Google Shopping Advertisers: The GTIN Deadline is Approaching

April 11, 2016

Digital Marketing Laura Lane By Laura Lane

GTIN

Attention, all Google Shopping advertisers. The deadline for supplying Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) for any new, in-stock products is fast approaching.

We first brought this update to your attention back in February, when Google started giving warnings to advertisers who didn’t meet the new GTIN requirements.

GTINs are used to identify specific products and help Google match those products to shoppers’ queries. The numbers are usually found under a product’s barcode and can vary anywhere from eight to 14 digits.

So what do I need to know?

The clock is ticking.

On Monday, 16 May, Google will no longer accept products with missing or invalid GTINs. These products will no longer show up on the Google results page.

GTINs will be required for:

  • Brand-name products
  • New products sold by multiple merchants in 11 countries (US, UK, DE, FR, BR, JP, AU, IT, NL, CH, ES and CZ).

GTINs will NOT be required for:

  • Used products
  • Custom products
  • In-house brands
  • Products only you sell

In your Merchant Centre account, you’ll be able to find out which of your products have been flagged by Google.

It’s March. What should I be doing now?

First of all, don’t panic.

All the information you need is in your Merchant Centre account, under the Diagnostics tab. Look for a yellow warning icon to see which products need attention.

Once you evaluate just how many products need GTINs, you can develop a plan for getting the issues resolved. For instance, if you have a long list of products that lack GTINs, start with your most successful products first.

You’ll need to go back through your supply chain, contact your drop shipper or even look on the product’s packaging to find the proper GTINs. Don’t try to outsmart Google by creating a fake number. It won’t work.  

Also, if you add new products or product lines in the coming weeks or months, provide the GTIN for those products immediately. Those products won’t be flagged by Google later on, and you’ll save yourself time and hassle.  

What else should I be doing in the coming weeks?

You’ve got a lot of work to do, so it’s time to take action.

To help you prepare for this change, download our Google. Click. Buy. Advanced Strategies for Top-Performing PLAs eBook for tips to get the most from your Google account.