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Google Merchant Center

Help! I Can't Access a Supplemental Feed in Google Merchant Center! - Merchant Center Mastery Video

Help! I Can't Access a Supplemental Feed in Google Merchant Center! - Merchant Center Mastery Video

10/25/19 UPDATE: Hello Facebook Agency Visitor Person!  We’re delighted to have you visit this awesome post. About a year ago, ZATO stopped offering Facebook Ads solutions so we could focus solely on what we do best: Google Ads. Because of this, we’re always interested in partnerships with great Social Advertising agencies (like yourself, wink wink!) and we offer referral fees for signed clients!  Anyway, back to it, and happy reading…

Post Summary

Perhaps you've taken over a Google Merchant Center account and realized there were supplemental feed making changes to your data, but you couldn't access that data so you don't fully know what's happening... especially if they title the supplemental feed something dumb like "2019 updates".

You don't want to just delete the supplemental feeds and hope for the best, because what if those changes were good? 

What can you do? 

Well, good news, in this video Kirk walks you through accessing supplemental feed data, as well as how to transition away from someone else's without losing that data so you can make more informed decisions moving forward. Check it out here!

Video Transcript

PPCKirk (00:07):

Hey, so just wanted to record a quick video to help on supplemental feeds, especially if you are a brand switching providers. So if you are going to move on from your agency, move on from a consultant, maybe even sometimes this might be applicable if you haven't really locked down access and control with employees who leave, you've gotta make sure, you've gotta make sure that you have access to supplemental feeds, all right? Just their supplemental feeds. And here's what I mean by that. This is a, this is a client that we recently took over, uh, that was using a ton of supplemental feeds and none of us had any access to them. We couldn't get access to them. So like, this isn't even the way you want to manage an account, by the way. I want you to never view one of my videos or read one of the things I write on Google Merchant Center and not know that everything that I say means: go to the original feed source and edit that as much as possible!


Have a clean feed source, clean feed source that's so crucial to avoiding, like confusing things happening. That being said, someone like this, they're using multiple supplemental feeds and it was like changing data. There was a lot of, there were pmax campaigns and shopping campaigns and they were using various things. We didn't know what was affecting what, it was just a mess. And so we've been working slowly over a couple months now to just start like editing things, identifying things, switching things, switching things over in campaigns so that it's tied more to product types, which no longer have to be manual. And we can make them dynamically with our new feed file. It's just been a mess. But the thing I wanna talk about is supplemental feeds. What if you don't have access to a supplemental feed? You forgot to get access from your agency, you fired them, and then you realize, oh crap, they have a ton of product titles that they're editing.


We don't even know what that is. What do we do with that? You don't just wanna delete that feed, by the way, because it might be important, it might be doing something important. So a couple of things. When you make this transition, first of all, never delete a supplemental feed in the beginning. Simply remove it. Simply remove it from a, um, from being attached to the original source feed file. That way if there's ever a problem, you can literally just reattach it quick and, and go back to you know, where you were and then kind of keep working on that problem, right? And the way you do that is not in the supplemental feed. That's confusing, but it's not in the supplemental feed. It's actually in the main feed. It's in the main feed, and you actually have to go into feed rules. It is, this is not something that you'd normally think about.


And then down you're gonna see all other attributes. That's where your supplemental feeds are. This is the feed source. You go into there and then you remove them from accessing and, and editing this feed, making adjustments to the feed. So if I wanted to, I would remove one of those and then, you know, and, and then it's no longer there. And, and we've done that as you can see. Uh, let me go back to my supplemental feed page. We've done that here. You can see that we're, we're starting to process through and like, like we, we, we adjust to the supplemental feed and then we pull it. I like to write old in that title just so we know if it's old, it's not attached, but we're not ready to delete it. It's not used in our main feed. It's not used in our main feed.


So this is really, really important. Another thing just to keep in mind and be aware of is you actually can access what the information is. Cause at first you're like, oh no, we can't access the information. You try to open the Google sheets to see what's going on. It won't let you, it gives you the Google Drive thing of death. Do you want to ask permission? Well, okay, so first of all, sure, go ahead and ask permission or ask your client or whatever. If you can't get permission, what you can do is you can go into the supplemental feed and you can download the file. All right? You can down file, you can even choose the specific, um, did you know that with feeds you can actually even choose the specific place. Like if, if something got messed up, you can go back to like November 14th cuz maybe that's the one where everything was accurate.


Uh, oh gosh, okay. Of course I say that and then you can't download that one. But, um, December 19th, right? It's January 11th, so December 19th we wanna revert back or we just wanna see what's in there. And then you download that file and then you have access. And then what you can do, and this is stupid and ugly, but it is the way it is, you pull that file, you create a new supplemental feed and that's what we've done. Um, for right now we're trying to get everything to the point where we can switch over the main feed in this client and they had this supplemental feed, we didn't even know what was going on. There are all these product exclusions, we don't know what those are. We don't just wanna remove this supplemental feed cuz you know, it might insert, it might infuse a ton of products back in.


And so what we did is we created our own ZATO exclusions. All right? This is our feed, supplemental feed for now. This is like a temporary thing and we basically copied and pasted that into this feed. So now we have access to it. Um, and, and one of the other things we did, by the way, is we checked with the client just said, Hey, can you just confirm that you still want these products excluded? And guess what? There were like 15 of them that said no, we wanna advertise those. Okay, well they were in the old, they were excluded. We're back, we're back in business baby with those. And so we remove those from the ex, uh, the exclusion feed, we attach that to the feed. We processed everything. Cuz remember, once you do turn that on, you do need to do the fetch.


Now on the supplemental feed that triggers it in, then you need to go into your main feed, reprocess that feed, it gets everything into order. It'll take, you know, it'll take a few hours to get everything processed. It could even take like a day or two just for even for everything to hit Google search. But then all of a sudden you're fi like everything is clean, you control the supplemental feed, you're back in business. You can even share that supplemental feed with your client cuz you're a good, hearty person. Um, and, and there you go. That's what you do with supplemental feeds when you don't really have access when you've just taken over and it's a mess. Now, you know, hope that was helpful. Keep on GM scene.

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Kirk Williams
Owner & Chief Pondering Officer

Kirk is the owner of ZATO, his Paid Search & Social PPC micro-agency of experts, and has been working in Digital Marketing since 2009. His personal motto (perhaps unhealthily so), is "let's overthink this some more."  He even wrote a book recently on philosophical PPC musings that you can check out here: Ponderings of a PPC Professional.

He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero 6 years in a row (2016-2021), has written articles for many industry publications (including Shopify, Moz, PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, and Microsoft), and is a frequent guest on digital marketing podcasts and webinars.

Kirk currently resides in Billings, MT with his wife, six children, books, Trek Bikes, Taylor guitar, and little sleep.

Kirk is an avid "discusser of marketing things" on Twitter, as well as an avid conference speaker, having traveled around the world to talk about Paid Search (especially Shopping Ads).  Kirk has booked speaking engagements in London, Dublin, Sydney, Milan, NYC, Dallas, OKC, Milwaukee, and more and has been recognized through reviews as one of the Top 10 conference presentations on more than one occasion.

You can connect with Kirk on Twitter, and Linkedin, or follow his marketing song parodies on TikTok.

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