You probably heard that Google changed its shopping policy, requiring marketers to include the Global Trade
Identification Number (GTIN) on all product descriptions, with a few exceptions. It is intended to improve Google's ability to understand exactly what advertisers sell.
For many advertisers, quickly pulling together missing GTIN information can be challenging, and it is especially difficult to fix any GTIN in the feed that Google has noted as incorrect. Here are a few ways to solve common problems as Google's May 16 deadline approaches.
Pull the information off the product itself
Most products have barcodes with either a-12 digit UPN, a 13-digit EAN/JAN/ISBN or a 14-digit ITF-14. That barcode provides the GTIN for that particular product. This is the easiest way to get the GTIN for an individual product, but is very-time consuming.
Contact the product manufacturer
The easiest way to get GTIN in bulk is to reach out to the manufacturer of the product and request the information. The manufacturer will need some information in order to match up the correct GTIN with the correct products. The best information to provide to the manufacturer would be the Manufacturer Part Number (MPN). If you don’t have the MPN, you can also request that the manufacturer send over a list of the GTIN for all products the advertiser purchased from them in the past. If all else fails, ask for a master list of GTIN, MPN and product descriptions from the manufacturer and sift through the information to find what you need.
Research via Google Shopping
Chances are that if you are looking for a way to find or fix your GTIN, you have explored the above two options already and are still looking for a solution. The good news is that with a little information about the products, advertisers can find the correct GTIN by searching within Google Shopping.
Begin by taking whatever information you have on the product -- product name, manufacturer, color, size -- and search in Google Search. From the search results page, select “Shopping” to see the Google Shopping results. Scroll through the results to find the product you are looking for. Keep in mind that there may be results that are similar to your product, but not exactly the same (i.e., same product but different size or color).
Once you have found the product you are looking for, you need to find one that lists multiple stores. It will say “from 100+ stores” or however many stores have that product directly to the right of the product price.
Click that product to expand the ad. From there, click “Compare prices from 100+ stores."
After clicking the link, you will be on a page with multiple different sellers, ratings and prices. Scroll all the way down the page to the very bottom to a section called “Details”. There you will find more information on the product that you searched for. This information will usually include Brand, MPN, and GTIN.
It is possible that there will be more than one GTIN on the page. If that is the case, you can take the individual GTIN and search them one at a time in Google Search to try to pinpoint which GTIN goes with which product.
Finding the correct GTIN can be tricky. With so many different subtle differences between products, it is easy to associate the wrong number with your product. The best option is to get the numbers from the product or manufacturer, but if you have a few that are either missing or incorrect, following the steps above will help you dig up the answer. And as Google has pointed out, products with correct GTIN in their feed have seen conversions improve by up to 20%.