Set up XML feed in the Google Merchant Center

In Google Merchant Center, you can manage your product feeds, view product data, and use various features to promote your products on Google.  

A feed is a file with a list of products that you want to promote through Merchant Center. When you add products, you assign attributes to each product.  These attributes are used to group the products in your product feeds. After you create a feed, it can be used multiple times for any number of Merchant Center functions. 


There are several feed types in the Merchant Center: 

  1. Main feeds are the primary data sources for your Merchant Center inventory. If each product you add to your main feed meets the Merchant Center data requirements and eligibility criteria, you do not need to create additional feeds.  
  2.  It is recommended that you upload all inventory to one main feed. 
  3. Subfeeds allow you to add data that is missing from your main feed. 


Create feed 

  1. Log in to your Merchant Center account.  
  2.  Click the Feeds section under Products in the main menu on the left.  
  3. Click the plus sign in the Main Feed section. 
  4.  Follow the instructions and enter the information below: 
    1. Country of Sale: the main country where the products from this feed are offered. The product data in this feed must meet the requirements of the country such as feed specifications and guidelines. You can add additional countries for shopping ads when you select destinations when creating the feed.  
    2. Language: the language in which your product data is described.  
    3. Destination Applications: Specifies which Google features are allowed to use the items in your data feed. Select Free listings and Shopping ads.  
    4. Main feed name: Enter a name here that makes it easy to identify the main feed. You can edit it again later in the settings.  
    5. Input method: 
      1. i. Google Spreadsheets: Send the product data via a Google spreadsheet. 
      2. Scheduled Retrieval: This option will retrieve your feed directly from your server. We recommend the option here to upload your XML feed so that the product data can be updated regularly. 
      3. Upload: Upload files via SFTP, FTP, Google Cloud Storage or manually. 
      4. Website Crawling: Here Google crawls your website to retrieve product data.
    6. File Name: Depending on the input method, you may be prompted to enter the name of the file to be uploaded. This name must exactly match the name of the file you created and should have a valid extension.  
  5. 5. Then, after you click Next, you can access and manage the new main feed in your Merchant Center account under

Check feed processing results 

After processing the feed, you can check the results again for errors. 

  1. Click Products in the navigation menu, and then click Feeds.  
  2. Click the name of the main feed or subfeed you want to check.  
  3.  check the results 
    1. Properties: This contains important feed properties that depend on the feed input method, such as input method, time zone, file size, recognized delimiter, and more.  
    2. Attributes: Your feeds must adhere to the product data specification of the programs you have signed up for. In this section, you can review all the attributes found in your feed, including the detected attributes that are associated with the feed specification and the unrecognized attributes that do not match the attributes listed in the product data specification. When reviewing the list, you can use tools (such as feed rules) to tell Merchant Center which unrecognized attributes to pull for Google attributes. For example, you can use "product name" for the "title" attribute. 
    3. Data processed: In this section you will see the number of articles found in the feed as well as the number of articles with detected issues. The list of article problems shows how many articles in your feed are affected. Examples and links to documentation are provided for troubleshooting. 
  4. if your account was rejected despite seemingly correct feeds, see the Diagnostics page (under the Products page) for summary problem reports for Shopping product data at the account, feed, and item level. 


These may be potential problems: 

  1. Feed creation problem
    1. Missing attribute: Your feed may be missing a required attribute. The "ID" [id] attribute is one of the most frequently forgotten attributes. Therefore, you should always check it first. 
    2. Incorrect formatting: Click on the links below to access sample files that show how a feed should look in these formats. 
      1. Tabulatorgetrennt (.txt) 
      2. RSS 2.0 
      3. Atom 1.0 
    3. Currently, feeds in XLS format are not allowed. If you have created a feed in XLS format, you can convert the feed to a TXT file. 
  2. Problems with feed registration 
    1. Country of sale: Specify the country in which your items will primarily be offered. For example, specifying "Germany" as the country of sale means that your items are available in Germany. Product data uploaded to a selected country must meet the requirements for that country, including feed specifications and guidelines. 
    2. Multiple Countries: Specify multiple sales countries if you offer the same product in multiple countries. Your products must meet each country's requirements, such as feed specifications and guidelines. 
    3. Data feed filename: RSS and Atom files must end in ".xml". Files without extensions are processed as tab-delimited files (.txt) by default. Excel files are not allowed. See the Convert Table article for more information. 
    4. When using extensions such as ".zip" or ".gz", the file must be compressed, as the Google Merchant Center assumes compressed files in this case. Uploading a non-compressed file would cause an error in this case. The compressed file must contain exactly one file. 
    5. When editing your data feed settings, auto-detection should be enabled as long as no specific issue is to be handled. 
  3. Formatting problems 
    1. Text or tab-delimited 
      1. If you are using text that is already formatted, such as content with line breaks or text in quotes, quoting attributes should be enabled for your feed. 
      2. Make sure your columns (tabs) with required attributes exactly match all articles. Often there are either too many or too few tabs. 
      3. If you are using Google Spreadsheets, you can use the Google Merchant Center add-on to validate your data. 
    2. XML
      1. Special characters such as "&" must always be inserted with correct escape sequence. 
      2. Attribute names must not contain uppercase letters. Any uppercase letters must be removed. For example, the attribute "title" [title] should be entered as <title> and not <title>. 
      3. Sometimes incorrect encodings occur. Make sure that your file is encoded in one of the allowed formats. 
  4. Uploading problems 
    1. Your feed might be too large for the selected upload method. 
      1. Directly uploaded files must be smaller than 4 GB. If you receive an error message when using this method, please wait several hours and then try again. 
      2. SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) files and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) files must be smaller than 4 GB. 
      3. Scheduled retrieval files must also be no larger than 4 GB. 
    2. Automatic uploads most often fail for one of the following reasons: 
      1. The URL for the scheduled fetch is blocked by a robots.txt file or the Merchant Center is not given the necessary permission to download the data feed due to the settings of the URL. 
      2. The URL used for automatic upload does not work or redirects to a page that does not contain the data feed. 
    3. Compressed files must be smaller than 500 MB. 


Below you can see some of the most common errors related to SFTP and FTP.



Server not found" error 

For FTP: Make sure you log in to If you are using an FTP client, remove ftp:// and use 

For SFTP: Make sure that you log in to {sftp username}, using server port 19321. If you are using an SFTP client, you might need to prefix the host name with sftp:// (for example, s 

Username or password is incorrect 

Click here for help with SFTP or FTP login issues. 


Unable to establish data connection" or "FTP folder error" error“ 

The upload must be done in passive FTP mode. 


Error "File name not allowed 

Make sure that the name of your file does not contain any spaces. The name of the file must be exactly the same as the name of the file you registered in your account. 

No data feed registered with this name 

Make sure that the name of the file you want to upload via SFTP or FTP is exactly the same as the file name you specified when registering your data feed. 

FTP connection reset by peer" error 

The internet connection to our FTP server was interrupted. Upload your file again. If it's smaller than 200 MB, you can upload it directly from the Data Feeds page in Google Merchant Center. If the file size is more than 200 MB, split your data feed into multiple files smaller than 200 MB. If the size is smaller, you can upload the files through your dashboard. 

In this article you will learn more about specific problems with SFTP and FTP.