Feed setup

The feed is the central data source that Google uses to access and display your vehicles. We currently support feeds in the CSV file format, which you can optionally compress with the ZIP or GZ formats.

Create a feed

To format your information for the vehicle listings service, use the format described in Feed format, the attributes provided in Feed specification, and our example feed. We recommend that you start with a few test vehicles and submit a sample CSV file to the validation tool to validate your feed format. You can later scale to include all of your inventory on Google.

Be sure to include the following details in the feed so that we can accurately match vehicles with car dealerships on Google:

  • Required: Store code
  • Required: Dealership name and postal address
  • Recommended: Google Place ID or Maps URL
    • These uniquely identify the dealership's Business Profile on Google and remove any ambiguity compared to matches that use the name and postal address.

Feed format

Upload your feed as either a Comma-Separated Values (CSV) or Tab-Separated Values (TSV) file. Make sure your file meets the following requirements:

  • The CSV format must conform to RFC 4180:
    • Don't include double quotes anywhere in the file unless they're escaped.
      • To escape a double quote, use two double quotes and additionally enclose the entire CSV field in double quotes. For more details, see sections 2.5-2.7 in RFC 4180.
      • An example of a valid use of double quotes is "Wheels 17"" Alloy", which displays as Wheels 17" Alloy.
  • You can optionally compress the file with the ZIP or GZ file formats.
  • The feed must contain a single file. We don't support the use of multiple file fragments, also called sharding.
  • Every feed version must contain the entire inventory for all dealerships you want to show on Google. Because each feed file contains inventory for all your dealerships, you don't need to create separate accounts for each dealership. Once the feed is successfully processed, the vehicles will be grouped by dealership in the diagnostics page of the partner portal.
  • We don't support partial (incremental) inventory updates.

Example feed

The following example CSV feed can be used as a template for your feeds:

123,123,JA4AR3AW8GZ057772,2016,Mitsubishi,Outlander Sport,SE,Silver,Black,90377,Used,13998 USD,Dealer 123,123 Street,http://www.example.com/JA4AR3AW8GZ057772,http://www.image.com/image1,"http://www.image.com/image2, http://www.image.com/image3","Bluetooth,Rear View Camera,Front Seat Heaters,Navigation System",IN_STORE,"Price does not include taxes, fees"

Upload the feed to your SFTP dropbox

When you sign up for your vehicle listings account, an SFTP dropbox is automatically created. Use the SFTP information provided on the Feed page of the partner portal to upload your CSV files.

There are many methods to upload a file with SFTP. The most common ways are using the command line (Terminal), or using an SFTP program. Which method works best for you depends on how you manage your inventory. As such, we don't give specific instructions here on how to export and upload your vehicles to the Google SFTP server.

To minimize delays from how Google processes your feed, we recommend that you do the following:

Review feed processing results

After you submit the feed, you can review the results of the processing. The Feed page on the partner portal shows the status of each feed upload. This only checks for basic file and data issues, such as missing required fields or incorrect formatting. The full results of processing become available on the Diagnostics page after a few hours.

Maintain your feed

We recommend that you upload the latest version of the feed every four hours. There are two main reasons why we recommend that you refresh the feed this often:

  • More frequent feed uploads increase the overall data freshness. This reduces the time between when the inventory updates and when the data is delivered to Google.
  • Frequent updates allow for faster detection of and recovery from outages that could cause a feed to not be successfully processed.

Every time you upload the feed, be sure it contains the entire inventory for all dealerships. Vehicles and dealerships that aren't present in a feed are removed from Google within a few hours.

After you upload a feed to Google, the time it takes for the data to update depends on the type of update. The numbers in the following table are estimates and not guaranteed.

Feed change Expected update time on Google
Add a new dealership 1 day
Remove a dealership 6 hours
Change the Business Profile for a dealership 12 hours
Add, remove, or update a car 6 hours

Subscribe to feed alerts

You can receive an email notification when Google either hasn't received a feed, or the feed wasn't successfully processed for more than 24 hours. Go to the Account page on the partner portal and add a new contact email you wish to receive these feed alerts.