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Matching Product IDs to Preserve Click Stats in Google Merchant Center

Why preserve product IDs?

When changing feed providers, it is important to ensure that the product IDs match between the old feed and the new feed. Google Shopping tracks performance metrics like clicks and sales by these IDs, and adjusts the ranking of your items based on their specific performance. If you submit the same products with new IDs, then all the performance history is lost. This can reduce your ranking, click-through rate, and impressions, until Google has time to gather performance data for the new product IDs.

What is the impact of changing product IDs?

One of our customers with an established feed and sizable traffic changed their product IDs to make a clean break from an earlier feed system. Their performance statistics (impressions and clicks) dropped substantially. It took about two months for the performance to recover, but it did eventually recover.

For the many customers who are starting a feed for the first time or with little performance history accumulated, changing product IDs has little to no impact.

You can find Best Practices for Product ID in the GMC Help website.

How do I see the previous feed's product IDs?

If you have already uploaded a new feed, then the easiest way to see what the old product IDs were is to follow these steps:

  1. Go to Products > Diagnostics tab in your Google Merchant Center (GMC) account.
  2. Click on the Item Issues Chart on a date where the old feed was in effect.
  3. Click on the View Examples link for any of the listed Issues.
  4. Look in the Item ID column for the old item IDs

How to change or select a different field to map to Product ID

  1. Go to Manage Feed > Analyze Source Data for your Google feed
  2. Acceptable field names are those that are 100% populated and with 100% distinct values.
    (You can choose other fields, but you may get missing or duplicate ID errors.)
  3. Go to Manage Feed > Define Fields for your Google feed
  4. Click Edit for the 'id' field.
  5. Select the field name from the drop-down
  6. Click Save
  7. Click the Quick Submit button from the Manage Feed > Submit a Task page.