What do you feel when you have disapproved products in Google Merchant Center? I am sure it is really a pain in the back.
This is a concern for most marketers that they get product disapproval when they submit their product feed in spite of the fact that everything is perfect already. This is really very disappointing but you have to be consistent and you will find the solutions to fix disapproved products in Google Merchant Center.
This article will explain the most common Google Merchant Center errors that all e-commerce store owners experience and still experiencing, the reasons for these issues, and the solutions to fix these errors and not to happen again in the future.
Let’s get into the detail.
13 Reasons Why Your Products are Disapproved in Google Merchant Center?
Google Shopping Ads are different from common Google Ads. In Shopping Ads you need to create a Google Merchant Center to upload your product feed or connect it with your e-commerce store or Shopify. But for them to go to Google Shopping Network you need to wait for approval for your products as Enhanced Listing and not just Standard Listing.
You also make sure that you need to submit your product data feed in the correct format to set up successful ads and to get product approval.
Even after following all the necessary steps most merchants especially newbies fail to get product approval from Google Merchant Center. This should not make you worry as most of these issues are common while creating and submitting your feed and every seller has to face this problem now and then. You can easily find the information and solutions to fix your disapproved products in Google Merchant Center.
There is also call support from AdWords when you are not able to process and are stuck to fix the issues. Google AdWords team helps sellers from all over the globe with different time zones to resolve products disapproval and Google Ads account suspension. You can contact the Google Merchant Center here for any support.
As a quick tip, you don’t need to wait for all the products to be approved to start running your Shopping Ads. You can start with some approved products and get the leads, sales and data.
Here I am going to mention the most popular 13 reasons your products are disapproved in Google Merchant Center:
- The refund Policy is missing and the link name is not correct
- Not claimed Store URL which should be proper domain and not just a page link
- Not secure checkout
- Healthcare and Medical Products that are Restricted or prohibited
- The site doesn’t allow online purchases
- Price mismatch between the landing page and product data (mismatch)
- Links to landing pages or Social Media Pages are broken or missing valid content
- Links to landing pages or product pages redirect to the site’s home page
- Different language and currency for the target country
- Promotional text in product images
- Problems with your GTIN (global trade item number), MPN (manufacturer part number), UPI (unique product identifier), UPC (universal product code)
- Tax or shipping mismatch
- Poorly formatted destinations (landing pages)
You can learn more about policy violations and product data violations.
So by now, you are aware of the reasons why your products are disapproved in Google Merchant Center?
We will understand in the next step is to fix the problem but before that let’s learn about the types of Google Merchant Feed Errors.
What are the Types of Google Merchant Feed Errors?
We should first understand the different types of feed errors or issues that you as a seller may come across while submitting your product data feed in Google Merchant Center. Based on the severity of the issue Google categorizes each issue.
This will help you identify the priority issues that need your immediate attention and you could prioritize them on an urgent basis and avoid Google Ads account suspension.
Notifications (Blue icon)
With Notifications (Blue icon), Google gives you recommendations and suggestions to improve your ads’ performance. These suggestions may be like optimizing your product data feed by updating product descriptions. However this kind of issue may not be going to hamper your Ads from showing, but you can surely work on these recommendations to make your ads perform better.
Warnings (Yellow Icon)
Warnings (Yellow Icon) are also a major concern for the sellers. Although warnings do not indicate product disapproval or your Google Merchant Center account suspension this shows that the account is not performing well. You should not ignore these yellow icons for long as this will gradually reduce the feed quality and ultimately decrease the performance of specific products in your Google Shopping Campaigns.
For example, if the main image associated with your product is of low quality, Google will flag that as an error. When you get a warning to replace the image you must act to replace it in accordance with the Google standards.
Errors (Red Icon)
In Google Merchant Center the Errors (Red Icon) are the most serious ones. It is alarming to see this red icon and act immediately. Errors can not disturb your specific marketing campaign but the whole account. You must act to fix all these errors immediately because this could not only mean product disapproval but Google Merchant Center Suspension can also be there.
The two issues that are flagged in Merchant Center are Invalid GTIN value and Missing Shipping Information.
How to Fix Google Merchant Center Disapproved Products?
Let’s see some very effective tips to fix the Google Merchant Center Disapproved Products:
Tip # 1. Double-Check your Product Data Feed
Google encourages sellers to provide the data feed in the required format. You need to check the format that Google specifies how to format product data.
Google is very strict about the accuracy of all the data in your feeds. These requirements may vary depending upon the type of products that you sell or the country you sell in. Although the attributes like price, title, conditions, and product availability are quite easy.
Your product may get disapproved when there is anything wrong like a price mismatch etc.
Quick Tip 1: To solve this issue you need to double-check your product information in your product feed spreadsheet (.csv) file for data quality before submitting it and also you must keep updating your Google Shopping feed regularly.
Tip # 2. Don’t Trust the Diagnostics Report
You can check below the account of one of my clients. The main view on the Diagnostic tab under “Items” point 3 errors & warnings:
- seven affected Items for the Google product category
- four disapproval’s for policy violations, and
- a host of other issues (not included in the screenshot above).
There are 47 disapproved items. But clicking through them shows that the problem was resolved behind the scenes for many of them and those individual products in the Google Merchant Center account were actually approved.
Quick Tip 2: Don’t panic and contact Google Support by just trusting “top-level” numbers and data. Get into the problem and click on the individual disapprovals to see the actual position.
Tip # 3. Request Approval for Applicable Products
When you have updated your product data, resubmit or re-fetch using any of the methods mentioned below:
After this, check to know if the product is approved on the Diagnostics page- although this may take some time.
In some cases, you may see an option to submit specific product disapprovals for manual approval because some manual approvals relate to particular policy violations.
Item status> Request review
You will be screwed if your products are still disapproved even after getting manual approval.
Here you must find out the reason for disapproval from Google Ads support for your Google Ads Agency. And if you don’t get any reason try to recognize the main policy violation and implement the tip mentioned in step no. 6 below
Quick Tip 3: Request approval for each disapproved product. Although to seek manual approval for disapproved products is the fastest way to get approval.
Tip # 4. Appeals
When you have fixed your offending destination errors like pop-ups, slow page load time, etc. and rectified as per Google’s policies, you can appeal the policy decision in two ways:
Go to your Google Ads account. Click Ads and extensions.
- From the “Ads and extensions” table
- From the ad’s “Status” column
You can check the status of your appeal from the Policy Manager.
Quick Tip 4: When you get disapproval of your products you can make appeals.
Tip # 5. Some Products Need Manual Approvals
Google Merchant Center has some sort of automatic filter and certain products get caught there every time. This may be related to a few industries and the use of some words in the description, pricing, or anything else entirely.
This can also be due to some products having Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) policies assigned to them. When you are trying to balance those with Google Shopping policies these may get interesting.
If you fall in such a category it’s a big problem. The only solution for this is to interact with your Google representative to submit your products manually for approval.
Quick Tip 5: Understand that some products will be disapproved all the time. Just relax and educate your team and the client about this reality so changes are handled carefully. Look for ways to reduce downtime while waiting for manual approvals.
Tip # 6. Change Your Product IDs in case of Technical Issue
I spoke about the automatic filters above, one of them may be technical issues. There are two ways to deal with this:
- Wait for Google to fix it soon. Google will apologize for the Google-side error and will take a long time.
- Change your product ID and description and upload it as a new product. This will finish all your history and quality score for that product.
Quick Tip 6: You need to check with your Google Representative about your product disapproval on account of a “known technical issue”. So the solution here is to either wait out the fix or compromise with the product history by changing the product title and description.
Tip # 7: Hacking Can Help
There are some random phrases and buzzwords that can trip filter for some reasons. You tried everything but still, the disapproval is there then start hacking up your descriptions and titles.
Don’t try to change the product ID else it will delete that product’s history. Although this is not very scientific and recommended, sometimes it is the best and fast option there.
This policy page explains what is and is not allowed in titles and descriptions.
Quick Tip 7: Try to figure out the words that could be tripping up known policy filters and remove them before you resubmit the product.
If everything else fails and you are not bothered about the product history, alter the product ID, title, and description so it can be uploaded as a new product.
Summary on Disapproved Products in Google Merchant Center
So in this article “Reasons and Fixes for Disapproved Products in Google Merchant Center” I have explained everything from the types of errors, reasons for these errors, and the steps to fix them. The best way to avoid all these errors is to be careful about what you submit to the Google Merchant Center account.
Google parameters are very strict to offer the best shopping experience to the users. So it is always a good idea to strictly follow the Google guidelines to prevent disapproval and suspensions.
You will surely get an email from Google to be notified about any errors or disapproval but it is a nice practice to check your Google Merchant Center at least once per week so you can act fast over any such issues. In case your products get disapproved in Google Merchant Center use this guide as a checklist to fix any such errors or issues.
As an e-commerce store, you need to understand all these things but if you are not comfortable or occupied dealing with these issues you must hire an experienced Google Merchant Center Management Service Company.
InfoTalks is India’s leading Google Merchant Service provider and has an efficient team to handle your Google Merchant Center management right from scratch to handle disapproval and suspensions if any. You can connect with us to have a free consultation.
Priti is a mompreneur, blogger and digital marketer. She is a co-founder of InfoTalks. Passionate about internet marketing and love to share the same in the form of blogs.
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