Feed Format and Location

  • You must host your own XML feed, and it must be accessible via HTTP or HTTPS.
  • You can supply a single XML file or multiple XML files bundled together in a single .zip file.
  • Under no circumstances may the size of a single file exceed 100 MB, even if it is a .zip file.
  • If you supply a single XML file, you can provide either a plain text file or a compressed text file in zip format.
  • To ensure that Google retrieves a complete snapshot of your data and does not attempt to download incomplete files, follow these guidelines when posting files to your HTTP server:
    1. Create your feed in a directory from which Google does not fetch content.
    2. After your feed is complete, create a symbolic link in a directory from which Google does fetch content. The symbolic link should point to the newly created feed.
    Google's content acquisition system will try to fetch all of the new or modified files in a particular directory (or set of directories). This process ensures that Google will not attempt to download a file until that file is complete.
  • You can secure your files with a username and password using either BASIC or DIGEST authentication. (NTLM is not currently supported.)

XML validation

To ensure that Google can process your feed, please use an XML schema validator to ensure that your feed complies with the requirements of the schema before submitting your feed to Google. Google will also verify that your feed complies with the schema before accepting your feed.

There are a number of tools available to help you validate the structure of your XML feed. You can find XML-related tools at these sites:

You can use xmllint to validate your feed with this command line:

xmllint --schema http://www.google.com/shopping/reviews/schema/merchant/4.0/merchant_reviews.xsd --noout file.xml

Additional guidelines

You can specify data values in your feed with CDATA sections. If you use CDATA sections, do not escape special characters.

Your feed must use UTF-8 encoding. Please specify this encoding in the XML declaration at the beginning of the feed:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>