes 1 minute. Is there a fetching timeout that is preventing Google from receiving my feed?


Thank you!

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Merchant Centre feed only works when manually uploaded

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Fetching from a remote URL is only available for XML files, not comma delimited files.

You can only upload local files when it is comma delimited.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Merchant Centre feed only works when manually uploaded

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

the scheduled-fetch feature works with both supported file formats --
both google .xml and tab-delimited .txt data-feed files are supported
for a scheduled-fetch and are the only officially supported file formats.


comma-separated-values (.csv) is not an officially supported feed file format.

such detection-messages are most often an issue with the file format, not

being officially supported, or the remote server, especially with respect to

google's data-feed file auto-detection; some servers do not work well with

a scheduled-fetch -- for example, if the file's url does not properly return a

header with a content type and length.

first, be certain that the scheduled-fetch file-url file
matches the registered feed's file-name, exactly --
not the feed-name.


be certain that the file-name and file's contents are

officially supported formats -- a .txt tab-delimited or

a google .xml file.

to test a scheduled-fetch edit the scheduled, verify
the file-url under the fetch-settings and then select

then, check the file-uploaded-on date and detected information
shown under the feed-status report; then, click on download-file --
compare the downloaded file to the remote file-url file.

normally, the downloaded-file and the remote
file-url file's contents, should match exactly.

depending on the remote server, where the file-url is located,
the data-feed's (autodetect) settings may need to change;
otherwise, simply use an officially supported file format --
either .xml or .txt tab-delimited.


otherwise, a different (file-url) server may need to be used.

as an aside, if the fetch-settings does not include a file-url
then, that is a google-sheet -- google-sheets do not support
file-url scheduled-fetch but do support a scheduled-fetch of
the registered, remote, google-sheet on google's servers.

otherwise, the exact file, file format, and file-url used in the scheduled-fetch,
and all feed-settings, would need to be inspected; however, forum-members
cannot look into account details -- but a merchant-center support-specialist
at google may be contacted directly.

see also

Re: Merchant Centre feed only works when manually uploaded

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for the detailed reply.

When I set the delimiter detection to tab, Google gives my an empty data feed error. The downloaded file from feed-status report is indeed blank.

The XML feed URL takes around a minute to generate when visited via a browser, however Google gives me an empty data error within 30 seconds. Is there a time limit for fetching feeds?
I am using a plugin that generates feeds specifically for Google Merchant Center and it outputs XML files:


Re: Merchant Centre feed only works when manually uploaded

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome.

normally, there should be only one, single, feed file
registered with google -- either a .txt tab-delimited
a google .xml feed file (name) -- not both.

be certain there is only one (1) feed (per target county)
within the feeds-tab of the merchant-center-account --

the (one) file, registered and fetched, should match exactly; for example --
or, possibly in this case:

the data-feed file-name should correspond to the file's contents --

a .xml file contains xml data; a .txt file contains tab-delimited data.

a registered feed accommodates about 100,000 inventor items --
or, about a gigabyte in size; otherwise, there should normally be
no timeout issues with respect to google's fetch unless the server
hosting the file, or the plug-in, is forcing such a timeout.

there should be no delimiter-detection with an xml feed;
there is no such concept -- for a .xml file, the detected
format should simply be xml -- no delimiters.

the downloaded file being blank typically points to an issue with the
plugin itself, an issue with a setting, such as how the data-feed was
registered with respect to the plugin's requirements, issues with the
url being used with respect to the plugin, potentially issues with the

source data the plugin is retrieving, or some combination of these.

otherwise, the best likely course would be to contact whoever is
supporting the exact version, of the specific plug-in, being used.