Google Merchant Center

How to Configure the Shopping Ads Excluded Country Attribute

0 · by Dennis Moons · Updated on 21 March 2023

Sometimes, merchants need to stop campaigns from showing in a specific market. The reasons vary and can be anything from collecting performance data to renegotiating your contract with suppliers.

In this article, we’ll cover the product feed attribute that helps you do just that. It’s called [shopping_ads_excluded_country] and we’ll explain what it is, how Google uses it, what are Google’s formatting requirements for entries, and how it differs from [excluded destination].

Read on to learn more about the shopping ads excluded country attribute.

This article is part of our Google Product Feed hub.

What Is the shopping_ads_excluded_country Attribute in the Product Feed?

Google introduced the [shopping ads excluded country] attribute to help merchants manage ad campaigns that are active in more than one country (within Shopping).

More specifically, it allows merchants to directly change the feed settings for a specific market, by blocking their feed in that country.

This is relevant when merchants sell products in two or more countries where the same language is spoken. The same ads can be shown to users in multiple markets (Google will automatically do this for all of your feeds) but sometimes, you want to prevent this from happening.

For instance, if you want to advertise in Australia, but not in New Zealand – [shopping ads excluded country] serves to block your feed for New Zealand.

This concept will get clearer as we go along.

Is the Shopping Ads Excluded Country Attribute Required?

No, [shopping ads excluded country] is optional. It’s useful only when you have the same shopping product ads available in more than one country.

How Is Shopping Ads Excluded Country Used in Google Shopping?

This attribute makes it easier for merchants to improve location targeting for shopping ads.

Originally, merchants had to create a different feed for each country (or market) in which they operate. In August of 2020, Google announced a Shopping update that made it possible to automatically show Shopping product ads in multiple countries.

However, this created a fresh set of challenges for merchants because it meant that your ads show in multiple countries, even if you don’t want or intend to.

[shopping ads excluded country] allows merchants to block Shopping product ads for a specific market in one step.

The main benefit is that merchants don’t have to create a separate product feed for each country in which they operate. There is one primary feed and you can tweak its settings to exclude a specific market (country) from your campaigns.

The introduction of [shopping ads excluded country] was revolutionary because it solves the issue on a feed level. In the past, merchants could only exclude ads on a product level, which meant entering values for every single item. That’s why [shopping ads excluded country] improves location targeting on Google Shopping.

[shopping ads excluded country] is also available for Display and Local Ads, not just for Shopping Ads.

Let’s check out the formatting requirements for this attribute.

Options for Shopping_ads_excluded_country

Only predefined options are supported as values for [shopping ads excluded country]. The entry has to have 2 characters which represent the country code (according to the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code)

For example, the codes for France, Switzerland, and Belgium are FR, CH, and BE. So if you want to continue showing product ads in Belgium, but not in France and Switzerland, this is the way to configure that:

  • In text feed: “FR, CH”
  • In XML feeds:


The country you provide value for (country code) will be excluded from your campaigns.

You can provide more than one entry (it’s a repeated field) and it will apply to both countries (in the example France and Switzerland), but don’t forget to separate the entries with a comma.

How Is shopping_ads_excluded_country Different From Excluded_destination?

There is another attribute which may seem similar to [shopping_ads_excluded_country]. This is [excluded destination] and it allows merchants to block a specific product from showing at a destination.

For instance, a merchant can stop product ads from showing on free listings with the excluded destination attribute.

[shopping_ads_excluded_country] is location-based targeting, i.e. a country or a market, while [excluded destination] blocks ads from appearing at a specific location on the net, like Shopping ads, local inventory ads, Buy on Google listings, etc.

The effect of these two attributes is different, so keep this in mind.

Let’s check ways to update feed settings for a specific country.

How To Add shopping_ads_excluded_country to Your Product Feed

There are two methods for adding [shopping_ads_excluded_country] to your feed: through an eCommerce platform or in the Merchant Center. 

If you block your ads from a specific market in an eCommerce platform, this will be automatically shared with your product feed. As a result, Shopping product ads will not be shown in the country whose country code you’ve provided.

Let’s check a few typical feed issues with [shopping_ads_excluded_country].

Common Problems With the shopping_ads_excluded_country Attribute

If you don’t configure the entries according to Google’s formatting requirements for this attribute, your ads will show in the markets where you don’t want them to be shown.

So, no items will be disapproved, but you’ll get exposure in countries you aren’t interested in at the moment (or want to stay out of for some other reason).

To avoid this, provide the correct country code (the right format) when you enter values for [shopping_ads_excluded_country]. Also, don’t forget that if you want to block your feed in multiple markets, you need to separate the country codes with commas for Google to process them as you intend.

Blocking Products Ads From a Country Has Never Been Easier

In the past, merchants had to create separate feeds for each market (country) or remove each product separately, which involved a lot of work.

The shopping ads excluded country attribute for Shopping feeds makes this possible through one simple step. Values for this attribute include only two-letter codes for the countries and that’s it.

You’ll be out of a market until you decide it’s time to come back.

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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