Google Merchant Center

How to Configure the Pattern Attribute in Your Product Feed?

0 · by Dennis Moons · Updated on 12 April 2023

Are patterns used on the products you sell important for your customers? If they are, Google Shopping allows merchants to specify this product feature through a separate product feed attribute.

In this piece, we’ll cover the pattern attribute and explain what it is, how Google uses it, what the formatting requirements are, how to add [pattern] to an item in your feed, and more.

Join us to learn more about configuring this attribute.

This article is part of our Google Shopping Feed hub.

What Is the Pattern Attribute in the Product Feed?

The pattern attribute in Google Shopping allows advertisers to indicate the pattern (or graphic print) on a specific product.

It refers to the pattern applied to items in the apparel category. However, patterns can be important for other categories of products as well, like furniture, bathroom accessories, and other items.

The general idea is, if the pattern applied to the item serves to differentiate it from other products in the same category, you can use the pattern attribute to tell Google these two items are different.

Let’s examine this in greater detail.

Is the Pattern Attribute Required?

It depends on the product, for some products pattern is required, while for others it’s optional.

If your products vary by pattern, the pattern attribute is required. And if product variants are defined by pattern, you should also submit info about the pattern.

The pattern attribute is optional when pattern is the distinguishing feature, but not a feature that defines product variants.

To figure out whether values for the pattern attribute are required in your product feed, use this shortcut: will customers use a word describing the pattern of the product when searching for it online? If the answer is yes, then you probably should include product info about patterns.

For example, say you sell shirts. Shirts can have all sorts of patterns, including stripes (vertical stripes or horizontal stripes), plaid, tartan, checkered, etc. To reach potential customers who search for “plaid shirts”, you need to populate the pattern attribute.

Same goes for dresses with patterns like paisley, dots (polka dot), floral, herringbone, etc.

Let’s check how Google uses product data about patterns.

How Is the Pattern Attribute Used in Google Shopping?

In a nutshell, info about the patterns used on products helps Google to filter search queries. Of course, customers will use other product attributes as well, including size, gender, material, and so on.

Sometimes, even info about the graphic print can play an important role, especially for products featuring something specific, like a sports team logo, a band logo, etc.

So, the value you provide for the pattern attribute will be used to filter search results, along with other pieces of product data.

But how do you enter values for patterns? Let’s check that out next.

Options for Pattern

The formatting requirements for providing values for patterns are easy to follow: the entry can have up to 100 Unicode characters.

There are no predefined options, only that you must enter a pattern, and not something else (more on this below).

In text feed file format, you can simply type the pattern, for example: “Plaid.”

For XML feeds, you need to use tags before and after the entry. For instance: <g:pattern>Plaid</g:pattern>

Tips for providing entries for the pattern attribute

Don’t add product info that’s not about pattern

There are many other product attributes in the feed. Use the appropriate attribute to provide details about color, gender, size, material, etc.

Use pattern when the variant is defined by the pattern

For instance, if the same product is available in stripes and plaid – specify this using patterns. You can also create an item group ID to organize all of these product variants.

Only one entry for pattern counts

No need to add anything extra. Google won’t consider any other word past the first one, so there isn’t an option for providing multiple patterns in one field, there is one pattern per product.

Entries should include a specific pattern

Don’t enter “multi” or “none” or something that’s not a type of pattern; rather enter a value that customers will easily recognize (no numbers, abbreviations, or codes).

Let us now check how to add this to the product feed.

How To Add Pattern to Your Product Feed

The default way to provide values for patterns is by using an eCommerce platform. These apps allow merchants to specify the features of apparel items, including the pattern. Such data is then automatically shared with your product feed.

You can also use Merchant Center feed rules to edit pattern. To select products from your feed, choose a criterion (i.e. a rule) and then add a pattern for all items that satisfy that criterion.

Common Problems With the Pattern Attribute

The most common product feed issue with pattern is when the value is wrong. This is when merchants enter info on size, gender, or material through pattern (instead of using the respective attribute). Also, if the value is not a pattern or includes a typo, you might have an issue, for example, “strp” instead of “stripes.”

All of these issues are easy to resolve, double-check the entry and make sure it’s an actual pattern that’s correctly spelled.

Pattern Makes a Difference for Some Products

Having rich product data in your feed helps Google serve your ads to users who will find them relevant.

The pattern attribute is especially important for items in the apparel product category, in addition to some other product categories, which is used to filter results. Users can also filter results by gender, size, material, age group, etc.

The more data you provide, the better the quality of the clicks.

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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