3.4K members online now
3.4K members online now
For questions related to Google Shopping and Merchant Center. Learn to optimize your Shopping ads
Guide Me

Product Categories

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Is there any way we can convince google to make better product categories?  Many of them are OK, but there isn't even a category for "boots."  Is there a petition form somewhere?

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Product Categories

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi James,

Google's product categories list is large but doesn't and cannot cater to every product niche. For example, I have a client who only sells hoverboards, and there is no category for them.


In your case you should choose:

187 - Apparel & Accessories > Shoes

 To most likely reason for boots not being on the list would be that sites selling boots usually sell other footwear as well.


Please appreciate that changing the category list can affect every merchant already using Google Shopping. If Boots was added as a category, then to work properly all merchants selling boots would need to update the category for boots products in their feeds.


Product Categories

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

I don't know this as a fact, but I suspect Google's product categories are adhering to international standards.  That would explain why it is often difficult to find a suitable category for some products.


One example; and I don't know if this is the predominant standard:


It would be interesting and informative to hear from Google about why their product categories haven' evolved.  And as Rob pointed out, changing it would create legacy transition issues.

Re: Product Categories

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

as was indicated, boots now fall under the google_product_category
Apparel & Accessories > Shoes




many subcategories, such as boots under shoes, did exist at one time --

but were purposefully removed by google, mainly to simplify the officially
supported categories, and likely importantly, their corresponding policies,
and was announced by google, back around the 2015 time frame.


therefore, all apparel/accessory related policies must be followed for boots --
for example, gender, age_group, color, size, with proper values, are required;
for example, item_group_id for supported-variants is required;
for example, submitted images must be at least 250x250 pixels.


only one, single, google_product_category value is ever allowed, per item;
the single value must be from google's defined list of taxonomy categories --
simply select the one value that best categorizes the physical item-offer.


however, product_type may be also be used for additional category
values, from either google's list, or a private taxonomy, by using
standard > breadcrumbs;

apparel and accessories > shoes > boots
clothing > men > shoes > boots


both google_product_category and product_type are used to:


(1) help google determine which attributes and policies
are required, for the type of physical inventory item --
so, only a broad, high-level, taxonomy value is needed;

for example, all apparel related items require a color.


(2) segment items within the shopping-campaign,
to help create effective, targeted, bidding strategies --
e.g. to bid higher on shoes and lower on shoelaces.


(3) help google find a specific physical item during searches, such
as within google-shopping, and for grouping relevant shopping-ads.


all three uses should be taken into account when deciding on a category

value and if to use product_type in addition to google_product_category.


google's complaint/petition form is here:


see also

Product Categories

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Celebird, did you know that nobody has yet published a book, at least an up-to-date one, about Google Shopping?


I hope you are writing one!


Your posts are amazing -- exceptional quality detail information.  


Thanks for sharing your depth of knowledge with the AdWords community. I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that they are used inside of Google to illuminate "some fine points". 


Product Categories

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Wow, that was helpful.  Just to confirm, I use product_type to make up whatever categories i want?

Re: Product Categories

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome and thank you,

to both of you, for the kind words.


yes -- use product_type to make up whatever categories that you want.


of course, like most all attributes, the product_type value
should be relevant, with respect to the physical product,
while adhering to the specific rules of the attribute and

google's general editorial policies.