Well as anyone that follows this blog knows, the concept of a single taxonomy for the web has been a topic of discussion for some time. Bing, Google, and others have joined up in the Schema.org project as we reported previously, but Google has taken it to a whole new level!
How can Google do this? Well it is actually very easy. Recently they released a new “mandatory enhancement” to their Product listing service, or product data feed. This change requires all products to have
- The “Image” attribute is now required in every country except Japan. Users can still submit up to 10 additional images for their product.
- The “Availability” attribute, which indicates whether an item is currently out of stock, is now required in the U.S., UK, Germany, and France.
- Product categories will have to be specified for the following categories:
- Apparel & Accessories (including sub-categories of “Clothing” and “Shoes”).
- Media (including sub-categories of “Books,” “DVDs & Movies,” and “Music”).
- Software (including the sub-category “Video Game Software”).
- Items in the “Apparel” category in the U.S. will require the “Age Group,” “Gender,” “Color,” and “Size” to be listed in the product feed.
- A new set of “Variant Attributes” will now be required in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, and Japan for any product that varies in “color,” “size,” “material,” and “pattern.”