2.2K members online now
2.2K members online now
For questions related to Google Shopping and Merchant Center. Learn to optimize your Shopping ads
Guide Me

Product Feed Title Recommendations with Product Attribute Variants

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭


I'm working to set up a Google Shopping product feed and want to list, for example, men's work pants.  We sell work pants in various colors and sizes, of course, and will include all the attribute variants in the feed.  The item_group_id will be constant across all variants for these work pants.  Given the addition of these attributes, would it be helpful to add the attributes to the Title and Description fields to help refine search criteria?  In other words, will Google use the attributes in the Title and Description to pull most relevant shopping results, or will the attributes (if defined) be enough so the relevant ad is displayed (assume here that my bid is competitive in the Apparel category)?


My intuition is to use the following format as the Title:

[Brand Name] + "Men's" + [Color] + [Work Pant Title from Website]


That will likely give a Title that is around 50-70 characters. I've seen different approaches to this from competitor ads, and am looking for some standard guidelines.


I've looked through help and the feed specifications for Apparel Products but have seen no consistent guidelines on how to approach this.  Given a filter on size and color across all work pants, it seems like it'd be unnecessary to create Titles for items that include all the differing attributes.  Is the bid alone (as long as the attribute variants are all included) enough to bring up my shopping ad if the Title and Description do not contain reference to specific attributes?


Specific example: For a title is "Brand X Men's Black Cargo Work Pants 30x32" better than "Brand X Men's Cargo Work Pants" with the Size and Color attributes set for this specific feed record?  If I created Titles that are all almost identical except for the attribute change, which should take precedence in a search for "men's black work pants"?  Size seems optional in a title, but could make sense in a Description.


Further, in what cases will (or does) Google Shopping offer filters for size/color? 


Thanks for any thoughts on this.


Update:  A few follow up questions:  Will Google sort through variants/synonyms of attributes, and is there any true Shopping ranking lift if we do SEO analysis of attribute terms and adjust titles accordingly?  For example, searches for "mens pants" are (by about a factor of 5 according to the Adwords Keyword tool) greater than for "men's pants".  Is it worth the time to parse apart details like this, or will Google just say "men's" or "mens" is effectively the same for search purposes?  My SEO alter ego wants to think this would matter, but what have you all seen in reality? 

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Product Feed Title Recommendations with Product Attribute Variants

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

(a) title should name the physical item.

(b) for variants, a common title is required
for all items within the variant group.

(c) google strongly recommends that characteristics such as color or brand
that differentiates the item from all other (variant) products be included.

(d) the title submitted should match the title on the landing-page.

(e) depending on the context, google may choose to display
only the first 25, 50, or 64 or so characters of the title.

(f) however, all data that is submitted and processed without
any errors or warnings should be fully indexed for search.

(g) there are additional rules, policies, and guidelines
that impact the item (ad) quality and performance.

(h) generally, an inexact search-term will return related searches

or a did-you-mean; the user's behavior over time may be taken

into account -- not necessarily the search-term in isolation.

(i) typically, filtering is done based on a user's search-terms,
history, and specific features used within google-shopping.

usually, such features are based on a combination
of individual related attributes (color, size, etc.)
and relevant information in unrelated attributes
such as title, description, product_type, etc.

however, the features within google-shopping are constantly changing
and experiments with respect to filtering and display are not unusual.

(j) yes, the keyword-tool results can be applied to some extent
to a product-listing-ads title -- but the title should also follow
the relevant policies, rules, and guidelines.

(k) there are many other factors that may be taken into account --
such as all the attributes submitted, the website, and bid.

(l) the best likely course is to simply decide on an (ad) format for the title
that follows the rules, policies, and guidelines and measure the results
before, during, and after the data (feed) has been submitted; then, keep
or modify the data on the website and within the data (feed), based on
the measured results over time.

(m) for example --
Brand X Mens Cargo Work Pants 30x32 Black
Brand X Mens Cargo Work Pants 30x32 Green

Re: Product Feed Title Recommendations with Product Attribute Variants

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for your response. I have more follow up questions about this.

Regarding Title, if the Title on the Shopping ad should match the landing page title, what if the landing page shows a pair of pants and visitors can select many sizes/colors? Is ad quality score dependent on an exact match?

I want to make the Title as clean as possible for easy reading across all devices. Are the variant attributes in the Shopping feed used to display relevant products? If I specify the color attribute as "Black" is this sufficient for Google to display my ad, or will items with the attribute set to Black and with "Black" included in the Title/Description take precedence?

Further, there seem to be filters that are raised per item within Shopping--shirts show Size as a filter, where Pants don't, for example. Long term, if Google is going to display items based on the Attribute value (and offer sidebar Filters for these values), and if the search algorithm is displaying items based on the Attribute and bid (along with other factors), then will it matter if color or size is added to the Title or Description?

You say "decide on a format...then modify data...based on measured results over time." This is exactly what I don't want to have to do--test the Google algorithm using all variants, some including size/color, some not. Having some guidance on how Attribute filters will be applied for display results would be a great help.

Re: Product Feed Title Recommendations with Product Attribute Variants

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Further, it seems like a filter for Gender and Product Type (Feed Product Category field) would naturally limit phrases used in the Ad Title. We want to optimize for the strict mobile display limits, so we want any character real estate we can get. If a Men's product is displayed based on the Gender attribute (and not based on whether "Men's" appears in the Title), there doesn't appear to be a reason to include the Gender in the Title. We'd prioritize Brand in the title in this case. Category seems a bit tricky, but standards exist--there are only so many variants of pants, for example.

I get that Shopping is a work in progress with tests ongoing, but simplifying standards with respect to Attributes seems like a noble long term goal, and will remove guess and hack work (why prioritize clever SEO text based on attributes universal to all vendors?).

I think most concisely: All other factors being equal (good landing page, trusted seller, valid feed), will Google Shopping display results based on Attribute values alone, or will extra weight be granted to Products with Attribute values included in Title/Description?

Re: Product Feed Title Recommendations with Product Attribute Variants

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor


first, you're welcome.

(1) the (variant) item submitted must match the landing-page --
this includes title, the image, and all associated (clothing) attributes.

typically, this is done by pre-selecting the variant; e.g.


any variant submitted as in stock should also be physically in your stock.

(2) generally, google will not disclose such internal details --
auction results are a combination of the bid and quality factors;
quality factors may include all attributes in the feed and user behavior.

(a) the color attribute must be submitted per the (apparel) variant rules.

(b) a (variant) title must include a common-part and
google simply recommends including characteristics such as color
or brand in the title to differentiates the item from other products.

following google's specifications and policies
help prevent items from being disapproved;

following google's recommendations and guidelines should help to
improve overall quality and therefore performance in the auctions.

(3) again, google will typically not disclouse such internal details --
all attributes must be submitted per the policies and specifications.

(a) color and size attributes are required for all clothing items --
and must be submitted according to the color and size specifications.

(b) a (variant) title must have a common-part
and per-variant differentiation using
(variant) attributes is recommended.

(3) google simply tends not to disclose such internal algorithmic details.

however, the specifications, policies, recommendations, and guidelines
are typically tied in some way to google's internal algorithmic details --
so following all such rules are a best-practice and will generally help
google's algorithms, filters, and features to function effectively.

keeping up-to-date with any and all rules changes can also help --
such external changes are often tied to upcoming internal changes.

the "decide on" was more about user-behavior and customers -- not google.

(4) currently, there are no such published internal details.

(a) a gender attribute and proper value is required for all apparel products.

(b) some weight, in terms of quality, is likely given to variant attributes in
the title and description -- based on google's recommendations; however,
items may not be seen at all if the variant attributes are not properly
submitted (especially for clothing) -- based on google's requirements.

some attributes have clear-cut standard requirements
that must be followed exactly or risk items being
removed from the auctions or disapproved or both.

other attributes such as title, description, product_type, and similar
attributes, are a combination of requirements that must be followed and
recommendations and guidelines that can help or hurt quality depending
on user behavior (filters selected, search-terms) and many other factors
such as the images submitted, landing-page, variant attributes, etc.

many additional details are currently here --

Re: Product Feed Title Recommendations with Product Attribute Variants

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Similar feed title questions. We are in the process of editing our titles but some of our titles need to go over the 70 character limit. We think that the information is extremely relevant and needs to be there on certain items. Will these still show in google shopping or cause any other related issues?

If not we were thinking of truncating the title in the feed. So it would not be exactly the same as the landing page. Would this cause the product not to show in google shopping or cause any other related issues?

Thank you for your time.

Re: Product Feed Title Recommendations with Product Attribute Variants

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

(1) the character limit for a title is 150 characters -- not 70.

the title should simply name the item, accurately and succinctly.

google recommends 70 characters simply because that is an approximate
maximum display-length for a product-listing-ad title in a particular context --
a product-listing-ad may be shown in many different contexts and formatted
in many different ways, at google's discretion.

between 25 and 70 or so characters of a title might be displayed.

perhaps importantly however, the characters that exceed the display
for an ad, within a particular context, will still be indexed by google,
used for search, and to determine relevance and therefore quality.

generally, less important information should be added near the end.

if the (title) information is important to describing the physical item or
how the physical item might be used -- but exceeds the 150 character
limit -- simply move those details into the description; information that
is not relevant to the physical item itself should not be submitted, at all.

that is, simply remove irrelevant information altogether.

(2) the title and description submitted should match the landing-page --
google will disapprove items if the data submitted is not essentially
identical to the landing-page or results in a poor user experience.

if the submitted data changes, the site should also change --
the website normally changes first then, the submitted data.

usually, all the html, scripts, css, etc., should be removed
from all submitted (feed) data -- the primary, visible, plain,
text however, should remain and be identical to what is
seen by users on the link landing-page.

Re: Product Feed Title Recommendations with Product Attribute Variants

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you Celebird.

We will work on whittling down our titles with the most pertinent information remaining.

I have read many of your post and suggestions and you are always very informative : )


Thank you!

Re: Product Feed Title Recommendations with Product Attribute Variants

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Just to clarify the google shopping tittle we send over in the feed can be over 70 characters?

I wanted to make sure we were talking about the meta or some other title. I read somewhere that the feed title should not be over 70 characters.


Re: Product Feed Title Recommendations with Product Attribute Variants

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

title can be over 70 characters -- the limit is 150.

title is the title attribute within the feed --
and usually is the first thing users see
on the link landing-page.

70 is simply recommended since that is the average
length displayed; the first 70 are the most important
with respect to display.

a displayed title may be between 25-70 characters
depending on the context -- up to 150 characters
are allowed and are indexed for search, relevancy,
and quality.

more than 150 characters for the title will be flagged.

see also