Google Coupon Feed Documentation (TSV format)

Introduction

The Google coupon service provides an opportunity for easy distribution of coupons via the web. This document explains how to create a feed that contains information about your coupons and the businesses where those coupons are valid.

Google displays coupons in a standard format to allow businesses to easily recognize those coupons when they are redeemed.

Please note that your provision of a coupon feed does not guarantee that your content will be displayed on Google Local or other Google properties. Also, by providing a feed for Google, you will not affect the ranking of your pages within Google search.

About the Feed

A Google coupon feed consists of three tab-delimited text files.

  • The coupon details file contains a list of coupons. Each entry contains the fields that will be displayed on each coupon, including a business name, title, subtitle, coupon details and expiration date.
  • The business location file contains a list of store locations. Each entry in the file provides the business name, address, phone numbers and store code for a particular location.
  • The provider details file contains information about the provider of a coupon, such as name, logo, and URL.

This document provides formatting requirements for your feed files and explains how to post your completed feed so that Google can access it. This document also defines the fields that appear in Google coupon feeds.

Note: Each coupon in the coupon details file must be valid at all businesses in the business location file.

Posting Your Coupon Feed

  • You must host your own XML feed, and it must be accessible via HTTP or HTTPS.
  • Please use the following filenames for the two files in your coupon feed:
    • google-coupons.txt for the coupon details file
    • google-locations.txt for the business locations file
    • google-provider.txt for the provider information file
  • Bundle the google-coupons.txt, google-locations.txt, and google-provider.txt files in a single zip (*.zip) file named google-coupon-feed.zip. This zip file constitutes a single coupon feed.
  • If you provide more than one feed, append a number to each text and zip file name:
    • Feed 1: google-coupons-1.txt, google-locations-1.txt, and google-provider-1.txt bundled in google-coupon-feed-1.zip
    • Feed 2: google-coupons-2.txt, google-locations-2.txt, and google-provider-2.txt bundled in google-coupon-feed-2.zip

    Then bundle all of your feeds in a zip file named companyNamecoupons.zip. (Replace the string companyName with your company’s name.)

  • To ensure that Google retrieves a complete snapshot of your data and does not attempt to download incomplete files, we recommend you use the following process when posting files to your HTTP server.
    1. Create your feed in a directory from which Google does not fetch content.
    2. After your feed is complete, create a symbolic link in a directory from which Google does fetch content. The symbolic link should point to the newly created feed.

    Google’s content acquisition system will try to fetch all of the new or modified files in a particular directory (or set of directories). This process ensures that Google will not attempt to download a file until the file is complete.

Formatting Guidelines

In addition to the file naming guidelines in the previous section, your tab-delimited files must also follow these guidelines:

  • Field values should not contain commas. If a field value contains commas, the value will be truncated at the first comma.
  • Field values may not contain HTML, tabs, carriage returns or new line characters.
  • The first line in each file must contain the word COMPLETE.
  • The second row in each file needs to identify the type of data in each column of that file. You may choose the order in which the columns occur in your feed. The Field Definitions for Coupon Details Files, Field Definitions for Business Location Files, and Field Definitions for Provider Details Files sections of this document specify the valid field names for each file.
  • Each column in a row of data is separated by a single tab character. If you do not have a value for a particular field – for example, if a business does not have a fax number – enter an empty value for that field. Even if a field is left empty, you must still add a tab to separate the empty value from the next field in the row.
  • The last line in each file must contain the word END.
  • Files must use UTF-8 encoding.

Field Definitions for Coupon Details Files

Field Name Details
COUPON_CODE Required. The COUPON_CODE field contains a value that uniquely identifies a coupon in your feed. The value of this tag must be 60 characters or less and may only contain alphanumeric characters, hyphens (-), percent signs (%) and dollar signs ($).


Example(s):
435621

BUSINESS_NAME Required. The BUSINESS_NAME field identifies the business or company name that should be displayed with the coupon. The value of this tag must be 35 characters or less.

The value of <BUSINESS_NAME> can include any ‘user friendly’ version of the company name (as apposed to <NAME>, which must include the company’s official name).


Example(s):
Magic Pizza

TITLE Required. The TITLE field contains the first line of text that displays for a coupon. The value of this tag must be 25 characters or less. Please only include complete words in the tag’s value and do not end the value with abbreviated or partially hyphenated words.


Example(s):
Large Pizza Special

SUBTITLE Optional. The SUBTITLE field contains the second line of text that displays for a coupon. The value of this tag must be 35 characters or less. Please only include complete words in the tag’s value and do not end the value with abbreviated or partially hyphenated words.


Example(s):
A large pizza for only $25.

DETAILS Optional. The DETAILS field contains a description of a coupon offer. The value of this tag must be 350 characters or less. Please only include complete words in the tag’s value and do not end the value with partially hyphenated words.


Example(s):
Offer valid only Monday-Thursday. No double coupons. Cash value 1/20 ¢. Limit one coupon per customer.

EXPIRY_DATE Optional. The EXPIRY_DATE field identifies the date that a coupon expires. The value must be in the format YYYY/MM/DD.


Example(s):
2006/05/17

IMAGE_URL Optional. The IMAGE_URL field identifies the URL for an image associated with a coupon. The image must be a .gif, .jpg or .png file. It may be up to 120 pixels high and 120 pixels wide. You may not provide animated images. Google will store your image and serve it from Google’s image servers.


Example(s):


MERCHANT_OFFER_CODE Optional. The MERCHANT_OFFER_CODE field contains a value that the merchant associates with the coupon offer. The value of this tag must be 30 characters or less. Please note that this value will be displayed on the coupon.


Example(s):
77P4RT

Field Definitions for Business Location Files

Please visit Google’s Local Business Center (http://www.google.com/local/add/helpFeeds?hl=en-US&gl=US#d) for additional help creating business listings.

Field Name Details
STORE_CODE Required. The <STORE_CODE> field contains a string that uniquely identifies a business location. This value may only contain alphanumeric characters, hyphens (-), percent signs (%) and dollar signs ($).


Example(s):
159S

NAME Required: The <NAME> tag identifies the business name for a particular listing. This value may not exceed 60 characters.

The value of <NAME> must include the official name of the business listing (as apposed to <BUSINESS_NAME>, which can include the same value as <NAME> or any ‘user friendly’ version of the business name).


Example(s):
<NAME>Magic Pizza</NAME>

ADDRESS_LINE_1 Required. The <ADDRESS_LINE_1> field contains the first line of a street address.


Example(s):
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway

ADDRESS_LINE_2 Optional. The <ADDRESS_LINE_2> field contains the second line of a street address.


Example(s):
Suite 264

CITY Required. The <CITY> field specifies the city where a business is located.


Example(s):
Mountain View

STATE Required. The <STATE> field identifies the state or province where a business is located.


Example(s):
CA

POSTAL_CODE Required. The <POSTAL_CODE> field identifies the postal code or zip code where a business is located.


Example(s):
94043-1351

COUNTRY_CODE Required. The <COUNTRY_CODE> field identifies the country where a business is located. The value must be an ISO 3166 country code. For example, the country codes for the United States and Canada are US and CA, respectively.


Example(s):
US

MAIN_PHONE Optional. The <MAIN_PHONE> field contains the primary phone number for a business. Phone numbers in the United States must be expressed as 10-digit numbers with no leading « 1 ». You may use hyphens (-) or parentheses, but no other punctuation is allowed.


Example(s):
Acceptable formats:
650-555-1215
6505551215
(650)555-1215

Unacceptable formats:
1(650)555-1215
1-650-555-1215
650.555.1215

ALT_PHONE Optional. The <ALT_PHONE> field contains an alternate phone number for a business. Phone numbers in the United States must be expressed as 10-digit numbers with no leading « 1 ». You may use hyphens (-) or parentheses, but no other punctuation is allowed.


Example(s):
650-555-1213

MOBILE_PHONE Optional. The <MOBILE_PHONE> field contains a cell phone number for a business. Phone numbers in the United States must be expressed as 10-digit numbers with no leading « 1 ». You may use hyphens (-) or parentheses, but no other punctuation is allowed.


Example(s):
650-555-1216

FAX_PHONE Optional. The <FAX_PHONE> field contains the fax number for a business. Phone numbers in the United States must be expressed as 10-digit numbers with no leading « 1 ». You may use hyphens (-) or parentheses, but no other punctuation is allowed.


Example(s):
650-555-1214

TTY_PHONE Optional. The <TTY_PHONE> tag contains a teletypewriter (TTY) phone number for a business. A TTY phone number may be used when one or more of the parties has a hearing impairment or speech difficulties. Phone numbers in the United States must be expressed as 10-digit numbers with no leading « 1 ». You may use hyphens (-) or parentheses, but no other punctuation is allowed.


Example(s):
650-555-1217

Field Definitions for Provider Details Files

Field Name Details
PROVIDER_NAME Optional. The <PROVIDER_NAME> tag contains the name of a company or organization that aggregates coupons from other sources. The value of this tag has a maximum length of 25 characters.


Example(s):
Coupon Providers, Inc.

PROVIDER_LOGO Optional. The <PROVIDER_LOGO> tag contains the URL for a logo for the company or organization that provided the coupon feed. The logo should be a .gif, .jpg or .png image and may be up to 100 pixels wide and 21 pixels high. The logo may not contain animation.


Example(s):


PROVIDER_URL Optional. The <PROVIDER_URL> tag contains the URL of the landing page specified by the company or organization that provided the coupon feed.


Example(s):
http://www.example.com

PROVIDER_LANGUAGE Optional. The <PROVIDER_LANGUAGE> tag identifies the language used in this feed. The value must be an ISO 639 two-letter language code.


Example(s):
en

Sample Display for Google Coupons

The screenshot below shows how Google might display coupons for your site. The following sample feed contains the data displayed in the coupon. Note that line breaks have been inserted in the second line, which starts with « COUPON_CODE », and the third line, which starts with « 201 ». These line breaks ensure that the document will be printer-friendly.

COMPLETE
COUPON_CODE BUSINESS_NAME COUPON_TITLE	SUBTITLE  DETAILS EXPIRY_DATE 
  IMAGE_URL MERCHANT_OFFER_CODE
201 Magic Pizza	Large Pizza Special A Large Pizza for only $25	Offer valid only Monday ...
  2007/12/10  http://www.example.com/magicpizza.jpg	77P4RT
END

Please note that the page layout as well as the layout of the individual coupons is subject to change. The summary text view next to the coupon image demonstrates how text links to the coupon might appear on Google.

Printable coupon view Summary text view
Large Pizza Special
A Large Pizza for only $25

There are several important points to note about the coupon:

  • The string DN5866Z6JH9K is an identifier created by Google.
  • The COUPON_CODE supplied by the provider is not displayed on the coupon.
  • The MERCHANT_OFFER_CODE (77P4RT) supplied by the provider is printed on the coupon. This value may contain instructions for the person who accepts the coupon.
  • The ¢ sign is specified as a numeric HTML entity.
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