Google Product Search Announcement About Attribute Changes

June 2, 2009

Google announced today that the condition attribute will soon be required. Valid values are new, used, or refurbished. This is definitely good news in that it suggests they will soon either display this information or filter on it. Such a change would positively impact the user experience on Google Product Search since right now, consumers don’t know the condition of the item until after they click through. I’ve bought many refurbished items in the past, but as a consumer, it is definitely nice to be able to clearly see condition as early as possible so you don’t click on a refurbished or used item when you definitely want new.

In addition to their blog post, Google emailed merchants today with the condition attribute news,  a recommendation to use their most recent taxonomy in the product type attribute, and announcement of a new attribute, “compatible_with.” This new attribute is specifically targeted at merchants in accessory categories such as ink cartridges or cell phone accessories to give them a structured way in which to communicate the core product models with which their items are compatible.

Full email below:

Hello,

We’d like to let you know about an important change we’re making to the Product Search data feed requirements. As you know, you can help shoppers find your products by including high quality, frequently updated product information in the form of attributes.  In order to provide shoppers with the most useful information, we’ll be making the “condition” attribute required starting on June 30th, 2009.

In order to keep your feeds active past this date, please remember to include the “condition” attribute for all of your items if you’re not already doing so.  Please include one of three values to describe your product: new, used, or refurbished.

For more information on formatting the condition attribute, please visit http://base.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=148684

In addition to making the “condition” attribute required, we’ve made some other changes to our attributes:

Recommended: “product type”
The “product type” attribute allows you to specify a product category for each item. We recommend that you use our product taxonomy, however, you are welcome to use your own categories.  For more information, please visit: http://base.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66818

New: “compatible with”
The new “compatible with” allows you to specify what products your item is compatible with.  For instance, if you’re listing an HP 74 (CB335WN) black ink cartridge, you can use this attribute to tell us that it’s compatible with the HP Photosmart C4480 and HP Photosmart C4580 printers.  Using this attribute will help you avoid listing the same item multiple times with different compatibility information. For more information, please visit http://base.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=73932#optional

Sincerely,

The Google Product Search Team