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Resolving character encoding issues in your data feed.

In Google Merchant Center, you may see an error that says:

Encoding problem in attribute: description - Some of the characters in your items seem to be invalid. Please verify all the characters in your feed are valid for your selected encoding.

To resolve this, take the following steps.

  1. Verify that your data feed's "Encoding" setting in Google Merchant Center is set to "UTF-8".
  2. In your product descriptions and titles, replace the Windows characters listed below with the corresponding HTML entities.
    If you see this in your store then, replace it with this
    ® ®
    ° °
  3. If you still have encoding issues, copy and paste the raw description from your store's edit product page into the Javascript Count Character Occurrences Online tool. Click the Display/Update Counts button, and look for non-standard character in the list. Remove non-standard characters from the description.


Microsoft uses a proprietary encoding (called CP-1252) for the bullet symbol and some other special characters, whereas most websites and data feeds use UTF-8. When you copy-paste from a Microsoft product into a website, some characters may appear as junk. Our system generates data feeds in the UTF-8 character encoding, which many shopping engines now require.


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Updated: July 20, 2022