Is there a FREE extension for google merchant? I can't believe Magento wouldn't have one but cannot seem to find such an extension? I am using CE 1.9.
I have not used this, but it is free.
I would recommend doing research
I google searched "magento google feed extension free" and this was the first result.
I have tried too many times to find such a beast, but I ended up buying Gomage (not so good). After using it for awhile I ended up buy one from Mirasvit Extensions! Much better!
Some are Free, but require a subscription so you pay and pay and keep paying!!!
The short answer is NO and to get something you can use for awhile you may have to buy a package for this.
For Me it was worth the price as the one I have now is very flexible, so I have not yet found any I could not upload to (they are all different).
I forget the Free one I had , but I could only do Google!, and it soon became outdated because of Google.
As for the last part, it was at one time a built in part of Magento way-back when it was called googlebase. But I think Google is never happy. So they send endless hours changing everything all the time, so I think the Magento developers gave up or could not keep up with the constant changes!!!
My only regret was not buying a longer support time. Most paid extensions, the support is up before you know how to use it and find the problems. Very aggravating
You can try this extension, https://amasty.com/product-feed.html
It's not free but it has 4 months of free support included.
Moreover, it creates profuct feeds not only for Google but also for other sites like Shopping.com, Amazon, Bing, etc.