Categorizing your products for Google Shopping is full of possible pitfalls for the unwary. If you fail to invest the time to categorize your products at the deepest level possible, Google could be penalizing you. Google’s taxonomy is up to seven levels deep. Even missing one level of the Google product taxonomy can have negative consequences because you haven’t been as specific as you could have been.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re selling Cat Toys, which should be classified into Animals & Pets Supplies > Pet Supplies > Cat Supplies > Cat Toys (4 levels deep in the taxonomy). Depending on where you are in the taxonomy, one level can make a huge difference.
If you categorize this product at Level 3 when it should be at Level 4, it’s not a huge miss. Categorizing in Cat Supplies (Level 3) vs. Cat Toys (Level 4) means there are 9 nodes that you are failing to distinguish between. Not ideal, but not terrible.
However, if you categorize a this product at Level 2 when it should be at Level 4, it could be a big miss. Categorizing in Pet Supplies (Level 2) vs. Cat Toys (Level 4) means there are 111 nodes that you are failing to distinguish between! That makes it much more difficult for Google to understand what your product is.
So the lesson is, categorize your products as deeply as you can in Google’s Product Taxonomy and spend the extra time in areas where the taxonomy branches out more.