Google Shopping Ads and GTINs: What You Need to Know


Google Shopping Ads and GTINs: What You Need to Know
Thursday 12 May

Google recently announced that if a seller has a product that already has a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), they will be required to include the GTIN in the Google advertisement product data feed - or risk the product being “disapproved” by Google. Google’s deadline for this is May 16th. The official policy update was posted on their website and can be found here.

Providing GTIN information to Google Ads can, of course, lead to real benefits for GS1 members around the world. We at GS1 are eager to share this good news and have begun to do so on our websites and via social media, but we need to ensure that our messaging is clear and in line with the intentions and spirit of the articles and information provided directly by Google on this topic.

Specifically, we want to make sure not to imply that Google require GTINs for all products advertised on Google Shopping. This is not the case. Google is only asking for GTINs for products where they already exist/are assigned by the manufacturer. Google’s intention is not to apply pressure to brand owners for standards adoption.

To help you promote this news in your market without inadvertently misrepresenting Google’s new policy, here are some key facts and suggestions:

How to share this news with your members

The best endorsements are always those that come from others. Below are a couple of recent articles referencing this news and it is best refer to those stories in your communications by linking to them or sharing via social media.

Please remember to reference back to the original article and be cautious about paraphrasing or quoting out of context!


What is Google requiring of Google Shopping merchants, beginning May 16, 2016?

In 2015, Google began requiring Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) for products from a specific list of 50 brands. They are expanding this requirement – and beginning May 16, 2016 all products that already have been assigned a GTIN by the manufacturer must have the GTIN included for Google Shopping ads or risk being rejected by Google.

Are GTINs now required for all products on Google Shopping ads?

No. Only if a GTIN has already been assigned by the manufacturer and/or a GTIN already exists. If a company sells new (unused), brand-name products that are being sold by multiple merchants, they probably already have GTINs and brands/merchants who sell them would therefore need to include them as part of their Google Shopping product information feed.

This change most probably won’t impact manufacturers whose products are only sold by themselves. It also won't impacted merchants who sell used, custom, handmade, or vintage products.

What are they key benefits of having GTINs on products in Google Shopping ads?

Better product data leads to better user experiences & more engagement
The more information brand owners provide in their advertisement feeds, the better the opportunity brand owners will have to show the right ads to the right users on the right searches (better consumer targeting).

Increased number of conversions
According to Google, providing them with the correct GTIN for a product in a Google Shopping ad can increase the conversion rate for that product by up to 20 percent (based on their internal analysis of advertisers who have already added GTINs).

Brand owners already have this information available
Many brand owners are already using GS1 standards, so they would simply be leveraging their existing investment in a new way.

GTINs have global reach
As GS1 standards are global, using GTINs in Google Shopping ads will open the door for some brand owners to begin engaging with merchants from around the world.

Contact Information

For more information, contact Robert Beideman (, Senior Director of Omni-channel, GS1 GO