Google Merchant Center

The Product Highlight Attribute: Practical Tips

0 · by Dennis Moons · Updated on 20 March 2023

Google regularly introduces new attributes for its shopping feed on a regular basis.

And one of these recent additions is the product_highlight attribute.

In this article, we’ll cover how to use the attribute, and explain how to avoid feed issues related to it.

This article is part of our Google Product Feed hub.

What Is the Product Highlight Attribute in the Product Feed?

Product_highlight is an attribute that allows advertisers to provide relevant highlights about their products.

This type of product data is shown to users as a bulleted list.

The format is very similar to the one that Amazon retailers use when presenting products to users. So, the product highlight attribute is designed to provide product info that’s short and easy to skim.

In fact, the text for product_highlight is very close to the traditional ad copy. It should list noteworthy features of the product or address common questions a potential buyer might have.

Google introduced product_highlight along with product_details (different from highlight). 

Both attributes help to provide more information about a product. This can help potential customers to figure out whether the product has the desired features. 

The product highlight attribute is for listing core product features, while the product details attribute is for sharing the technical specifications of the product.

Is the Product Highlight Attribute Required?

No, product_highlight is optional. 

While the product_highlight attribute is not required, it can be a valuable tool in improving the visibility and appeal of your products to potential customers. Including a product highlight can help you stand out from your competitors and provide customers with important information about your product’s unique features and benefits. 

By leveraging this attribute, you can showcase what makes your product special and attract more attention from shoppers who are looking for products that meet their specific needs and preferences.

Using this attribute is a great opportunity to present your unique selling proposition to potential buyers, especially if you sell consumer electronics.

It’s also recommended for retailers who sell items like furniture and cosmetics.

How Is the Product Highlight Attribute Used in Google Shopping?

Google uses the values for product_highlight in free listings.

It’s not really used in Shopping Ads.

It’s great to convey important selling points to customers. It’s the closest you can get to a traditional (non-digital) ad format, like a TV or radio advertisement, within the Google ecosystem.

It works best to pinpoint an exact type of product from a group of products that have a wide range of technical specifications. 

For example, a camera. A handful of bulleted points about the camera will help Google serve a relevant suggestion to its users. And once the item is served, the user can quickly determine whether they are interested in the product by simply skim-reading the bullet points.

Let’s check how advertisers can format this attribute.

Options for Product highlight

The formatting requirements for product_highlight in Google Shopping are flexible. Advertisers can use up to 150 characters per highlight.

We say “per highlight” because product_highlight is a repeated field. This means that advertisers can submit multiple values. For this attribute, the minimum is 2 values and the maximum is 100 values, though it’s recommended to have 4-6 values per item. The values are provided consecutively, one (bullet) after another (bullet).

Here’s how that works for a specific item, for example, a table:

For text feeds

For example: made of lightweight and durable material,easy to install with basic tools like screwdriver,multifunctional design: can sit three or six people, foldable design: you can quickly tuck it away.

For XML feeds

Here is what those same values look like in an XML feed:

<g:product_highlight>made of lightweight and durable material<g:product_highlight><g:product_highlight>easy to install with basic tools like screwdriver<g:product_highlight><g:product_highlight>multifunctional design: can sit three or six people<g:product_highlight><g:product_highlight>foldable design: you can quickly tuck it away<g:product_highlight>

Let’s check methods to provide values for product_highlight.

How To Add Product Highlight to Your Product Feed

There are three ways to populate values for the product highlight attribute, and since the attribute is specific to Google and was introduced recently, they are all done in Google Merchant Center.

The first method is to edit values for each individual item directly in Google Merchant Center. It’s great if you want to update a couple of items, but for bulk updates, you’ll probably need to use one of the other two.

You can use feed rules to select a group of items that satisfy a specific criterion (for instance, all items contain “camera for kids” in the title). The list of product highlights you provide in this manner will apply to all items in the group.

Alternatively, you can create a supplemental feed  with one column with product ids, and one column with values for product_highlight.

Next, we’ll check feed issues concerning product_highlight.

Common Problems With the [product_highlight] Attribute

Although product_highlight is an optional attribute, Google may penalize you and disapprove of your items if you don’t follow the requirements.

The main issue that can get you in trouble is providing promotional text as a value.

You can solve these by adhering to the official guidelines. The guidelines for configuring product_highlight in Google Shopping are similar to those for product description and product title. Here is a list of best practices:

Don’t include promotional text

Info on sales, product delivery, company name is not allowed. Use attributes like sale price, shipping, and availability to provide promotional info instead.

Highlight only the product that is offered

Don’t cover other accessories, or whether the product is compatible with other products, etc.

Don’t compare it to other products

Don’t mention that your product is cheaper or better than other products, even if this is true.

Don’t include product category in the highlight

Instead, use the Google product category and product type attributes to provide this info.

Don’t add any links

Instead, use the link attribute or other link related attributes, like image link and additional image link. The highlight should not include a link to a landing page.

Don’t include company history or policy

Only add highlights concerning product features (no info on product warranty).

Use proper grammar and professional language

Avoid any text that seems like spam, including emojis, symbols, and other gimmicks.

Don’t write highlight in all caps

This is not a way to attract more clicks from users.

Don’t use foreign words 

Unless these foreign words are widely understood.

Important note: don’t use search engine optimization (SEO) keywords. Product highlights should include relevant selling points about the product and keyword stuffing doesn’t help in presenting your product.

Share Your Selling Points With The Product Highlight Attribute

The product highlight attribute, along with product details, can help users hone in on the exact product they’re looking for. Although it’s an optional attribute, and is mostly used in free listings (not as much in Shopping), product_highlight is a great way to share selling points about a specific item with users.

Product_highlight is a repeated field in Shopping product feeds and should include 4-6 entries. Advertisers can configure the values similar to what is required for product descriptions and product titles. Avoid using promotional text in product highlights for optimal performance.

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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