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Product Reviews XML Feed

Modified on: Sat, 6 Apr, 2019 at 7:58 PM


Product Reviews XML Feed

The Google Shopping Product Reviews XML feed allows you to show your reviews inside Google Shopping search results.

In order to show your product reviews on Google Shopping, you need to upload a Product Review Feeds via your Google Merchant account. Judge.me Product Reviews will generate this feed for you, but you will have to add the feed to your Merchant Center account. Once Google has reviewed and approved your feed, Google will try to match your product reviews with products on Google Shopping.

Before you start

  • You need a Google Merchant Center account (create a free account here)
  • You need a product feed, we recommend usings Simprosys' Google Shopping Feed app to create the feed
  • You need product identifiers that can be used by Google to match your products with product reviews (e.g. GTIN, MPN + brand name, SKU)
  • You need at least 50 eligible product reviews
  • Enable the Product Review Feeds in your Judge.me App admin

Sign up for Product Ratings

Signing up for product ratings will allow you to enter the "Product reviews" section in your Merchant Center and eventually upload your product review feed. You can skip this step if the "Product reviews" section (left-hand menu) is already available to you.

Fill out the Product Rating Interest Form

  • Specify Judge.me as you 3rd party aggregator service
  • Provide Google with the amount of 1- to 5-star ratings you have collected

You can find these collected reviews in the Judge.me app admin, go to: More > Settings > SEO > Google Product Review Feed > Review Feed Installation Info and click (show) below "Reviews per rating:" to see the amount of 1- to 5-star ratings collected so far.

Receive reply from Google Product Ratings Team (not an "approved aggregator" feedback)

You will receive a reply from Google informing you that "Judge.me is not an approved aggregator". You can go ahead with an approved partnership by replying to this email and stating that you want to directly send a Product Ratings feed to Google. Afterwards Google will manually check your website.

Email text for reference

Thank you for noting that you would be interested in sending product ratings to Google for "{{your store name}}".

Your aggregator, 'Judge.me', does not have an approved partnership for the Product Ratings program with Google yet. They can apply to become an approved aggregator by filling this Product Ratings Partnership Request.

New aggregator approvals may take a while, so in the meantime, "{{your store name}}" can send a direct product ratings feed to Google. Alternatively, you may be interested in submitting product ratings and reviews through Google Customer Reviews (GCR). This is a new feature of the GCR program, and you can read more about it here.

Please let us know if you would like to send a direct Product Ratings feed by replying directly to this email.

Manual Store Review by Google

Based on our experience, the manual review of your website will only take a very few days. If everything is okay, Google will follow-up with you and the "Product reviews" section is now available in your Merchant Center (left-hand menu).

Email text for reference

Thank you for the information.

We have enabled your Merchant Center Account "Underground Lighting" (122608236) for Google Product Ratings. To get started, please follow the steps below. You can also refer to our Help Center Article for detailed instructions.

  1. Sign in to your Merchant Center and click on Product Reviews to register a new feed
  2. Provide basic information about your Product Ratings Feed
  3. Choose whether feeds will be uploaded manually or schedule a fetch for automatic uploads
  4. Provide further details in regard to the feed upload

Troubleshooting: Manual Store Review

Typical topics that Google will point out after a manual store review are:

  • "5 stars are pre-selected" issue: You can disable pre-selection for the review form here: Settings > Review Widget > Widget Design > Widget Form Preset Rating > Preset form rating.
  • Anyone can leave a review ("Web reviews") mention: You can disable web reviews here: Settings > Review Curation > Web Reviews, so that only buyers coming from our review requests can leave a review.
  • Verified Badge explanation: Judge.me will add a verified buyer badge to reviews for which the reviewer is also part of your customer list (as provided by Shopify).
  • Below 50 reviews requirement: Because of unpublished reviews, your store is showing fewer reviews than you have earlier reported to Google. Publish these reviews to reach the threshold.

Upload your Product Reviews Feed to the Merchant Center

Once you are approved by Google, you will be able to see the Product reviews feed type in Google Merchant Center (see screenshot above). You can now submit the product reviews XML feed.

Product reviews feed set-up

In your Merchant Center, go to "Product revews" (left-hand side) > Feeds > click the blue plus sign to create a new feed. Then fill out the information.

Basic information

  • Mode = Standard
  • Type = Product reviews

Name and input method

  • Feed name can be any, e.g. "Judge.me Review Feed XML"
  • Select Scheduled fetch

Setup

  • File name the file name can be obtained in your Judge.me App admin, see Filename
  • Fetch frequency = Daily
  • Fetch time (keep default value)
  • Time zone (keep default value)

Judge.me will update the XML feed file daily.

The feed file doesn't require a username/password.

Google will manually review your feed after the first submission.

Manual Feed Review by Google

Google states that the review of your Product Ratings Feed can take between 2 to 4 weeks. The review process may require your support in correcting possible feed errors. The product ratings will only appear online after finishing the review process successfully.

If everything is okay, Google will follow-up with you and potentially already show some of your live product reviews. However - based on our experience - it can take 2 to 6 weeks for your reviews to show in Google Shopping. For further help, please see our Article Why are my reviews not showing in Google Shopping?

Email text for reference

I am happy to inform you that the Google Product Ratings feed for the store "{{your domain}}" has been successfully integrated into our system. Attached are the screenshots of some of your reviews currently live online on Google Shopping pages.

Troubleshooting: Manual Feed Review

Typical topics that Google will point out after a manual store review are:

  • Comments about shipping and delivery: You can remove "Shop level reviews" from your product ratings feed in your Review Feed Advanced Settings
  • Reviews are not present on it's associated URLs: According to Google's Product Ratings program policies, all product reviews have to be shared with Google, including low-star reviews. Reviews that are currently curated as hidden will also show in the feed. Publish or archive the reviews at hand (note that Google won't accept a feed with only 4- and 5-star reviews).
  • URLs present in the feed are showing a "404 page Not Found": You can remove "Out of store products" from your product ratings feed in your Review Feed Advanced Settings
  • Reviewer name is unsupported: You can change the Reviewer name to "using initial for the last name, e.g. John S." in your Review Feed Advanced Settings
  • Reviews that contain Personal Information in title/content: Please manually remove the personal information based on Google's feedback/examples
  • Many reviews are present multiple times/duplicated in the feed: Please review your product group settings. A review can be shared among multiple products, yet you need to make sure that this is done by using our Product Group feature and not by (manually) duplicating reviews.
  • Reviews have no relevant content: Reviews will have generic content (product title) when the In-Email Review Form is submitted without content and the review is not edited/updated by the reviewer in the follow-up on the product page. Currently, the "Shop level reviews" setting will also take care of these kind of reviews.

Ensure Strong IDs across feeds

In order to match your product reviews to your products, Google will use

  • GTIN (recommended)
  • metadata information such as SKU, Brand + MPN pairs and product URLs

Recommended: Use GTIN as a strong identifier across your product feed and your product reviews feed. For this, you will have to upload the GTIN in the barcode field in the Shopify products admin.

As recommended in the official documentation, Judge.me uses SKU as the value of the ID in the product reviews feed (taken from the information you provide in the Shopify Products Admin).

For an app to create a product feed with SKU as item id (instead of a the Shopify Product ID as item id), we recommend:

Shopify's own Google Shopping app does not allow for SKU to be used as item id in the products feed, but instead users the Shopify Product ID.

Please note: If you are changing the product ID in your Product Feed inside your Google Merchant Center, you will lose the product's advertising history in Merchant Center and AdWords.

Please study Google's documentation for product ids for further details.

Feedback

Please reach out to us if you have any questions: support@judge.me so we can help you out.

And of course, if your reviews are showing in Google Shopping, let us know so we can celebrate together!

Troubleshooting

In case that you have correspondence with the Google Product Ratings Team (shopping-ads-reviews@google.com) about issues during the review of the ratings feed ("Google Product Reviews XML Feed") (subject line of these emails is {case number} {your domain} Google Product Ratings Feed Issues / Feed Issues), make sure that after updating our XML Feed (url: https://s3.amazonaws.com/me.judge.google-feed-xml/reviews/.......-bfd3-4e6a-b135-e95a3ccde87b.xml, e.g. via our settings or customer support staff), you also allow the Google Merchant Center to fetch the data again (typically the data is fetched once a day) or manually fetch the new data from the updated feed. You can manually fetch the data by going here: Product reviews > Feeds > {your feed} > Processing > Fetch now (on the right-hand side).

Technical Notes

XML Feed specifics

  • Inside a <review> element, the <is_spam> element will be set based on your current review publishing status.
  • All deleted reviews, will be collect inside the <deleted_reviews> element as a list of <review_id> (a review will be deleted inside the product reviews feed if it is archieved in Judge.me)
  • Judge.me starts updating all XML feed everyday at 4AM (UTC)

BigCommerce

For BigCommerce, we will use SKU as Product IDs in the Google Product Reviews XML Feed, we will include MPN, GTIN and brand if available



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