Today, on the 21st of December 2023, Google announced an update to its policy regarding Product Identifiers.
Previously, Google’s policy was stringent regarding submitting product offers without barcodes. If a product was submitted indicating that a unique product identifier did not exist for a product, but there was evidence to the contrary, the offer would be disapproved. This policy ensured accuracy in product listings but was often frustrating for merchants who might have made unintentional errors or were dealing with products where UPIs were ambiguous or unavailable.
Now, offers with the item issue labeled as “Incorrect value: identifier exists [identifier_exists]” will receive a warning instead of outright disapproval. This change is a more lenient approach, allowing vendors to rectify their mistakes without immediately facing the consequences of disapproval.
To follow the rules, even with this update, I recommend the following setup:
1) If a manufacturer has assigned a barcode, you must add this info in the GTIN field. Alongside the brand value with identifier exists to yes.
2) If the manufacturer has not assigned a barcode, remove the values brand, mpn, and gtin and set the identifier to no.
Here is a guide how to apply the rules using feed rules: