How to use the CSS dashboard in the Google Merchant Center

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

The CSS dashboard in the Google Merchant Center lets you see which CSS is advertising on your behalf. From here you can choose which CSS you want to work with – read on to find out how. 

Your Merchant Center account

The CSS dashboard can only be accessed from a Merchant Center where you have claimed your site URL and that is associated with Google Shopping CSS. The URL claim is required because Google wants to verify that only the owner of the URL has rights over their CSS activity. 

If you switched your Merchant Center to Shoparize CSS or another CSS partner, you’ve lost access to the CSS dashboard. You will need to create a new Merchant Center account with Google Shopping CSS and claim your website there. This URL claim will not affect your campaign operations or cause downtime in your campaigns with another CSS.

To create a new Merchant Center account, navigate to https://merchants.google.com/ and sign up for a Merchant Center account with a Google account that is not yet associated with an existing Merchant Center.

Note: If you have not switched to Shoparize CSS or another CSS partner, and your Merchant Center is still under Google Shopping CSS, you do not need to create a new Merchant Center Account.

After creating the Merchant Center with Google Shopping CSS, you just need to claim and verify the site URL to view the CSS activity dashboard. Find instructions to claim and verify your website URL on this Google support page.

The CSS dashboard

You can find the Comparison Shopping Services dashboard in Shopping ads setup under the Tools menu.

Click on Comparison Shopping Services, and scroll down.

You will see which CSS has uploaded your inventory and might be advertising products on your behalf.  To choose whether you would like to Enable or Disable a specific CSS, tick the box associated with that particular CSS. When you opt in or opt out of a CSS, that CSS will receive a notification.

You can also use the CSS dashboard to select your CSS partner to represent you in free listings or place products outside of Europe. Note that you can only choose one CSS to represent you in free listings and place products for you outside of Europe. Read more about free listings here. If you would like to switch your account from one CSS to another, you can read about this process here.

We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at css@shoparize.com.

How to Avoid Issues with a Feed File Name

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

When switching your Merchant Center to a multi-client account like Shoparize CSS, some issues may occur with your feed file name. These issues may prevent you from completing the switch. We have created this how-to article to prevent these issues from happening and to help you resolve any feed file name issues you have now. 

What is a feed?

A feed is a file that lists the products you wish to advertise through the Merchant Center. Your feed can be used multiple times across multiple Merchant Center features. Once a feed is created and registered, you can update the existing feed without needing to register it again. 

The Merchant Center uses multiple types of feeds. The primary feed is the main data source the Merchant Center uses to access and display your product data. Read about how to set up a primary feed here.

Switching CSS

When you switch to Shoparize CSS or any other CSS, you have the option to migrate your account as a stand-alone account or as a sub-account of the CSS’s multi-client account. We advise you to migrate your account as a sub-account of the CSS’s multi-client account to ensure that your products will always be accurately presented on the CSS websites. 

Feed file name

When you have migrated your Merchant Center account as a sub-account of the CSS, it is essential that you provide a unique feed file name. If your feed file name is not unique, you will receive the following error message:

“Feed file name in this account is not unique. Feed file names need to be unique within a multi-client account.” Because of this error, the switch cannot be completed. When you receive this error message, you can change the feed file name in your Merchant Center account by following these steps:

  • Navigate to Feeds under Products in the Merchant Center.

Feed in the Google Merchant Center

  • Click on the feed name where the error occurred.

primary feeds

  • Navigate to Settings.

feed file name

  • Scroll down to Name, create a unique feed name, and press Save.

feed file name

If you have not yet created a primary feed, there is no feed file name for you to change and the steps above do not apply to you. When you create your feed, simply make sure you enter a descriptive name that is likely to be unique and that helps you identify the primary feed.

In either case, the feed name does not need to match the name of the file you are submitting. The feed file name is not linked to anything and can therefore be changed without consequences for your feed.

This is not the case for the file name. The file name of the file you are submitting should exactly match the name of the file you have created. The file name should also include a valid extension, like .gz, .txt, .xml, .zip, or .bz2. 

We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions about this topic or would like our help with changing your feed file name, please contact us at css@shoparize.com. If you experience any issues with your product feed regarding policy violations or account suspension, read our article on this topic to help you solve them.

How to create a primary feed

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

What is a feed?

A feed is a file that lists the products you wish to advertise through the Merchant Center. To upload your product data to the Merchant Center, you will need a feed into which you can submit that data.

The Merchant Center uses various types of feeds. The primary feed is the main data source the Merchant Center uses to access and display your product data and is the only feed type that can add or remove products. Supplemental feeds are used to add or update information in your primary feed. A supplemental feed can therefore never be the main data source.

Your feed can be used multiple times across multiple Merchant Center features. Once a feed is created and registered, you can update the existing feed without needing to register it again. 

How to create a primary feed

Google recommends that you submit all your products into a single primary feed. If your primary feed contains all the core product data necessary to show your products in Google Shopping, you don’t have to create a supplemental feed. 

Follow these steps to create a primary feed:

  1. In the left Merchant Center menu, navigate to Products, Feeds.

Feeds in the Google Merchant Center

     2. At the top of the page, you will see the primary feeds section. Use the + button to create a new primary feed.

Primary feeds Google Merchant Center

      3. Enter all the information following the prompts:

  • Select the country and language in which products from this feed are sold. Remember to make sure that you meet all requirements for the country you submit.

Primary feed country of sale Google Merchant Center

  • After you have selected the language, you can choose one or more feed destinations. The feed destinations allow you to manage which Google features can use the items in your data feed.

Primary feed destination Google Merchant Center

  • You can enter a descriptive and unique name in this menu. It’s a common misconception that the feed name and the name of the file you will submit must match. This is not the case. You can read more about the feed file name here.  If for any reason you want to edit the primary feed name later, this is possible by editing your primary feed settings. After entering the feed name, you can choose an input method.

Primary Feed name Google Merchant Center

  • Depending on the input method you have selected, you may have the option to enter the file name of the file you are submitting. The file name should be identical to the name of the file you created. The file name should also include a valid extension. Valid extensions include .txt, .xml, .gz, .zip, and .bz2.
  • Click continue to complete the primary feed creation.

That’s it! You have just created your primary feed. You can now view and manage your feed in the Merchant Center under Feeds

If you would like to show your product data in additional countries, you can add a country of sale by clicking Add below Additional countries or clicking the three dots in your feed’s Settings tab.

Primary Feed settings Google Merchant Center

If you experience any issues with your product feed regarding policy violations or account suspension, read this article to help you solve them.

We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions about this topic or would like our help creating your feed, please contact us at css@shoparize.com

How to switch to Shoparize CSS

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

You want to switch to Shoparize CSS — fantastic! Read on to find out how. 

Access levels

When you initiate the switch to Shoparize CSS, you need to send a confirmation email from the Merchant Center. To do this, you need access to the Users tab in the Merchant Center Account access setting. Read this article to learn more about account access levels in the Merchant Center.

Since only an Admin user has access to the Users tab, not all user access levels can send this confirmation email. To see whether you are an Admin user, go to the Tools menu in the Merchant Center. If you see Account access listed under Settings in the menu, you have access to this setting and are an Admin user. 

account access in the merchant center

If you are not an account Admin, you cannot complete the switching process. It should not be hard to find the account Admin — this is the person who can add and remove Merchant Center users. Think about who in your organization is most likely to have this type of role.

Make the switch

If you happen to be an Admin user, follow these steps to send the confirmation email needed to switch to Shoparize CSS:

Go to Settings, then Account access. Verify your identity by entering your password. You will then have access to the Account access page, where you can add a new user by clicking Add user

user access levels in the merchant center

Now enter Shoparize’s email address, css@shoparize.com, and click Add user.

add email to switch to shoparize css

You can select the type of access you want to give us. Please make sure to provide us with Admin access to migrate as a sub-account of Shoparize CSS. Migrating as a sub-account means that you give us an administration role and therefore access to your APIs. This means that product and feed updates can be processed directly to ensure that your products are always accurately presented on the CSS websites.

After that, you will receive a Docusign contract to sign and return via email. Shoparize will appear in the CSS users section on your Account access menu when that has been completed. 

give shoparize admin access

You have successfully switched to Shoparize CSS! We are very excited to work with you.

If you have any more questions about the switching your account from one CSS to another, you can read this article about it. In case you are switching from Google Shopping CSS and are curious about the changes in support and your Google Merchant Center, you can find answers in this article.

We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions about this process or need help with the switch process, please feel free to reach out to us at any time at css@shoparize.com. 

How do I link my Google Ads account with my Google Merchant Center?

Reading time: 3–5 minutes

Linking your Google Ads and Merchant Center account is a necessary step to take if you want to set up Shopping campaigns. In this article we explain how to link the two accounts together. 

Link your Google Ads and Merchant Center accounts

You first need a Google Merchant Center account. If you don’t already have one, you can create a new Merchant Center Account by navigating to https://merchants.google.com/ and signing up for a Merchant Center Account with a Google account.

Once you have a Google Merchant Center account, you are ready to link the accounts. 

  1. Request link to Google Ads from the Merchant Center

    You can link a single Google Ads account to multiple Google Merchant Center accounts, or multiple Google Ads accounts to a single Google Merchant Center account. The link is always created from the Merchant Center.

    Steps to link to other Google Ads accounts:

  • Navigate to Linked accounts under Settings from the Tools icon in your Merchant Center.
  • Select Google Ads.
  • Click Link account under Other Google Ads accounts.
  • Enter the Google Ads customer ID of the account to link.
  • Click on Send link request.

Link Google ads account

Please note that you need admin access to your Google Ads account and need to be a Merchant Center account user to link with the Google Merchant Center. 

If your Google Ads account is already added at a multi-client account level, you can follow these steps to link your Google Ads account:

  • Go to Tools, Settings, Linked accounts  in your Merchant Center.
  • Select Google Ads.
  • Locate the Google Ads customer ID of the account to link.
  • Click on Link, which you can find under Actions.
  1. Approve the link request in your Google Ads account
  • After signing into your Google Ads account, navigate to the Tools icon, Settings, Linked accounts.
  • Find the Google Merchant Center, and click Details.

Link google ads account with google merchant center

  • Click View request in the Actions column to see the request details of the account you want to link. You should see Needs your approval in the Status column.
  • Click Approve to approve the link or Reject to reject the link. 

You can find the new account link requests in your Google Ads account: Go to Tools and settings, Setup, Linked accounts.

Linked accounts in Google ads account

Cancel or unlink your Google Ads and Google Merchant Center accounts

After you have successfully linked Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts, it is possible to cancel or resend a link request from the Google Merchant Center or to unlink an account. This can be done from either the Google Merchant Center or Google Ads. 

  • Cancel a link request: navigate to Tools, Settings, Linked accounts in the Merchant Center, and click Cancel request in the Google Ads tab.
  • Unlink accounts:  go to Tools, Settings, Linked accounts in the Merchant Center, and navigate to Your Google Ads account or Other Google Ads accounts. Click Unlink for the relevant account.

    You can also unlink accounts from your Google Ads account. Go to Tools, Setup, Linked accounts. Click on Details under Google Merchant Center, and find the account you want to unlink. Click Unlink.

Some important things to know about linking your Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts
  • The accounts begin to share information once the Google Ads account owner approves the request. Google Ads statistics, such as clicks, will then be visible in the linked Google Merchant Center, and the Merchant Center product information will be accessible in Google Ads to help create campaigns.
  • The link between the two accounts can be removed at any time by the Google Ads account owners and the admin or standard Google Merchant Center users. An owner or user of one account cannot make changes to the other linked account unless they are also an owner or user of that account.
  • Please be careful with the account link. If you remove it, the Shopping campaigns will no longer receive data from the Google Merchant Center account and will be unable to serve ads. New Google Ad campaigns that use product data from this Merchant Center cannot be created if you remove the account link. 

We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions about linking your Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts, please contact us today at css@shoparize.com.