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Google Merchant Center adds short title option for smaller ad placements

Online retailers can now add an optional short title to identify their products in Google Merchant Center.

An example of a short title in a Shopping adAn example of a short title in a Shopping ad
An example of a short title in a Shopping ad. Image: Google.

The new [short_title] attribute differs from the existing [title] attribute in that the short title should be concise and is intended to show in “browsy experiences,” like Discovery campaigns and Shopping ads on Gmail.

Why we care. Full product titles often get truncated in the “browsy” contexts Google has mentioned, which means that users may not be seeing all the relevant information from your ad. Short titles provide merchants with an alternate, concise way to identify their products, which could help to improve clickthrough rates.

An example of a title and a short title.An example of a title and a short title.
An example of a title and a short title. Image: Google.

Short title requirements. While Google allows 1–150 characters for this field, it recommends using between 5 and 65 characters. Google also advises that merchants:

  • Use a relevant, concise short title that clearly describes their product.
  • Ensure that the short title describes the product on the landing page.
  • Use professional and grammatically correct language.
  • Avoid foreign languages unless they’re well understood (e.g., “sushi”).
  • Avoid using capital letters for emphasis.
  • Avoid including promotional text (i.e., prices, sales dates, your business’ name, etc).
  • Don’t add extra white spaces.

Best practices for short titles. As mentioned above, Google recommends limiting your short titles to 65 characters or less — this is because users typically only see the first 65 characters of a short title (depending on their screen size).

You should also highlight the most important details by placing them towards the front, since users don’t always read the entire title. And, adding a brand name is a good idea if it helps differentiate the product — this can be important when you sell similar products across brands.

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