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: 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 merchant Yes
    Merchant geo Address of merchant Yes
    Merchant telephone Telephone of the merchant Yes
    Merchant category Nice to Have
    Merchant action_link Information regarding Merchant Specific Deep Link Optional
    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
    Services merchant_id Link to the Merchant which is providing this service Yes
    Services localized_service_name Name of the Services provided Yes
    Services localized_description User-visible services description Optional
    Services action_link Provides information about the services related deep link Yes
    Services type Type of Deep link(eg SERVICE_TYPE_DINING_RESERVATION) Yes
    Services description Description about the service provided by merchant Nice to Have

    To start, check out the sample feeds by vertical

    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 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

    The messages used to describe these feeds align closely to schema.org's LocalBusiness and GeoCoordinates.

  2. Export your feeds. The feeds format is described with the use of protocol buffer 3 syntax. You export the feed files in one of two ways:

    • Binary serialization of the protocol buffer data in pb3 format.
    • Derived JSON 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 sftp://partnerupload.google.com on port 19321.

    Upload your files with unique names, such as a name that include 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, and use multiple shards if needed.
      • At present we support a maximum of 1000 shards per feed.
      • Individual records are sent in one shard. They don't have to be sent in the same shard for future feeds.
      • For better performance, your data should be split evenly among the shards so that all sharded files are similar in size.
    • Frequency of complete updates:
      • A complete merchants feed is provided once a day.
      • A complete services feed is provided once a day.
  4. 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 service defined.
    • The majority of your merchant data matches with Google Maps locations.