Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Phoca Cart - complex e-commerce extension
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dmlwebal
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Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Post by dmlwebal » 27 Apr 2021, 12:10

Joomla 3.9.26
PHP 7.4.16
Phoca Cart 3.5.6

Hi

I seem to be having specific problems with my Google Merchant feed. Specifically, that the price, availability and GTIN are marked as missing or invalid.

After reading the other posts on the forum about the Google Merchant XML I thought it best to contact Google directly to see if it was an issue that they could help me rectify. The reason being that the parameters and fields in Phoca Cart all look as though they conform to Google's rules. More on their response further down.

So, I have a feed called HAC_Products set up as per the imgur link below (contains multiple images)

https://imgur.com/a/CUMOgzr

But using an example product, I get this

https://imgur.com/a/xd7lO9h

Again multiple images (the very last image in this series should be at the top!)

So this is an example of the XML for the above product

https://imgur.com/a/72iOORd


The feed is available here: https://horncastleanglingcentre.co.uk/s ... format=xml

After several weeks of messages back and forth the Google Team came up with this today
"Hi David,

Thank you for writing back. Hope you are doing great!

Upon checking we found that the feed is missing one basic requirement which is filename must end with the .xml extension and upon checking the file name it does not meet the requirement.

How to fix: We suggest you to add .xml extension at the end of the file name and after making the necessary changes, kindly reprocess the feed and wait for 24 hours.

You can refer to this article for more information.

I hope this information helps! Should you have further questions regarding the same, feel free to contact us via chat and email support."
this reply makes no sense to me, but I followed the link anyway



Amongst other info showing an example feed layout etc. I see the following info
Section 2: Important Checklist
Before you submit your feed, we highly recommend running through the following list to help ensure your file is properly formatted:

Your filename must end with the .xml extension.
The feed filename you register in your Google Merchant Center account must match the name you assign to your file.
Remember to include namespace declarations.
Verify the prefix included in the Google Merchant Center and Custom Google Merchant Center attribute tags matches the prefix defined in the namespace declaration.
Remove attributes that do not contain any values.
How can a feed have a filename extension?

Why would this miss only price, availability and GTIN but include all other info? All of that info is present in the correct format (however some examples in Google's own info shows price as <g:price>24.99 GBP</g:price> and some as <g:price>24.99</g:price> so it does not help that Google examples are inconsistent!

This process has taken me a month, please help!

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Jan
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Re: Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Post by Jan » 28 Apr 2021, 16:25

Hi,

- go to the XML Feed URL on your site

Code: Select all

https://horncastleanglingcentre.co.uk/shop/feed/1-hac-products?format=xml
- when the XML is loaded, click right mouse button and save the page as e.g. "horncastleanglingcentrefeed.xml"

Image

- copy this XML file to your server, e.g. to shop directory, so this file can be found here:

Code: Select all

https://horncastleanglingcentre.co.uk/shop/horncastleanglingcentrefeed.xml
- and let Google know this link (direct link to XML)

So we can test if the suffix .xml is really the problem.

If yes, then we need to find out how to rename the link to get the suffix .xml (unforutanely, URLs are created and parsed by Joomla! system, so then we need some hack to create such URL with suffix and to be able to read it)

Jan
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dmlwebal
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Re: Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Post by dmlwebal » 28 Apr 2021, 16:59

Hi Jan

Although I have tried a direct xml file upload I still followed your example. Sadly, no the errors are still the same!

Today, a few hours ago I received another email from Google Merchant (Shopping) saying this:
Hi David,

Thank you for writing back. Hope you are doing great!

I would like to share that we are still working on the case and would request you to be patient at this time. It can take another 24-48 hours for the same.

Rest assured, we'll get back to you as soon as we have any update regarding your query from the concerned team.

I hope this information helps!

Let me assure you that I am here to help you at any point of time, please do not hesitate to share with us if there is anything you think we can do to better your experience with us.
So, I shall give it until Saturday 1st May and see how things have progressed.

Regards
David

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Re: Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Post by dmlwebal » 28 Apr 2021, 17:02


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Jan
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Re: Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Post by Jan » 01 May 2021, 12:58

Ok, first we need to know, if the problem was really the missing .xml

If fact, Google gets the document where header clearly says, it is a XML so it is hard to me understand, they need to get .xml suffix.

But in case, they really need .xml, I can somehow customize the router in Phoca Cart which will transform the URL with .xml to standard link. Because this way a Joomla! system link cannot be changed, this will mean that only internal links can be changed:

Image

FROM:

Code: Select all

http://localhost/J3922/index.php/en/phoca-cart/feed/1-google?format=xml
TO:

Code: Select all

http://localhost/J3922/index.php/en/phoca-cart/feed/1-google.xml
And we can try to internaly change the 1-google.xml to 1-google?format=xml

This will mean, that Google gets the .xml version.

But of course, before doing such "hack", it is good to know, that missing .xml is really a problem (I still think, this should not be the problem because Google read all the XML and marked only some parts as problematic. So the logic says, this format of link without .xml can be read normally :idea: )

Jan
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Re: Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Post by dmlwebal » 01 May 2021, 13:42

Hi Jan

I am sorry to cause such a problem. Also, I agree that .xml extension surely cannot be the reason for the feed not displaying all fields. How would it be partially correct?

Also, Google have replied again today about two hours ago with this:
Hi David,

Greetings from Shopping Ads customer support. Hope you are doing great!

We understand your concern and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

I would like to share that we are still working on the case and would request you to be patient at this time. It can take another 48-72 business hours for the same.

Rest assured, we'll get back to you as soon as we have any update regarding your query from the concerned team.

I hope this information helps!

Let me assure you that I am here to help you at any point of time, please do not hesitate to share with us if there is anything you think we can do to better your experience with us.
I now strongly suspect that the problem lies outside of Phoca Cart feed structure and more to do with the receiving end. Why this would be the case, I can only imagine.

So, once again I am forced to wait for 3 days.

Thank you for your input and time though Jan, I would not wish you to change the format of your feed plugin unnecessarily nor waste your time.

Regards
David

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Re: Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Post by Jan » 02 May 2021, 12:34

Hi, it is not a problem to change it if needed - because this can help other users who will have similar problems in future.

But we need to know, what is the real problem. The answers you got ... hmmm ... this seems like the people who answered you, have no idea about the problem :-(

Jan
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dmlwebal
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Re: Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Post by dmlwebal » 02 May 2021, 14:25

Agreed :(

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dmlwebal
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Re: Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Post by dmlwebal » 04 May 2021, 09:50

Hi Jan

I think it best to consider this matter as 'on hold' until I get some logical explanation from Google. Once more I have received an email from them asking to wait another 48 hours until the team can resolve the issue.
I am starting to wonder if they favour registered Google partners using commercial feed solutions over individual traders. It is hard not to suspect this. Please note, I am not attempting to draw in any conspiracy, only that I think Phoca Cart XML output is not at fault here.

Regards
David

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Re: Google Merchant XML feed - missing price, GTIN, availability

Post by dmlwebal » 05 May 2021, 09:56

UPDATE: May 05 2021

Today I received this from another Google department
Hi David,

Thank you for your response and the issue. We appreciate your patience while we reviewed your query.

Investigation: Account Id- *********

I am following up on my colleague's behalf (Rajat) and post checking the account with our concerned team, we found that you didn't implememt the feed correctly due to which our system is unable to read all the attributes in the feed. We can see that our system is only reading title, id, description and link attributes and rest of them are not getting processed due to incorrect implementation. You need to implement the xml feed by following the instructions by following this article, https://support.google.com/merchants/an ... 0589?hl=en.

Next Step- Please fix the issue and please add the information about feedname, description of the site and link.

<title>The name of your data feed</title> <link>http://www.example.com</link> <description>A description of your content</description> <item> <title>Red

Note- You have to provide the name of the feed, website link and description of your website and then you can add values to the attribute. Please click here for further insights.
The link opens to a page that contains this instruction:
Section 2: Important Checklist
Before you submit your feed, we highly recommend running through the following list to help ensure your file is properly formatted:

Your filename must end with the .xml extension.
The feed filename you register in your Google Merchant Center account must match the name you assign to your file.
Remember to include namespace declarations. These values should match exactly as shown.
Google Merchant Center namespace:xmlns:g="http://base.google.com/ns/1.0".
Custom attributes namespace: xmlns:[prefix]="http://base.google.com/cns/1.0", where[prefix] is replaced by the prefix you've included in your file.
Verify the prefix included in the Google Merchant Center and Custom Google Merchant Center attribute tags matches the prefix defined in the namespace declaration.
Remove attributes that do not contain any values.
:idea: :x

I still have no clear idea on how or where to fix the feed

Regards
David

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