How to use the "product_type" attribute

Wednesday, April 04, 2007 at 5:54 PM

By Naureen Kabir, Google Base Support

With Google Base, as with Google search more generally, our goal is to connect people with the information that is most relevant to them. Last month, Roshan wrote a post about maintaining the quality of your items so that they remain live in our search results. One of the things he mentioned that can help achieve this is the product_type attribute. We've been seeing a lot of files from providers submitting to the Products item type in which the product_type values are being specified in ways that won't allow our system to identify your product correctly when people are searching. So I wanted to clarify how to best enter values for this attribute.

The product_type attribute is used to categorize items so that we can match them to search results. Entering product types that are too general or that are incorrectly formatted causes our system to categorize your item incorrectly, and we won't be able to connect your product with the right searchers. So when you enter the product_type attribute, you should think specific and relevant. For example, if you're selling keyboards for computers, you should include "keyboards" as the product_type and not "computers." We strongly recommend that you to use our example product_type list as much as possible.

If your product doesn't fit with the exact values on the example product_type page, you can include some variations; the most important thing is that the product_type be relevant and that it distinguish between an actual product and the accessory for the product. For example, for the above keyboard example, the product type "usb keyboard" is also acceptable. If you're selling Ipod skins, the values "accessories" or "mp3 accessories" are fine.

Finally, some providers are including values such as "health, beauty, fragrances" or "MP3 Players > Ipod > Ipod Accessories > Ipod Skins" as their product_type values. Since we only accept one value, neither example works. Unfortunately, entering your values with commas or > symbols will miscategorize your products, and searchers won't be able to find them. So make sure you're using correctly formatted, relevant values when using the product_type attribute.