Google Merchant Center

Age group attribute in Google Shopping Feeds

0 · by Dennis Moons · Updated on 13 April 2023

Specifying the age of a product’s intended user can be helpful with product matching for search queries on Google Shopping.

In this article, we cover the age group attribute for product feeds; what it is, how to comply with Google’s formatting requirements, and other useful tips.

Let’s check it out.

This article is part of our Google Shopping Feed hub.

What Is the Age Group Attribute in the Product Feed?

The age group attribute allows merchants to specify the demographic group of the end user of their product.

For example, if you sell shoes for adults, you can set the age group to “adults.” When users search this term, or when they use an age-based filter on the search results, Google Shopping can show them relevant products.

If product filters include the gender attribute along with the age attribute, users can get the right size and product design. For instance, you can use these two attributes to specify the difference between children’s dresses (for girls) and adult dresses (for women) or running shoes for men vs running shoes for women.

Is the Age Group Attribute Required?

Yes, this attribute is required, but only for some of the Google product categories.

These categories are Apparel & Accessories (ID 166 according to Google’s product taxonomy list). If there are no values for the age group attribute, your products will not appear in free listings and Shopping ads. 

The age group attribute is optional for some subcategories of products within the Apparel & Accessories category, including handkerchiefs, shoe laces, watch bands, wallet chains, or cufflinks.

If you don’t sell apparel, there’s no need to define this attribute. There is no default value for age groups unless you add one. 

For example, when selling hardware or electronics, this attribute is not needed.

How Is the Age Group Attribute Used in Google Shopping?

Age group helps both Google and its users to hone in on the right search results.

In Google Shopping, there is a product filter (usually, on the left-hand side) where users can specify the demographic when they browse through results, i.e. toddler clothes vs children clothes.

Google uses the values provided for the age group attribute in your feed to deliver this feature. As usual, the more info you provide about the product, the better the match for your potential customer.

Options for the Age Group Attribute

The options for this attribute are straightforward. Only five values are supported:

  • Newborn: up to three months of age (sizes are defined in months for this group)
  • Infant: three months to twelve months of age (sizes are also defined in months)
  • Toddler: one to five years old (sizes can be either in months or years)
  • Kids: five to thirteen years (children sizes)
  • Adult: teen or older

To set the age group for a product, simply type a supported value:

  • Text feed: kids
  • XML feeds: <g:age_group>kids</g:age_group>

Important note: usually, when you assign an age group to a product, this age group is automatically added to all variants of that product. So, if you have the same product in more categories (for example, both kids and adult sizes; or infant, toddler and kid sizes), double check whether each product has the appropriate age group.

How To Add the Age Group Attribute to Your Product Feed

There are two ways to add age groups to products in your feed: through an eCommerce platform or with feed rules and supplemental feeds.

When you use an eCommerce platform, product data is automatically sent to your feed.

If you prefer to set the age group attribute directly in Google Merchant Center, you can use feed rules to do this. Select products based on shared criteria and change the value for age group.

Alternatively, add a supplemental feed to make bulk changes. With this option, you can add a list of products (the file should have at least two columns: product IDs and values for age group).

Let’s clear up a common misunderstanding about the age group attribute.

The Adult Attribute vs the Age Group Adult

Advertisers often make a mistake when they want to specify that their product is for adults.

There is a separate attribute known as the adult attribute: it’s meant for products with sexually suggestive content or products designed to enhance sexual activity. 

This attribute is used to earmark products like sex toys which are oriented towards adult customers. Of course, the purpose of this attribute is to prevent these items from showing up in ads served to minors.

On the other hand, the age group attribute with the “adult” value is used for apparel. As we mentioned earlier, in this case, adult is one of the supported values (along with newborn, infant, toddler, and kid) and it serves to specify the size of the item.

Ok, let’s check other common issues with this attribute.

Common Problems With the Age Group Attribute

High quality data, including data for the age group attribute, will optimize the ad’s performance. So, any problem with this attribute can affect the overall success of your store. Common issues include:

Missing value

When advertisers get a notification about missing product data that is required. The issue can be with the age group attribute, but it can also be with any of the following attributes: size, color, or gender. To solve it, provide the missing value in your feed.

Wrong value

This applies when you’ve entered a value for an age group that is not supported. To solve this issue, double check your entry in the feed and correct it.

High Quality Product Data Is Important

Google says that product matching for apparel works best when these products are classified in an age group based on the product’s end user.

With the age group attribute, you can set the appropriate group by providing one of the supported values (newborn, infant, toddler, kid, adult).

Users can use this detailed product data to filter Shopping ad results and get exactly what they want to buy.

Don’t mistake the adult attribute with the adult value for the age group attribute. One is for sex toys, the other is for apparel, like jackets.

If you get a notification about a missing or wrong age group attribute, you can easily solve the issue by correcting the product data entries in your feed.

Dennis Moons

Dennis Moons is the founder and lead instructor at Store Growers.

He's a Google Ads expert with over 12 years of experience in running Google Ads campaigns.

During this time he has managed more than $5 million in ad spend and worked with clients ranging from small businesses to global brands. His goal is to provide advice that allows you to compete effectively in Google Ads.

Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.


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