Starter Feeds (legacy)

First you need to create your feeds, then Google evaluates them.

Create feeds

  1. Generate your feeds. You transmit most of your inventory data to Google by feeds. To get started, create two types of feeds:

    • Merchants feed: The Merchants feed describes your merchants and merchant level action links.
    • Services feed (optional): The Services feed describes services and service level action_links your merchants provide to your platform.

    Required and Recommended fields

    Feed Field name Description Required?
    Merchant merchant_id Unique identifier for the merchant Yes
    Merchant name Name of the merchant Yes
    Merchant geo Address and geo coordinates of the merchant Yes
    Merchant telephone Telephone of the merchant Yes
    Merchant category Place type of the merchant Nice to Have
    Merchant action_link Information regarding Merchant Specific Deep Links Optional if Service feeds is provided, required otherwise
    Merchant brand_id String that identifies the consumer-facing brand to use Optional
    Services service_id Unique Identifier of the service provided by the merchant Yes (only if Service feed is provided)
    Services merchant_id Link to the Merchant which is providing this service Yes (only if Service feed is provided)
    Services localized_service_name Name of the service provided Yes (only if Service feed is provided)
    Services localized_description User-visible service description Optional
    Services action_link Provides information about the service related deep links Yes (only if Service feed is provided)
    Services type Type of Deep link (e.g. SERVICE_TYPE_DINING_RESERVATION) Yes (only if Service feed is provided)

    To start, check out the sample feeds

    For Merchants who have multiple services, but are serving them using a single action link, you should provide a single action link for all services associated with a merchant in the merchants feed.

    You can learn more about specifying action links in the legacy starter integration feeds here.

    Include feed metadata in each of your feeds that instructs Google on how to interpret the feed.

    The following is a feed metadata snippet:

    "metadata": {
     "generation_timestamp": "1467993600",
     "processing_instruction": "PROCESS_AS_COMPLETE",
     "total_shards": 1
  2. Export your feeds. The feeds format is described with the protocol buffer 3 syntax, however you can reference the samples mentioned above to see the JSON format. We recommend that you upload the feeds in JSON format.

    If you really want to proceed with pb3 format, for general information on how to use protocol buffers to generate a pb3 file, see Protocol Buffer Basics: Java.

  3. Upload the feeds to your SFTP Dropbox. To upload your feeds, use the SFTP dropbox information that Google provided to you and the private key that you created in Setup. The Google SFTP server is available at s on port 19321.

    Upload your files with unique names, such as a name that includes a timestamp. Unique names help with troubleshooting and allow queries for the feed status.

    To determine the size of the feeds and frequency of delivery, use the following guidelines:

    • Size of feed files and shards:
      • Keep the feed file size below 200MB (after compression). Compress them using gzip
      • If your file may reach more than 200MB (after compression), split them in multiple shards following the Sharding feed files tutorial. However, the legacy starter integration alone is unlikely to reach the 200MB limit.
    • Frequency of complete updates:
      • A complete merchant feed is provided once a day.
      • (If implemented) A complete service feed is provided once a day.

Google evaluates feeds

Once you upload your feeds, Google processes and evaluates them for quality and completeness. We look at several factors:

  • Feeds meet the specifications.
  • Feeds include all required fields.
  • Each merchant has at least one action_link or one service with at least action_link defined.
  • The majority of your merchant data matches with Google Maps locations.