Updated June 10th, 2022:
One of the worst that can possibly happen to an online retailer is getting their Google Merchant Center account suspended or permanently banned. It is through the data found in your Google Merchant Center account that Google can determine which of your product ads should be shown. The potential or returning customer depending on their query gets certain products to show up.
While there are ways to get out of a suspension, the best thing you can do is not let the particular issue happen in the first place. Before we get into how to not get banned, let’s find out how to get approved for Google shopping first. You will be making sure there’s no chance of getting banned in the process anyway.
What Does Google Shopping Entail?
It’s a new initiative from Google to make researching and finding information on various products easier. The price and features are found easily so that the customer can follow the link to the seller and purchase the product. Essentially, when a customer makes a search on certain products on Google, the top column gets a list of the same product type from different merchants, with the price and name visible. Afterward, it’s up to the customer if they want to click on the link.
From the online retailers’ perspective, they forward all the information on the product to Google. So, Google has access to the latest pricing, discounts, and stock information.
What Do You Need To Do To Get Approved For Google Shopping Without Getting Banned?
As long as you abide by the rules and regulations planted by Google Merchant Center, getting approved for Google Shopping wouldn’t be much of a problem. There are simple steps you need to follow.
1 . Step 1- Create An Account
This is the simple part. You can sign in on Google Merchant Center here.. Your google email id would be linked to your Merchant account. Eventually, you would be able to link more emails to it.
Then, answer all of Google’s queries about your store, such as the URL, name, and location. Once you have agreed to the terms and conditions, you’ll have to verify your store before it can be connected to the Merchant account. An HTML file would be given which you can enter the home page of your website. Once your business is verified, you’ll reach the Google Merchant Center Home page.
2. Step 2- Importing The Data
There are a couple of tabs on the left side of the homepage, of which, you need to choose the Products tab. Here, you will have to upload your feed file. In case you don’t have one, you can use the X-cart plugin available for Google Shopping to create one. Click on the + blue button on the Primary feed tab to upload your file. As you’re setting up the feed container, Google will ask you a couple of questions. Then, you’ll be asked the method by which you want to upload your feed. Go for manual upload since you can check for errors this way.
Once your feed container has been set up, you’ll get the option of uploading a test feed. On the upload box, there’s a box that has Upload as a test is written on it. This is usually unchecked so you’ll have to check it. This method will let you upload a test file first. You can look for any errors in the feed then and resolve them. It won’t have any impact on your actual account.
Step 3 – Resolving Errors And Warnings
This is basically the step you need to follow to not get your account banned. Google has certain product requirements that your items should meet to get approval. For one, the products should have identifiers. You’ll have to fill 2 out of the brand, MPN, or GTIN. If your product is branded, make sure to fill it up, since Google can source the companies this way.
All your products should also have a landing page. Along with it, image links of the products and the pricing, which has to be current and correct. The price has to be filled in the feed but for the currency, set it in the feed container’s settings section of your merchant account. Shipping, tax, and availability data also have to be filled in.
You’ll have to select your product categories. Now, there are certain products and categories of products that Google prohibits. Make sure to verify if your product falls under those. Just one prohibited item on your list can be cause for suspension.
Google doesn’t list all the banned items so you have to do some tough research and also see if the test feed you uploaded shows errors in this regard.
Once your feed has been set up, stay vigilant. Keep on monitoring your Google Merchant Center account. If you see Critical written on the data quality detail, it has to be dealt with immediately.
In case an issue with a product can’t be solved, it’s best to remove the product. Otherwise, you risk being banned.
Ultimately, getting approval for Google Shopping is actually easy. As long as there aren’t any funny details in your feed and the products you have listed aren’t banned by Google, you should get approval easily. It is the not getting banned part that is hard. You will have to monitor your account and keep on checking your email. Sometimes, they forewarn you of an issue on your email instead, which gives you more time to fix the errors.
If you’re a Shopify merchant and are still confused as to how all this plays into your business, you can get help from Jag&Wolf. Not only are they capable of building a good Shopify storefront, but they also provide e-commerce assistance as part of their services. For a beginner merchant, it might be a good idea to start your journey in experienced hands.
If you need help building and scaling your online store, we reccomend Pathway, which will keep you on track, give you monthly goals, dashboards, tips and the ability to spy on your competitors. Pathway will also serve as your educational and operational dashboard.
Click the link below if you use Shopify https://apps.shopify.com/pathway
Click the following link for any other e-commerce solution including Amazon. https://pathwaycommerce.com