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About unique product identifiers

Unique product identifiers define the product you're selling in the global marketplace. They uniquely distinguish products you are selling and help match search queries with your offers. Unique product identifiers are assigned to each product by the manufacturer, so if you sell the same product as another retailer, the UPIs will be identical.

Common unique product identifiers include Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names. Not all products have unique product identifiers. However, if your product does have one, especially a GTIN, providing it can help make your ads richer and easier for users to find. If your product doesn’t have a UPI, you’ll tell us so in your product data.

This article explains the unique product identifiers you may have to provide, how to troubleshoot issues with your identifiers, and what to do if you don't have them.

Types of unique product identifiers

Attribute Name Description
gtin UPC
  • Used in primarily North America
  • Universal Product Code (UPC), also called GTIN-12 and UPC-A
  • 12 numeric digits
  • A unique numerical identifier for commercial products that's usually associated with a barcode printed on retail merchandise.
gtin EAN
  • Used primarily outside of North America
  • European Article Number (EAN), also called GTIN-13
  • Typically 13 numeric digits (can occasionally be either eight or 14 numeric digits)
  • A unique numerical identifier for commercial products that's usually associated with a barcode printed on retail merchandise.
gtin JAN
  • Used only in Japan
  • Japanese Article Number (JAN), also called GTIN-13
  • 8 or 13 numeric digits
  • A unique numerical identifier for commercial products that's usually associated with a barcode printed on retail merchandise.
gtin ISBN
  • Used globally
  • International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
  • ISBN-10: 10 numeric digits (last digit may be "X" which represents the number "10").
  • Note that this format was deprecated in 2007, and not all books can be represented using ISBN-10.
  • ISBN-13 (recommended): 13 numeric digits and typically starts with either 978 or 979
  • A unique numerical identifier for commercial books published since 1970 that can be found on the back of the book along with the barcode.
brand Brand
  • Used globally
  • The brand of the product
mpn MPN
  • Used globally
  • Manufacturer Part Number (MPN)
  • Alphanumeric digits (various lengths)
  • The number which uniquely identifies the product to its manufacturer

 

How to include unique product identifiers in your product data

Depending on the type of product you submit, you'll submit different identifiers. For all your items, we recommend submitting all three attributes (gtin, brand, and mpn) to help boost ad performance and help users find your products.

 

id title identifier_exists gtin mpn brand
9876-S-GRN Google T-shirt - Green - Small
 
- 9504000059422 00638HAY
 
Google
9876-S-YELLOW Google T-shirt - Yellow - Small
 
- 9504000059446 00638ANG
 
Google
9877-M-Black Black T-shirt - Customized with Your Design no - - -


Use the following set of rules to provide the correct identifiers for each of your products.

New products with GTINs

For all new products (which are submitted with the condition attribute) that have a GTIN assigned, submit the following attributes:

  • gtin
  • brand
  • mpn (recommended)

Products without a GTIN

Some products don’t have a GTIN assigned, and so you don’t need to submit one. However, if the product does have a GTIN assigned and you don’t submit it, then the product could be disapproved.

For these products, submit the following attributes:

  • brand
  • mpn

Examples of products that may not have an assigned GTIN include:

  • Store brand products
  • Replacement parts
  • Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or replacements for OEM parts
  • Custom-made products (custom t-shirts, art, and handmade goods)
  • Books released before ISBN was approved as an ISO standard in 1970
  • Vintage or antique products
  • Preorder products (using the condition attribute) 

To help identify your products without a GTIN, you can use the mpn and brand attributes. An MPN, or Manufacturer Part Number, is a UPI for specific parts assigned by the manufacturer. The brand attribute allows you to use the brand of your product as a UPI.

Missing UPI attributes Present UPI attributes Submit (required) Submit (optional)
gtin brand, mpn brand, mpn -
mpn gtin, brand gtin, brand -
gtin, mpn brand brand, identifier_exists = “false” -
gtin, mpn, brand - identifier_exists = ”false” -
gtin, brand, mpn gtin, brand mpn


Note: mpn is optional, but including it may improve your ad’s performance. Keep in mind that your products may be disapproved if you submit products without a UPI when one is available. 

Products without a brand

If the product has a clearly associated brand or manufacturer, submit the brand attribute. 

However, you don’t need to submit the brand attribute if the product doesn’t have a clearly associated brand (e.g., movies, books, and music) or is a custom-made product (e.g., custom t-shirts, art, and handmade goods).


For more information, visit Google's website.

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