October 23rd, 2011

Google Product Search Disapprovals – More

Since writing the last article Google seem to have stepped up the pace on feed disapprovals for their popular Google Shopping channel. An increasing number of users are complaining of the critical error warnings they are receiving, that threaten complete feed disapproval but unlike previous warnings these ones appear to carry a real danger. Critical warnings being flagged have ranged across the whole of Google’s disapproval policies, which have even been displayed for price discrepancies of 1p (on one single product).

We have also seen recent focus on the pricing aspects of the destination website. Pricing discrepancies are clear triggers for disapproval (displaying ex VAT or ex sales tax being obvious) but Google are now enforcing the way that prices are displayed to ensure that the most prominent and visible price on the page is the VAT inclusive price. That has caused a number of disapprovals from talking to merchants over the last 4 weeks. It’s worth looking at your own price displays to see whether that could be a cause of disapproval in its own right.

Googles tough stance has come as somewhat of a surprise to many merchants listing on Google Shopping, despite the long prior warning period. Its mass cull of submissions has played directly into the hands of the prepared and organised with search levels increasing whilst competition is being reduced.

New Google Merchant Centre feature

Once a feed has been disapproved you can find the reason in the merchant centre under the ‘data quality’ tab, located in the same place as the error messages. A panel appears displaying the message ‘your account has been suspended’, with a button to the right of it stating ‘I have fixed the problems, please submit my feed for review’. As of yet we’ve yet to establish the average response time of this action but it’s safe to say the best course of action is to avoid account suspension in the first place, by eliminating all critical error notifications on your feed.

I’ll keep updating these summaries with anything new that we see as the weeks progress.