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Shopping Variant Clarification

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 1
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi All,


We have a client who is looking to submit products, with variants without the prices being preselected on the page. The prices are correct and available on the page, just not pre-selected. They want to allow to the user the choice when they land on the page.


Is this going to be acceptable? I have seen it done many a time but I want to know for certain.


Also, with variants will they show as separate products on shopping or just as options for the base product? I'm assuming so but I couldn't find a clear answer in the Google materials.


From a shopping performance perspective, would it be better to submit every product separately with a unique URL in theory as you'd have more products in the feed? So different sizes as their own products or is this seen as abuse? 



2 Expert replyverified_user

Shopping Variant Clarification

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

(1) no;

(2) so-called base-products cannot be submitted (ever) --

otherwise, the results depend on the bid and quality;

(3) each physical item-offer must be submitted separately --

all physical variants within a group require an item_group_id;

there is no choice with respect to the related policies.


only physical items may be submitted.

the price and currency displayed on the link landing-page
must match the submitted price and currency for the item,
exactly, for all users, in all locations, at all times.

the landing-page must include the price in the currency of the target-country,
displayed prominently -- or is otherwise a policy violation and grounds for
disapproval and removal from the ad-auctions, at any time.

each physical variant in inventory must be submitted as a separate item-offer --
google does not require that all physical products in inventory be submitted.

regardless of any pre-selection, submitting multiple variants require
identical item_group_id values and at least one variant attribute and
value that is unique for all items, within the variant-group --
otherwise, only one variant from the group may be submitted.


for example, if a product comes in three-sizes and four-colors,

and all physical items are in stock, and the merchant wishes

to submit all physical inventory, then 12 separate items must

be submitted, each item with identical item_group_id values;

accurate size and color attributes would also be required --

one color value and one size value, per physical item-offer.

generally, the price and image submitted must match the

landing-page, exactly, without any interaction by a user.

otherwise, google will simply assign lower quality
and drop such items from the ad-auctions over time,
or the items will be disapproved -- typically for price,
image, and inventory availability, related policies.

too many or too frequent disapprovals may

trigger a permanent suspension, at any time.

items that win a slot in the auctions are displayed to users as shopping-ads --
winning a slot in ad-auctions is determined mainly by the bid and quality.


this is primarily a peer-to-peer forum --

google is the final arbiter of all policies.


seeing something being done, does not mean

that the policies are being followed -- potential

policy violations by others may be reported

directly to google.

see also


Shopping Variant Clarification

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

Thank you Celebird but I'm confused as I have seen this done many times so maybe I didn't explain correctly. Here is an example of what I mean:


The product I clicked for this page was 2.5L for 73.59 but it is not preselected on the page? 



If the same is still true what would you recommend as the best option? Thank you!

Shopping Variant Clarification

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

It is recommended not to compare with other merchants, as they might be knowingly or unknowingly violating Google's Policies. The only correct way to know if its ok to do so or not is by reading the policies.


Please do a search with the term variant in the link below and read the documentation. There are two paragraphs, the second one is related to you.


Celebird is correct with his info.


Hope it helps.

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Shopping Variant Clarification

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome and thank you for
the clarification and example landing-page.

as was indicated --

seeing something being done, does not mean that the current policies
are being followed -- potential policy violations by other merchants,
that have not been flagged yet, may be reported directly to google.

generally, google has rules and policies for variants, for both submitted data
and the corresponding, matching, link landing-pages, especially with respect
to pre-selection, prominence, price, and on-hand inventory availability.

a best-practice is to review all google's current rules and policies --
especially related to supply-chains, stock availability, variants,
physical items being sold, all submitted data, images, websites,
and all landing-page details, to help avoid poor performance in the
auctions over time, policy-flags, or a more permanent suspension

from the program, at any time.


see also



Shopping Variant Clarification

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

Thank you very much both.


@Celebird in your experience what is the optimum way of approaching variants? For example with tins of paint in different sizes. The same paint, just a larger tin. Is it best to submit them as separate products, or as a single product with variants for the different sizes?


Thank you!

Shopping Variant Clarification

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome.

a single product with variants for the different sizes
cannot be submitted, ever; that notion has long since
been retired as an option and is now a policy violation.

only separate products are allowed -- an exact physical, in stock, item-offer.

if there is relevant, historical, statistical data,
submit only best-selling, or only high-margin,
item-offers for shopping-ads -- there is no
requirement to submit all possible variations.

or, have only one, single, default, item-offer on the landing-page,
with one single price, and submit only the one, single, item-offer --
e.g. only one, 14ml tin of yellow revell-enamel paint for 1.95 gbp

if more than one variant is submitted, be certain to submit
accurate item_group_id, size, and color attributes -- with
only one value for each attribute, per item-offer.


if the manufacturer has assigned a valid global-trade-data bar-code,

stamped on the product, at the factory, during manufacturing, then

submit accurate global-trade-data for the exact size and color --

brand and gtin; otherwise, submit an identifier_exists value of no

without any brand, gtin, or mpn values, whatsoever, for the item.

if there is a minimum-purchase amount,
be certain that the price and size for the
minimum-order are submitted and are
both displayed on the landing-page.

regardless, be certain the price and variant that is submitted
match the landing-page, exactly, and the price includes vat.

stock availability should be kept up-to-date with respect to
specific variants, such as a red 150ml, vs red 250ml, tins --
not a general stock availability for all potential variant/sizes.

a common implementation is to use server-side (never client-side)
scripts, or less-common, a separate landing-page, per variant.

for example:

only one item with a single price should be on the landing-page --
a user may have the option to select other sizes, after landing,
but the single displayed price should change accordingly.


for tins of paint, typically only size should be a selectable option --

with the largest, best-selling, or highest-margin, size pre-selected --

other size options should be selectable via both a server-side script
with url-parameters (link attribute) and a drop-down or similar menu;

for very large tins, such as 5-litres, a separate page is usually best.

by default, the user should not be forced to select anything, but add-to-basket.