Feed Optimization via Google Sheets

How many times you wanted to change something in your Google Shopping or Dynamic Retargeting feed, but you had to wait so long for a web developer resource to free up. You just might have wanted to add a new currency to your shopping campaigns, push a custom label of your best selling products or even rename an attribute to meet Google and Facebook product specification. In this article, we will learn how to overwrite any product feed or catalog using Google Sheets. And without changing anything in your source feed. The idea of applying feed optimization through Google Sheets consists of the 3 steps below:

1- Import the Feed into a Google Spreadsheet

Google spreadsheet allows importing data from a given URL in various structured data types including  XML, HTML, CSV, TSV, and RSS and ATOM XML.  There are different formulas to import each type: IMPORTDATA(): It imports data at a given URL in .csv (comma-separated value) or .tsv (tab-separated value) format. IMPORTFEED(): it imports a RSS or ATOM feed. IMPORTXML(): it imports data from XML file online. In our example below, we used IMPORTDATA(“URL”) since our feed is in a CSV format. Once you apply the relevant formula on the relevant feed, you will see the status “Loading” in the formula cell until all the info is completely retrieved from the URL.

2- Retrieve your Feed Data in a New Sheet and Apply Changes

You need now to create a new sheet inside the same spreadsheet and look up your feed source data in the new sheet. Applying changes in a different sheet are much easier than implementing changes directly on the same source sheet. Feed Optimization

So, Let’s say you want to change the currency of the current feed from USD to EUR. All you have to do is to add a new column with the new currency and remove the old currency column. Secondly, you multiply your currency price to either

So, Let’s say you want to change the currency of the current feed from USD to EUR. All you have to do is to add a new column with the new currency and remove the old currency column. Secondly, you multiply your currency price to either a fixed currency exchange rate or you use GoogleFinance() formula to pull in an exchange rate from real-time internet data, so calculations can always be up to date without having to look up an exchange rate. You can start to apply all the changes you want in your new feed sheet, these changes will happen in parallel with the changes happen in your main source feed as we are using a real-time formula to import the data to our spreadsheet. This means any changes happen in the source/bridge feed, will be reflected right away in our new feed.

3- Publish the Feed to the Web

By default, Google Merchant Center allows fetching feeds from Google spreadsheets. When you upload your feed, you select Google sheets as can seen below and you pick your feed sheet.

On the other hand, other platforms like Facebook don’t natively support importing feeds from Google Spreadsheets. However, through Google Sheets, you can publish sheets to the web in a CSV or TSV format which are supported by FB.  To do so, you click

On the other hand, other platforms like Facebook don’t natively support importing feeds from Google Sheets. However, through Google Sheets, you can publish sheets to the web in a CSV or TSV format which are supported by FB.  To do so, you click “File” then select “Publish to the Web”:

Then, make sure to publish only your new feed sheet in CSV or TSV format as you can see below. Finally , you can copy the given link and submit to Facebook.

There might be some limitations to this method. For instance, your feed could be so large, therefore you won’t be allowed to import the data into Google spreadsheets as it exceeds the max available size. That being said, I believe this method is still effective for many of us who want to optimize their feeds in no time and accelerate the growth of their AdWords and Facebook campaigns.

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Ahmed launched his first digital campaign in 2013 through participating in Google Online Marketing Challenge. He competed with over 12,000 students from 80 countries to win the first place in Africa & MENA region and one of the best five campaigns in the world. Today, he works as an Associate Digital Director at Keyade Middle East.

4 Comments

  1. Tomáš David

    Thats really neat and I could use it. I have problem importing XML, it wants xpath parametr. Can you help on this, so it import all necessary things? Thank you

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