Resource How to Optimize Your SEO Marketing Strategy
By this point, you’re probably familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You grasp the concepts and understand that it’s an important facet of any...
Read More
Blog Post

Google Product Taxonomy: A Helpful Guide

October 9, 2016

If you are an e-commerce company and considering using PLAs to boost your sales, keep this helpful guide in mind for understanding Google product taxonomy.

Table of Contents

Imagine the following situation:

You’re the owner of an up-and-coming e-commerce company and your business has grown to the point where you now want to leverage Google Product Listings Ads to really take your sales to the next level. Your company uses Magento and you know enough to pull all your product information so you can efficiently articulate a product feed to upload into your newly created merchant center.

Here’s the problem: you’re unsure about what Google product categories and product types even are. You’ll quickly find that when you try to upload your product feed into the Merchant Center without these point of reference tools, it’ll come back with upload errors and you won’t be able to create or run paid campaign.

Obviously, you’ll need to figure out what Google is talking about and what you’ll need to add to get this feed operational.

Product Category Taxonomy

Little did you know, there’s actually a taxonomy of product categories (all 5,427) that Google uses in conjunction with their PLA’s to help best serve ads. You can find that taxonomy HERE. This will grant you access to a downloadable spreadsheet with all available categories and product types (make sure to download the one that has the ‘numeric ID’s’ ). It’s important that you have all the correct unique product identifiers in the feed.

Request Your Free Digital Marketing Assessment

How would you like to know exactly what you could do to start improving your business’ performance… today?

Apply Now

 

Related: 6 New Best Practices to Help You Write Expanded Text Ads

 

Once the spreadsheet opens, it’ll be understandable if you’re a little bewildered by its content. You’ll see a lot of categories spaced out between different columns. To help navigate, I like to insert a row at the very top and apply labels to help me sort:

google_taxonomy2

Categories will be present all the way until column H and you’ll be able to find anything from Bird Cage Bird Baths to Painting Canvas’. The trick is, Google likes to have this data formatted in a certain way. So for example, if we were selling lacrosse sticks, we’d have to use: Sporting Goods > Athletics > Field Hockey & Lacrosse > Lacrosse Sticks.

Paid Search Forecasting Tool

Download Now

 

We came to this conclusion because we filtered for sporting goods in column B, then in the column C we filtered for Athletics, and so on and so forth until Lacrosse Sticks in Column E. And the way we threw all of that together was via a simple formula: =CONCATENATE(B4327,” > “,C4327,” > “,D4327,” > “,E4327). This Concatenate formula is basically stringing together all of the categories while also inserting right angle brackets in between.

Ideally, these product categories should be as specific as possible, but you can get away with settling for Sporting Goods. However, you do run the risk of penalization, and this could negatively affect your Shopping campaigns’ query mapping. You’ve been warned…

Product Type Taxonomy

So that just leaves the product type. Good news! If you downloaded the taxonomy spreadsheet that has the numeric ID’s, you also have the product type. This can be found in column A and should be a four-digit code, so in this instance, our product type is 3817:

Now all you need to do is get these numbers and categories into your data feed and upload! Simple enough, right?

Paid Media Strategy

Book a 15-min call to discuss.

Empowering you to break the mold.

Kind of like a full-service agency, kind of like an in-house CMO. Elevate your brand's presence with custom strategy, channel expertise, and flawless execution.

Learn More