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In this help center, you can find content for both Merchant Center Next and the classic Merchant Center experience. Look for the logo at the top of each article to make sure you're using the article for the Merchant Center version that applies to you. 

Merchant Center announcements change log

  1. Preserving metadata tags for AI-generated images in Merchant Center

    February 2024

    If you’re using AI-generated images in Merchant Center, Google requires that you preserve any metadata tags which indicate that the image was created using generative AI in the original image file. Don't remove embedded metadata tags such as trainedAlgorithmicMedia from such images. All AI-generated images must contain the IPTC DigitalSourceType trainedAlgorithmicMedia tag. Learn more about IPTC photo metadata. These requirements apply to the following image attributes in Merchant Center Classic and Merchant Center Next: Image link [image_link] Additional image link [additional_image_link] Lif…
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  2. Vehicle ads have become available to advertisers in Australia

    February 2024

    Effective February 2024, vehicle ads will be available to all Australian advertisers. Vehicle ads will be expanded to more countries at a later date. Vehicle ads are a performance focused, omnichannel, lower funnel ad format which allows auto advertisers to promote their entire inventory to interested customers shopping for vehicles on Google.com. This format shows customers an image of the car, plus information such as make, model, price, kilometers, and advertiser name. Clicking on a vehicle ad takes the customer to the Vehicle Description Page (VDP) on the advertiser’s website, where they c…
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  3. Policy update: Inappropriate content Sensitive Events policy

    February 2024

    In February 2024, Free listings will update the Inappropriate content policy to clarify the definition of Sensitive Events. A "Sensitive Event" is an unforeseen event or development that creates significant risk to Google's ability to provide high quality, relevant information and ground truth, and reduce insensitive or exploitative content in prominent features. During a Sensitive Event, we may take a variety of actions to address these risks. Examples of Sensitive Events include events with significant social, cultural, or political impact, such as civil emergencies, natural disasters, publi…
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  4. Policy update: Inappropriate content sensitive events policy

    January 2024

    In February 2024, Shopping ads will update the Inappropriate content policy to clarify the definition of Sensitive Events. A "Sensitive Event" is an unforeseen event or development that creates significant risk to Google's ability to provide high quality, relevant information and ground truth, and reduce insensitive or exploitative content in prominent and monetized features. During a Sensitive Event, we may take a variety of actions to address these risks. Examples of Sensitive Events include events with significant social, cultural, or political impact, such as civil emergencies, natural dis…
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  5. Policy update: Incorrect value: identifier exists [identifier_exists] changing from disapproval to warning

    December 2023

    Unique product identifiers (UPIs) define the product you're selling in the global marketplace. They uniquely distinguish products you're selling and help match search queries with your products. Prior to this change, offers would have been disapproved if they were submitted indicating an identifier does not exist for the product but there is evidence that a unique product identifier exists. After this change the offers with the Item issue Incorrect value: identifier exists [identifier_exists] will receive a warning instead of a disapproval. If product identifier requirements are not met, then …
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  6. Policy update: Aggregators in the United States and Canada can now participate in vehicle ads

    December 2023

    Aggregators are now eligible to show vehicle ads in the United States and Canada. With that, vehicle advertisers that are aggregators, can promote their entire inventory of new and used vehicles to interested customers searching online for their next vehicle. Aggregators will need to upload vehicles from dealerships with valid licenses. Offers from unlicensed dealers are not supported. Learn more about the Vehicle ads policies.
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  7. Changes to Google Analytics attribution models in Merchant Center conversion tracking

    Google Analytics will be sunsetting first-click, linear, time-decay, and position-based attribution models. With this change, in early 2024, Merchant Center will remove the ability to select first-click, linear, time-decay, and position-based attribution models when setting up the conversion source in Merchant Center. Then, starting in April 2024, we’ll switch any conversion sources still using these models to data-driven attribution. If you don’t want your conversions to use data-driven attribution, you’ll be able to use the last click model. Learn more about changing your attribution model i…
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  8. Stand out on Google with the new small business attribute

    November 1, 2023

    People want to shop with small businesses: 84% of people say supporting local and small businesses is important to them. To help shoppers identify you as a small business, we’re making it possible for you to add a new small business attribute to your listings across Search and Maps. If you’re a small merchant using Merchant Center or Business Profile in the U.S. or the Google & YouTube app on Shopify, you can add the attribute to your account: In Merchant Center, you’ll go to the “Business information” tab, then navigate to either “Details” (in Merchant Center Next) or “About your business” (i…
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  9. Policy update: E-juice is considered a dangerous product

    November 2023

    E-juice, a product designed to simulate tobacco smoking, is considered a dangerous product. As such, it is not allowed and is listed as an example under the Dangerous product policy, which applies to both Shopping ads and free listings. In simpler terms, e-juice cannot be listed on Shopping ads or listed for free because it is considered a dangerous product. This policy is in place to protect customers from buying products that could harm them.
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  10. Policy update: Changes to the promotion of healthcare products in Brazil

    November 2023

    Creatine, carnitine, and l-carnitine can be promoted as supplements in Brazil, as long as they meet the specified dosage and labeling requirements. Artichoke Polyphenol (Polifenol de Alcachofra) products and treatments are still not allowed. This policy update affects both Shopping ads and free listings. In other words: Creatine, carnitine, and l-carnitine can now be promoted as dietary supplements in Brazil, but only if they meet certain requirements. Artichoke polyphenol products and treatments are still not allowed to be promoted in Brazil. This policy update applies to both paid and free l…
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  11. Policy update: Abusing the ad network

    November 2023

    The Shopping ads and free listings Malicious or unwanted software policy will be split into 3 separate policies: Malicious software, Compromised sites, and Unwanted software. We will begin enforcing these policies in December, with full enforcement ramping up over approximately 4 weeks. Until these policy changes are brought into effect, we will continue to enforce the current malware policy. What is changing Malicious software: The scope of the Malicious software policy is narrowed to prohibit the intentional distribution of malicious software or “malware” that may harm or gain unauthorized a…
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  12. Four ways to prepare for the holiday season

    August 7, 2023

    Holiday season 2023 is coming soon! Here are four things you can do right now to prepare your business and help turn more shoppers into customers: 1. Showcase fast, free deliveries and easy returns Be sure to feature shipping information and, if you can, adopt practices that could appeal to holiday shoppers: free shipping, fast delivery, free and extended return policies. You can even showcase a “same-day delivery” if that’s a service you offer. Google can add your shipping speed automatically if you’re a retailer who ships to the United States. Share your carrier info with us, and we’ll calcu…
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  13. Announcement: A new, simplified Merchant Center

    August 2023

    At Google Marketing Live 2023, we introduced Merchant Center Next - a simpler way for retailers of all sizes to more easily show their business and products to consumers, all across Google. Onboarding on Merchant Center Next is easier, with simplified flow for website verification through additional methods such as verifying by email. You will be able to use our simplified experience to automatically connect product information from their website. Merchant Center Next will give you control over how your products appear on Google, without the hassle of manually uploading a feed. You’ll also hav…
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  14. Policy update: Product Ratings policies

    On August 28, 2023, the “Product Ratings policies” will be updated. We’re clarifying the following policies: Spam: We don’t allow spam content. Ensure any content known to contain irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text is marked as spam in your feed using the <is_spam> attribute. Dangerous products or acts: Don’t submit reviews of regulated products that can cause damage, harm, or injury. For example, don’t submit reviews of guns, tobacco products, or regulated drugs. Additionally, don’t include content that depicts or provides instructions to complete activities that are dangerous and/or…
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  15. Merchant Center Next: Increase shoppers’ trust with customer support

    July 2023

    Shoppers are often dissatisfied when they can’t easily find customer support and returns related information when they’re shopping online. Merchant Center Next enables retailers to quickly provide their customer service channels information in Merchant Center. This allows us to show your customer support information to shoppers when they’re searching for it. Learn more about how to add your customer support information
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  16. Understanding Misrepresentation policy disapprovals

    July 2023

    We want Google to be a safe and trustworthy place for both our customers and retailers. Customers should feel confident about the offers they are browsing and the businesses they are purchasing from. Sometimes it can take some time before a sufficient level of trust is established and before we consider it safe to display your offers to customers. This assessment is an ongoing process and since we know that customers are likely to do research about your products and business, we may review multiple signals from across the web. The more we know about your business, the better we are able to rep…
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  17. Buy on Google ending in the US

    Published June 2023 | Updated October 2023

    Buy on Google for Search and Shopping ended in the US on September 26, 2023. Buy on Google for YouTube will be ending on October 26, 2023. You should continue to fulfill and deliver all orders placed on or before that date, and honor cancellations, returns, refunds and warranties as stated in your store policies.
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  18. Policy update: New cars can now be advertised in Virginia

    June 26, 2023

    Vehicle ads are now eligible to show for both new and used cars in the state of Virginia. With that, vehicle advertisers in the state of Virginia can promote their entire inventory of new and used vehicles to interested customers shopping online for their next vehicle.
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  19. 2023 Merchant Center product data specification update

    June 15, 2023

    Each year, we make changes to the Merchant Center product data specification to create a better experience for people who are searching for products online. What's changing this year? Changes beginning immediately (June 15, 2023) Expanding the list of countries where shipping cost is required: Shipping cost is the cost charged by a shipping carrier or other costs directly related to shipping. It’s provided using the shipping [shipping] attribute or through account shipping settings. Shipping cost is one of the most common reasons for customers to abandon their shopping choices, so offering acc…
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  20. Policy update: Improving policy enforcement transparency for advertisers

    May 2023

    To increase transparency for our advertisers and retailers, we have updated the Shopping ads Policy Center and free listings Policy Center to better explain our policies and how we enforce them. In addition, we launched a clarification of the YouTube Shopping ads requirements and Discovery product ads format requirements to ensure retailers can better understand why their ads may not be serving and how best to resolve the issues. We've also updated the Google Shopping Help pages for Recommendations & personalization and How Google Shopping Works to better explain how our ranking works.
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  21. Updates to advanced shipping costs

    This article outlines the features being deprecated or migrated to an API only path in the advanced shipping settings, to build a simpler and user friendly experience. Multiple shipping rates within one shipping service Subtables Multiple shipping rates within one shipping service Shipping labels assign different shipping settings to a specific group of products, such as “heavy products” or “products eligible for free shipping”. This option will be applied to the entire shipping service. With this launch, multiple shipping rates (for example, one rate for the “free shipping” label and another …
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  22. Policy update: Restricted gambling-related content

    May 2023

    What’s changing We’ve updated our restricted content policies which restricts the listing of gambling-related content. This new policy update aims to provide more clarification of what’s not allowed in your gambling related content. As per this policy update we’ve added physical lottery scratch cards as another type of offer that's not allowed. Examples of restricted gambling-related content are national or private lotteries; physical lottery scratch cards; sites offering bonus codes or promotional offers for gambling sites. You must update your website and feed to meet the requirements and be…
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  23. Update: “Trusted Store” badge rebranded to "Top Quality Store”

    May 24, 2023

    We’re updating the “Trusted Store” badge, so now when you score an excellent rating on your Shopping experience scorecard, the badge will say "Top Quality Store" instead. There’s no action you need to take, and the update will not affect your performance metrics at all. The Shopping experience scorecard monitors the experience you provide to customers, and you'll be given a rating of "Excellent", "Comparable", or "Opportunity" on each metric. Your Shopping experience scorecard can be found under the Growth section of your Merchant Center account, and there’s nothing you need to do to sign up. …
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  24. Update to Google’s COVID-19 policy and sensitive events policy

    May 2023

    In June 2023, we will be removing restrictions on coronavirus (COVID-19) related content under our Sensitive events policy. Shopping ads and free listings that contain COVID-19 related terms will no longer be restricted, and approval via LegitScript or Project N95 will no longer be required. This includes Shopping ads and free listings for certain types of face masks, vaccines, and other COVID-19 related products. Content related to COVID-19 will continue to be subject to all other Shopping policies, prohibiting content that is harmful to users and the overall shopping ecosystem, including the…
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  25. Vehicle ads available to Canadian advertisers

    April 2023

    Starting in April 2023, vehicle ads will be available to all Canadian advertisers. Vehicle ads will expand to more countries at a later date. Vehicle ads are a performance focused, omnichannel, lower funnel ad format which allows auto advertisers to promote their entire inventory to interested customers shopping for vehicles on Google.com. This format shows customers an image of the car, plus information such as make, model, price, kilometers, and advertiser name. Clicking on a vehicle ad takes the customer to the Vehicle Description Page (VDP) on the advertiser’s website, where they can perfo…
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  26. Policy update: Shopping ads policies

    March 31, 2023

    On March 31, 2023, the “About our policies” section of the Shopping ads policies will be updated to include the following language: Advertisers have a responsibility to not promote content or engage in behavior that risks harm to our users, employees, or the Ads ecosystem. If we see such content or behavior, we may take action, including but not limited to restricting or blocking your ads or suspending your account.
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  27. Policy update: Sensitive events

    March 2022

    Effective immediately, due to an ongoing sensitive event (the war in Ukraine), we are pausing ads from and for Russian Federation state-funded media.
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  28. Policy update: The Dangerous products policy will include concentrated sodium nitrite

    March 2023

    Google will update its dangerous products policy to prohibit the advertising of products with a concentration of more than 10% sodium nitrite beginning June 5, 2023. This policy applies to Shopping ads and free listings.
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  29. Policy update: Unsupported Shopping content

    March 2023

    Effective March 2023, our “Unsupported Shopping content” policy will be updated to allow ads for electric bikes in the United States that can reach a top speed of 46 km/h (or 28 mph). Electric bikes of a speed up to 46 km/h (or 28 mph) will be allowed. Product listings for these electric bikes must explicitly state the bicycle’s speed on the landing page and either the product title or description. If the speed isn’t stated, the products are in violation of our policy and will be disapproved. Retailers must also comply with the local laws for any area their ads target, in addition to the stand…
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  30. End of support for FTP in Merchant Center

    First published: February 17, 2023 | Updated: January 23, 2024

    Support for FTP in Merchant Center ended on September 15, 2023. Other upload methods like SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) will still be available and unaffected by this change. No creation of new FTP accounts As of March 22, 2023, it has not been possible to create new FTP accounts within Merchant Center. Removal of existing but inactive FTP accounts Beginning from March 22, 2023, existing FTP accounts that have had no activity for 90 days will be removed from the relevant Merchant Centers. Removal of existing active FTP accounts To avoid disruption, merchants who are using FTP accounts t…
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  31. Policy update: Merchants can serve N95 masks on Shopping

    December 2022

    As the COVID-19 situation evolved, more mask types were allowed on Shopping ads and free listings. Previously, approved N95 mask offers were listed directly by Project N95 on behalf of N95 merchants. Effective December 21, 2022 approved merchants can list or advertise N95 masks directly to customers on Shopping ads and free listings. In the U.S., Project N95 will still need to approve N95 mask offers for listing. Once the N95 mask offers are approved, approved merchants can list these offers in Merchant Center themselves. Apply here for N95 mask offer approval via Project N95. N95-adjacent lis…
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  32. Policy update: Linked account suspension

    December 2022

    We’ve updated our Abuse of the network policy. What’s changing We’ve updated our prohibited practices to include a new account issue status, “Linked account suspension”. This new issue status is a clarification of our existing enforcement to provide retailers with better instructions on how to resolve their account issues. This issue status means that a suspended Google Ads account is linked to your Merchant Center account. The Google Ads suspension must be fixed first before your Merchant Center suspension can be reviewed. Learn more about our abuse of the network policies to ensure your acco…
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  33. How to prepare for the holiday season

    November 2022

    The holidays are fast approaching. As customers start shopping earlier and the season for deals becomes longer, now is the time to make sure you are ready for the holiday shopping season. We expect higher volumes at this time of year and we want customers to have a safe and positive online shopping experience. For this reason, there may be delays in the review process for new accounts and feeds. Here are some ways to get your Merchant Center account ready so you can avoid potential delays and be prepared for holiday shopping. Get ready for the holidays Check that your product feeds are up-to-d…
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  34. Smart Shopping campaigns created in Merchant Center are now Performance Max campaigns

    September 2022

    All Smart Shopping campaigns created in Merchant Center have been automatically upgraded to Performance Max. When you create a new campaign in Merchant Center, the campaign will use Performance Max by default. As the next generation of Smart Shopping campaigns, Performance Max campaigns help you reach more shoppers across all Google Ads channels, including YouTube, Search, and Discover. Learn more about promoting your products in ads using Merchant Center If you use Merchant Center to create and manage Smart Shopping campaigns, this announcement covers important details about the upgrade. Note…
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  35. New: Show products in all countries using a single feed

    August 23, 2022

    We’re updating the way country targeting works for feeds in the Merchant Center and introducing a feed label for advanced users. We’ll be slowly rolling out this change to Merchant Center accounts over the next few weeks. What's changing Until now, Merchant Center feeds have had an associated “primary country of sale,” and “additional countries” could be added as well. The “primary country of sale” was the first country selected when creating a feed - this is where the feed would be primarily formatted for and directed to. “Additional countries” were added after feed creation - places where th…
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  36. Policy update: Insufficient contact information and Missing return & refund policy

    August 2022

    We’ve updated our Editorial & technical requirements policy. The enforcement for the account issues “Insufficient contact information” and “Missing return and refund policy” changed. What’s changing The enforcement type has changed for the free listings policies. However, the policies themselves have not changed. Previously, Merchant Center accounts with the “Insufficient contact information” or the “Missing return and refund policy” issue were automatically disapproved. Now, free listings accounts with these issue statuses will remain active, but their products will have limited visibility on…
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  37. Policy update: Login required and Restricted purchase

    July 2022

    We’ve updated our Editorial & technical requirements policy. The enforcement for the account issues “Login required” and “Restricted purchase” have changed. What’s changing Previously, Merchant Center accounts with the “Login required” or the “Restricted purchase” issue were automatically disapproved. Now, free listings accounts with this issue status are still active, but their products have limited visibility on Google. This policy change applies to free listings only. The “Login required” issue status means that customers visiting your store website need to provide account access informatio…
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  38. Policy update: Website needs improvement

    July 2022

    We’ve updated our Editorial & technical requirements policy. The enforcement for the account issue “Website needs improvement” has changed. What’s changing Previously, Merchant Center accounts with the “Website needs improvement” issue status were automatically disapproved. Now, free listings accounts with this issue status are still active, but their products have limited visibility on Google. This change applies to free listings only. The “Website needs improvement” issue status means that your website is missing basic requirements to ensure customers have a seamless shopping experience. The…
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  39. Improve your customer experience with the Shopping experience scorecard program.

    July 6, 2022

    The Shopping Experience Scorecard program can help you deliver a great shopping experience for your customers. The program will monitor the experience you provide to customers in several areas, including shipping speed, shipping cost, return cost, and return window. View your scorecard here You’ll be given a rating of “Excellent”, “Comparable”, or “Opportunity” on each metric and depending on your relative performance, your products may be eligible for a Trusted Store badge or increased visibility on the Shopping tab. You can view your performance, along with personalized suggestions for impro…
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  40. Auto-tagging supports more sources for conversions

    July 6, 2022

    What’s changing You can now use auto-tagging to view conversions for all free listings and free local listings experiences on Google. Previously, auto-tagging was only available for listings in the Shopping tab. When used with a web analytics tool, you can use the conversion data to see how effective your listings perform. What you need to do If you’re already using auto-tagging, no action is needed: additional conversion data from free listings and free local listings will be included in your reporting automatically. If you haven’t turned on auto-tagging, sign in to your Merchant Center accou…
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  41. Policy update: Inappropriate Content

    June 2022

    In July, our Inappropriate Content policy for Shopping ads will be updated under the “Dangerous and Derogatory” section to enforce against the promotion of skin lightening products that infer the superiority of one skin tone over another. These products will be prohibited and disapproved under this enforcement. If any of your products fall within the scope of this policy change, remove those products before July 2022 to avoid any account issues.
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  42. Policy update: Enabling online pharmacies in New Zealand for over-the-counter drugs

    June 2022

    In June 2022, Google will update the Healthcare & medicines policy to enable online pharmacies in New Zealand to promote the sale of approved non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs. In order to promote these offers, online pharmacies must be certified merchants and registered with the Ministry of Health. Starting in June 2022, online pharmacies in New Zealand can apply for certification here. For more information, read about our Healthcare & medicines policy.
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  43. Policy update: Unsupported Shopping content

    May 2022

    Note: This policy has been updated. For more information, refer to the March 2023 policy update. Effective June 2022, our “Unsupported Shopping content” policy will be updated to include a change to how motor-powered bicycles are listed. Electric bikes of a speed of 25 km/h or 15.5 mph or less are still allowed. However, product listings for these electric bikes are now required to explicitly state the bicycle’s speed on the landing page and either the product title or description. If the speed isn’t stated, the products are in violation of our policy and will be disapproved. For more informat…
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  44. 2022 Merchant Center product data specification update

    April 27, 2022

    Every year, we make changes to the Merchant Center product data specification with the goal of creating a better experience for users who are searching for products online. What's changing this year Changes beginning immediately (April 27, 2022) New attribute to pause ads: To help you manage how your products serve in ads, we’re introducing the pause [pause] attribute. This new attribute will allow you to quickly pause (and then restart) showing your products in Shopping ads. Previously, some merchants have used the availability [availability] attribute and set the value to “out_of_stock” (out…
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  45. Policy update: Sensitive events

    March 23, 2022

    Due to the war in Ukraine, we will pause ads containing content that exploits, dismisses, or condones the war.
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  46. See free product listings conversions by linking your Merchant Center and Google Analytics property

    March 21, 2022

    What’s changing? You’ll now be able to see your conversions from free product listings by connecting your Merchant Center and Google Analytics property. This can help you measure the direct impact of your Merchant Center product data. What you need to do If you have an existing Google Analytics (GA4) property, then you can connect it to your Merchant Center account by visiting the conversions settings page. Note that you’ll need to turn auto-tagging on for this feature to work. If you don’t yet have a Google Analytics property, you can create one from the conversions settings page in Merchant …
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  47. Vehicle ads available to US advertisers

    March 2022

    All existing vehicle ads Smart Shopping campaigns will be upgraded to Performance Max by September 2023, bringing you additional inventory and formats to reach new customers. Accounts in which all campaigns have been upgraded are no longer able to create new Smart Shopping campaigns. Learn how to create a Performance Max campaign. Starting in March 2022, vehicle ads will be available to all US advertisers. Vehicle ads will expand to more countries at a later date. Vehicle ads are a performance focused, omnichannel, lower funnel ad format which allows auto advertisers to promote their entire in…
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  48. Update related to Russian ads

    March 10, 2022

    As part of our recent suspension of ads in Russia, we will also pause ads on Google properties and networks globally for advertisers based in Russia.
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  49. Update related to the war in Ukraine

    March 3, 2022

    Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we will be temporarily pausing Google ads from serving to users located in Russia.
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  50. Introducing the Merchant Center status dashboard

    February 25, 2022

    What’s changing To make it easier for you to see the current status, issue history, and health of our Merchant Center, you’re now able to check in with the Merchant Center status dashboard. You can check the dashboard on merchants.google.com/status to see the status of the Content API for Shopping, Merchant Center and feeds. To learn more about how the dashboard works, check out this article. How it works If a major incident is identified, you’ll be able to find an outage notice on the dashboard, and you can expect updates as the issue is resolved. If the dot’s green, it means there are no iss…
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  51. Update for free listings: Auto-tagging now available

    January 31, 2022

    What’s changing Auto-tagging for free listings is now available in your Merchant Center account. With auto-tagging, after someone clicks your free product listing and free local product listing, auto-tagging adds a bit of additional information — a parameter called “result id” — to the URLs people click through. When used together with a third-party web analytics tool (like Google Analytics), this will allow you to see how effectively your free listings and free local listings lead to valuable customer activity, such as purchases. What you need to do You can enable auto-tagging in your Merchan…
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  52. Policy update: Political Content

    January 2022

    Google will update the Political Content policy to disallow election advertisements in the Philippines. From February 2022, Google won’t allow election advertisements to run in the Philippines during an election campaign period or a silence period. Election advertisements are Shopping ads and free listings that promote or oppose any political party or the candidacy of any person or party for public office. In connection with the 2022 Philippines national and local elections, election advertisements will not be allowed to run in the Philippines from February 8 to May 9, 2022.
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  53. Policy update: Misleading or unrealistic promotions policy

    November 2021

    In December 2021, the “Misleading or unrealistic promotions” policy for Shopping will be updated to include a new policy prohibiting content that features claims about climate change which run contrary to scientific consensus. We will begin enforcing the policy update on December 6, 2021. For more details about this change, read our announcement on updating our ads and monetization policies on climate change.
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  54. Policy update: Medical test kits

    November 2021

    What’s changing Medical test kits with at-home results or lab results are now allowed on Shopping ads and free listings. This includes over-the-counter test kits. Every medical test kit must adhere to country-specific regulations. What’s not changing Merchants are responsible for ensuring their products are in compliance with applicable laws and policies. For example, test kits sold in the U.S. must be FDA-approved or emergency use authorized. Medical test kits will also continue to be classified as Medical Devices. Learn more about the medical test kits policy
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  55. Update: There are now more ways to let Google calculate custom shipping speeds for you

    November 3, 2021

    Shipping speed (sometimes called “delivery time”) is a critical factor in customers’ purchase decisions. By allowing Google to calculate shipping speeds, you’ll see improved accuracy and clarity. If you’re a retailer that ships products to the US, there are now two ways for you to take advantage of this opportunity: You’ll specify your shipping carrier, shipping service, and ship-from location, and Google will calculate estimated speeds. Currently this is only available if your ship-from locations are in the United States and you use FedEx, UPS or USPS as your shipping carrier. This feature no…
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  56. Update: Buy on Google France program to end in December

    November 2, 2021

    Buy on Google France will end on December 7, 2021. We look forward to ongoing engagement with our retail partners on other products such as free listings and all other areas of collaboration through our tools, insights, and training. Here are a few things to keep in mind: On December 7, all Buy on Google listings in France will become inactive and won't be shown anymore. If you wish to discontinue participation in the program prior to this date, use the Merchant Center Contact us form to request to be removed. You’ll still be required to fulfill all orders received through December 7, 2021 and…
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  57. Enforcement update for free listings

    Changes beginning November 2021

    We’re aligning item-level enforcement across Shopping ads and free listings by extending limited performance enforcements to free listings. We’ll introduce enforcement for products that are missing unique product identifiers, such as GTIN [gtin], MPN [mpn], and brand [brand]. Previously, if a product listing was missing these required attributes, the product was immediately disapproved and no longer showed in free listings. With the introduction of limited performance enforcements, products that are missing such attributes will remain eligible to serve but their performance may be limited. Lea…
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  58. Important policy update: Restructuring the Misrepresentation policy

    October 2021

    In October 2021, the Shopping ads policy for Misleading or unrealistic promotions will be updated to include two new topics: The existing policy prohibiting “promoting or advocating for harmful health or medical claims or practices” that was previously listed under Dangerous or Derogatory will be combined with a policy that prohibits content that relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative scientific consensus. The combined policy will be moved under Misrepresentation. A new policy prohibiting offers that make claims that are demonstrably false and could significant…
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  59. Policy update: Enabling online pharmacies in France for over-the-counter drugs

    October 2021

    In November 2021, Google will update the Healthcare & medicines policy to enable online pharmacies in France to promote the sale of approved non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs. In order to promote these offers, online pharmacies must be registered with the Pharmacists Guild and certified merchants. Starting on November 1, 2021, online pharmacies in France can apply for certification here. For more information, read about our Healthcare & medicines policy
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  60. Update: Show products in all countries using a single feed

    7 October, 2021

    Merchant Center is making a change that will simplify showing your products in multiple countries. What's changing Currently, Merchant Center allows products to show in one of two country groups. The change we’re making is to merge the country groups into one global list, allowing you to more easily show products in all supported countries. For example, products from a feed with a country of sale of Spain, previously would only be able to show to countries in Group A (Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Por…
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  61. Policy update: High Fat Sugar Salt Food and Beverage

    September 2021

    On September 30, Google will begin enforcing a new policy on Shopping ads to restrict the serving of High Fat Sugar Salt (HFSS) Food and Beverage (F&B) ads for minors in the United Kingdom and European Union. Shopping supports responsible advertising of food and beverages. High Fat Sugar Salt (HFSS) Food & Beverage (F&B) Shopping ads are allowed if they comply with our policies. We consider ads to be promoting the sale of HFSS products when one or more HFSS food item, beverage, or meal is promoted in the ad (text, imagery, audio and/or video) or destination site. Specifically, Shopping ads tha…
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  62. Important policy update: More COVID-related products allowed on Shopping

    September 2021

    Beginning in September, we are relaxing the restriction of certain coronavirus (COVID-19) related products on Shopping ads and free listings. Products like clothing, test kits, home goods, etc. that were previously disapproved due to the COVID-19 sensitive event are now eligible to serve on Shopping ads and free listings. Due to this change, at-home COVID-19 test kits are now permitted on Shopping ads and free listings. Only test kits that are authorized by the FDA or your local governing body will be allowed. We will accept test kits where the sample is collected and analyzed at home and also…
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  63. Changes to unique product identifier enforcement on free listings

    Providing the correct unique product identifiers (UPIs) for your products ensures that Google recognizes them and can provide optimal customer experience. Common UPIs include Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names. In order to unify the enforcement of UPIs across programs, specifically the enforcement for multiple different products that use the same GTIN, we’re expanding this enforcement and applying it to products listed in free listings. Beginning September 15, 2021, the following enforcement will apply to products shown in free listings: Differ…
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  64. Important policy update: More mask types allowed on Shopping

    August 31, 2021

    In 2020, respirator masks were blocked from being listed on our properties and network to prevent abuse and preserve the healthcare worker supply which previously experienced shortages. As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, we have determined that it is now appropriate to allow N95 masks in the U.S. and a selection of approved N95-adjacent masks (KN95, FFP2, and KF94) globally to be listed on our Shopping ads and free listings. Beginning on August 31, 2021, Google will allow approved merchants and suppliers to list N95 and adjacent masks on our Shopping ads and free listings to help make them…
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  65. Policy update: Political content

    August 2021

    Google will be updating its Political content policy to disallow political advertising in Ontario during regulated election periods. This change will take effect in late August 2021. In Ontario, the following types of Shopping ads will be prohibited on Google platforms during a) the 12 months before the writ is issued for a scheduled general election, and b) during an election period as defined by the Ontario Election Finances Act: Shopping ads that feature an Ontario political party, leader of an Ontario political party, or current member or candidate for member of the legislature of the Prov…
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  66. Changes to enforcement for the MPN [mpn] attribute

    The Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) is a unique product identifier that is used to identify a specific product among all of the products produced by a manufacturer. Customers may search for a product using a specific MPN, so providing the MPN can help ensure that your product is shown in relevant situations. Starting in August of 2021, item-level warnings for "Incorrect product identifier [mpn]" will be issued on the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account. These warnings are intended to notify you that you’ve submitted an incorrect value for the MPN [mpn] attribute for one or more of …
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  67. Policy update: Insufficient contact information

    July 2021

    We’ve updated our “Insufficient contact information” policy. From August 2021, merchants will be able to offer customers more types of contact information on their website while still meeting the Merchant Center guidelines. What’s changing Previously, merchants were required to provide two out of three types of contact information on their website: a telephone number, physical address, and/or email address. Merchants are now required to list a minimum of one piece of contact information on their site. They can choose what type of information they include – it could be a “contact us” form or a …
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  68. Policy update: Insufficient payment information

    June 2021

    Beginning June 28, 2021, Merchants will no longer be required to provide their accepted payment methods on their website to customers before the checkout process. Merchants will still need to make sure at least one conventional payment method is available to customers during checkout. Learn more about our additional Merchant Center guidelines
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  69. Upcoming changes to availability enforcement

    Consistent and accurate availability is an important part of a positive customer experience. In an effort to ensure high-quality customer experience, we’re realigning our existing policies related to availability and delivery. Beginning September 1, we will be replacing the “Delivery issues” policy violation with a new product data violation: “Inaccurate availability (due to inconsistent availability between the landing page and checkout pages on your website)”. This update aims to simplify our existing policy and help enforce it in a more transparent manner. Learn more about some common reaso…
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  70. WebP added as a supported image format in Merchant Center

    We’ve updated the Merchant Center image requirements so that you can now submit a WebP (.webp) image as a valid value for the image_link and additional_image_link attributes. This new format is approved in addition to JPEG (.jpg/.jpeg), PNG (.png), GIF (.gif), BMP (.bmp), and TIFF (.tif/.tiff) images. WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. Using WebP, webmasters and web developers can create smaller, richer images that make the web faster. Learn more about WebP.
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  71. Policy update: Website needs improvement

    May 2021

    Google requires that all merchants meet certain professional and editorial standards on their websites. As such, Merchants with websites that do not meet basic requirements will see a “Website needs improvement” policy status and have their accounts suspended until requirements are met. This policy is intended to protect users from poor shopping experiences, such as incomplete websites, confusing or inaccurate product information, broken links on the website, etc. Learn more about our requirements and how to improve your website
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  72. Policy update: Digital books can no longer be advertised on Shopping ads

    May 2021

    What’s changing Beginning May 18, 2021, Google will no longer support the advertising of digital books globally on Shopping ads. This means that all Shopping ads for digital books will be disapproved at the offer level, including those running at the time the policy goes into effect. Only digital books will be disapproved. This includes PDFs, ePub books, MOBI, and 電子書籍 formats. There will be no change for physical books or audiobooks. If any physical books or audiobooks are disapproved for being incorrectly classified as digital books, please request a review in Merchant Center. We don't expec…
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  73. 2021 Merchant Center product data specification update

    April 6, 2021

    Every year, we make changes to the Merchant Center product data specification with the goal of creating a better experience for people who are searching for products online. This year’s updates focus on improving the quality of product information across free listings and Shopping ads. What’s changing this year Changes beginning immediately (April 6, 2021) Checkout price enforcement: In addition to reviewing and enforcing price accuracy between your Merchant Center product data and your landing pages, we will begin to review and enforce price accuracy throughout the checkout process. If during…
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  74. Regional availability and pricing available in the United States

    Use regional inventory by specifying your business’ regional pricing and availability to increase sales on products that may have previously been excluded from your reach. By using regional overrides to provide online product availability and variable pricing based on customer location, you can offer different prices for different regions or vary online availability based on regions that you define. For example, your business might only have a presence in certain parts of a country or specific states within a region. Or you might sell food products that vary in price depending on the region th…
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  75. Changes to the display of VAT in Japan

    Requirements regarding the display of VAT on product landing pages in Japan have recently been updated. As a result, and in order to comply with these new requirements, Google will no longer allow VAT to be displayed separately from the price of the product on landing pages for products offered in Japan. Beginning April 1, VAT must be included in the price for the product that is displayed on the landing page. Learn more about price
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  76. Important policy update: Shopping ads referencing the US presidential election

    Since early January 2021, we have been enforcing the Sensitive events policy, under the Inappropriate content policy, for US elections-related content. Our first priority is always to protect our users, especially where ads have the potential to amplify confusion during fast-paced and unpredictable situations, which is why we initially introduced this temporary restriction on US elections-related content. While we no longer consider the US 2020 elections-related events to be a sensitive event, we will still rigorously enforce all our existing Merchant Center policies. For more information on S…
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  77. New warnings for unit pricing

    In the European Union and Switzerland, you may be required by local law to display unit pricing information for applicable products. For example, if you sell perfume in this region, it is required to provide the price per 10 milliliters in your ad or listing. Beginning in March 2021, we will show "Missing potentially required value" warnings when the unit_pricing_measure attribute is missing for products for which you may be required to display the price per unit. If a required attribute is omitted, your product(s) may be legally liable for non-compliance with applicable law. If you receive th…
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  78. Upcoming changes to price enforcement

    Consistent and accurate pricing is one of the most important factors shoppers take into considerations when making a purchase. If the product’s price at checkout is higher than the price shown in an ad, free product listing, or on a product landing page, shoppers are more likely to abandon the purchase. Beginning April 6, in addition to reviewing and enforcing price accuracy between your Merchant Center product data and your landing pages, we will begin to review and enforce price accuracy at checkout. If during an account review Google finds that the price provided for one of your products at…
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  79. Buy on Google update: submit disputes directly from settlement report

    January 27, 2021

    You’ll now be able to dispute transactions directly from the settlement report page of your Merchant Center account. What’s changing? Until now, to dispute items in your settlement report, you’ve been required to submit a request form via the Help Center, which may require ongoing communication between you and Google. Now, you’ll be able to dispute transactions right from the settlement report view. Such disputes may be raised for things like issue-related refund amounts, return shipping amounts, tax amount, commission amounts, and transaction amounts. After you’ve submitted a dispute, the sta…
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  80. Important policy update: Sensitive events

    Since January 6, we’ve enacted a limited sensitive event, per our standard policies, given the violent events in Washington DC. This means starting Thursday, January 14, we'll be expanding our sensitive events enforcement to include Shopping ads which reference the candidates, the election, its outcome, the upcoming presidential inauguration, the ongoing presidential impeachment process, violence at the US Capitol, or future planned protests on these topics. Learn more
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  81. Name changes: Surfaces across Google and Shopping Actions renamed

    December 14, 2020

    As part of our commitment to constantly improving Merchant Center, we’re changing the names of surfaces across Google and Shopping Actions. This will help to keep the names descriptive, relevant, and consistent as Merchant Center continues to grow and evolve. What’s changing Starting soon, when we talk about surfaces across Google, we’ll talk about the listings rather than the feature itself. Where you previously saw “surfaces across Google” in your account or in the Help Center, you’ll soon see “free product listings” or “free listings” in its place. And Shopping Actions will now be called Bu…
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  82. Shopping ads policy update: US elections

    December 10, 2020

    Since November 3, 2020, we have been implementing the Sensitive events policy, under the Inappropriate content policy for US election related content in Shopping ads. While we no longer consider the US 2020 election to be a sensitive event, we will still rigorously enforce all our existing policies. Our first priority is always to protect our users, especially where ads have the potential to amplify confusion during fast-paced and unpredictable situations, which is why we initially introduced this temporary restriction on US election related content. Current as of December 10, 2020.
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  83. Automatic image improvements now available with Buy on Google

    Buy on Google for Search and Shopping ended on September 26, 2023. Buy on Google for YouTube ended on October 26, 2023. We’re expanding the coverage of automatic image improvements from products that are advertised with Shopping ads only to also include Buy on Google products. Automatic image improvements review non-compliant images and try to automatically fix them, on your behalf, by removing promotional overlays. If the removal is successful, the image will be replaced and the offer will be reapproved. No action is needed if you’ve already opted in for these improvements, as any previously …
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  84. Stay on top of trends with the Insights page

    November 19, 2020

    Consumer behavior continues to change as people adjust to their new normal. We’ve seen a surge in searches for patio heaters, pajamas, and sleds in the past month–and queries like “online gift” have grown by 80% year over year.1 To help you stay on top of these emerging trends and more, we're rolling out the Insights page as a beta over the next few months globally. Discover insights tailored to your business The Insights page makes it easy for you to explore insights and emerging trends based on your business. Let's say you're a pet store looking to reach more customers. With the Insights pag…
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  85. Shopping Actions update: Review defect alerts on "Orders" page

    November 17, 2020

    Defect alerts help identify certain issues with your orders in real-time, allowing you to take action on alerts before they impact your customer experience or your Retailer Standards score. Now, we’ve made it easier for you to find and review these alerts. What’s changing You can now view your order defect alerts directly from the “Orders” page of your Merchant Center account. This means you’ll be able to easily review orders that are in risk of receiving a Retailer Standards defect and resolve issues directly from the “Order management” page. Note that the “Defect alerts” tab within the “Reta…
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  86. Important policy update: Sensitive events

    October 27, 2020

    Given that an unprecedented amount of votes will likely be counted after the election day on November 3, 2020, we will implement the “Sensitive events" policy under our “Inappropriate content" policy as polls close on Election Day. Based on this policy, we will restrict content which references the candidates, the US elections, or their outcomes. "Sensitive events" policy under "Inappropriate content" Google’s sensitive events policy aims to provide a safe advertising ecosystem during critical political events. More specifically this policy covers: Ads that potentially profit from or exploit a…
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  87. Get discovered by deal seekers with new features for listing your promotions (U.S. only)

    October 22, 2020

    While deal seeking behavior is not new, shoppers are more price-conscious this year. In fact, 58% of U.S. holiday shoppers will hold off on buying gift items until they’re on-sale.1 When looking for these competitively-priced products, 40% of global shoppers say they turn to Google to find the best deal.2 Since many of these shoppers have already started their gift search, adding promotions to products that you sell on Google now can help drive more sales to your business. This holiday season, we’re doing more to help you get discovered by these deal seekers. We’re making it easier to upload a…
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  88. Easily respond to real-time holiday demand with Smart Shopping campaigns

    October 22, 2020

    Last holiday season, U.S. shoppers used Google for shopping more than any other source.1 As more people are already shopping for the holidays, we’re offering ways to help you capture real-time holiday demand with Smart Shopping campaigns.2 These new features will help boost your visibility to new customers, showcase your brand and products in rich creatives, and uncover meaningful insights from your performance. Get in front of new shoppers this holiday season 58% of U.S. holiday shoppers bought at least one brand last holiday season that they hadn't bought before3. In July, we introduced impr…
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  89. Buy on Google: How to prepare for the holiday season

    October 21, 2020

    The holiday season is coming quickly and, as you know, this year will be different than any other. Here are some ways to get your Merchant Center account and Buy on Google information in shape, so you can be ready. Review your Merchant Center settings and product feed information. Check that your feeds are up-to-date with the product data specification. Use the quantity for Buy on Google [sell_on_google_quantity] attribute to show the number of products available to sell on Google for a particular product. The availability [availability] attribute indicates the status of the product, such as i…
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  90. Important update: changes to availability enforcement on free standard listings

    October 2020

    Free standard listings allow merchants to show out of stock products to users. To ensure good user experience, Google will now preemptively disapprove free standard listings for products that are marked as out of stock in the product data in Merchant Center, but are in stock on their landing pages. Take action to prevent disapprovals To avoid having your products be preemptively disapproved, make sure that your Merchant Center product data’s availability values accurately reflect each product’s availability on its corresponding landing page. It is recommended that you enable automatic item upd…
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  91. Shopping Actions update: changes to Retailer Standards

    October 1, 2020

    Effective November 1, 2020, we’re updating our Retailer Standards program to better manage key performance areas that customers value most. What’s changing We’re launching two new performance metrics: “Return defects” and “Delivery defects” Return defects: These error types apply anytime an item’s return is not processed within 2 business days of delivery at your return facility. You’ll be able to monitor performance of this defect starting on November 1st. The first score impacted will be March 1, 2021 and will lookback to defects as early as November 24, 2020. Delivery defects: We’ve created…
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  92. Free listings will soon be available across the world

    Sep. 29, 2020

    Today we announced that we’re bringing free listings to the Shopping tab in countries across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Just as we don't charge sites to be part of the Google Search index, listings for participating retailers are eligible to appear in these results at no cost to them. Paid listings will continue to appear in ad slots and will operate in the same way as Shopping ads do today. This change will take effect by mid-October 2020. How to participate To show your products in free product listings on the Shopping tab, opt in when you sign up for Merchant Center. If you already ha…
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  93. Use additional countries to determine your reach

    October 2020

    Over the years Google has introduced functionalities that allow you to automatically use your product data across multiple countries, provided you also set up shipping and target your campaigns to these countries for Shopping ads. Recently, we expanded this functionality with additional insights on your product data eligibility and performance across countries. This month, we’re making some additional changes, which will give you more precise control and clearer diagnostics of the countries where your products are eligible to show. Use "Additional countries" instead of Merchant Center "shippin…
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  94. Important update: changes to image policy enforcement

    September 2020

    We're changing the way we enforce image policies for advertising, selling, and listing your products on Google. We’ll be sunsetting account-level image enforcement in favor of item-level disapprovals. Over the next few weeks, as a part of a gradual rollout, any accounts that are currently warned or under preemptive item disapproval due to image promotional text will be automatically overturned, and item-level disapprovals will be applied to affected products instead. We recommend opting in to automatic image improvements in Merchant Center, which will try to automatically fix non-compliant ima…
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  95. Shopping Actions: update to gift card policy

    September 16, 2020

    Beginning September 30, Google will be changing the gift card category policy to prohibit the sale of gift cards on Buy on Google. What this means for you Merchant Center products in the gift card category on Buy on Google will be disapproved and will no longer be available to your customers once the policy has been updated. No action is required from you.
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  96. Globally show your products in any Shopping language

    In September 2020, we’re expanding our feed options and capabilities, enabling you to show products to people who understand a particular language, regardless of the country in which they are located. This helps expand your reach and also simplifies the process of using one feed to show products in multiple countries of sale. For example, let’s say you have a Spanish feed that you were previously using to show products to people in Mexico. You could use that same feed to target Spanish-speakers in Colombia and Ecuador, where Spanish is a local language. You can now also use that feed to target…
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  97. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Merchant Center policy updates

    Current as of May 15, 2023 Latest Updates [15 May 2023] Update to our Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) policy and Sensitive events policy: In June 2023, we are removing restrictions on coronavirus (COVID-19) content under our Sensitive events policy. Shopping ads and free listings that contain COVID-19 related terms will no longer be restricted, including ads and listings for certain types of face masks, vaccines, and other COVID-19 related products. Content related to COVID-19 will continue to be subject to all other Shopping policies prohibiting content that is harmful to customers and the ove…
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  98. Free and fast annotation now available for Buy on Google and free product listings

    February 2021

    Shipping is a key decision point for customers buying online. If you offer free and fast shipping on your products, Merchant Center lets you show that through an annotation that appears in your eligible ads and listings. Starting now, we’re expanding the range of listing types that can include this free and fast annotation. Note: Free and fast annotation is only available in the US. What’s changing While the free and fast annotation could previously only be included in Shopping ads, it can now be added to: Buy on Google listings Free product listings To get started, review the checkout and lan…
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  99. New warnings for missing energy efficiency class

    In the European Union and Switzerland, it is required by local law to display energy efficiency class information with applicable products. Beginning in mid-January 2021, we'll show "Missing potentially required value" warnings when the energy_efficiency_class attribute is missing for products for which you may be required to display energy efficiency class information. If a required attribute is omitted, your product(s) may be legally non-compliant and you, as the merchant, are legally liable. To resolve this sort of issue, either provide the missing attribute with a valid value or verify tha…
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