Editorial & technical requirements

This policy only applies to free listings. For Shopping ads policies, visit our main page here.

Our policy

In order to provide a quality customer experience, Google requires that all free listings meet high professional and editorial standards. We only allow listings that are clear and professional in appearance. These listings should lead customers to products and landing pages that are relevant, useful, and easy to interact with.

Technical requirements

The product data specification defines the structure and format for providing data about your products so that attractive and professional listings can be created. Your listings will need to comply with the product data specification in order to serve, so make sure to review the attributes and their requirements carefully.

Examples of what's not allowed

Website needs improvement
Websites that aren’t fully-functional, don’t have business specific content, have information that is difficult to understand, or display product content that is incomplete
  • Examples: Website that has broken links, templated content, placeholders of text or placeholders for images.
Insufficient contact information
 Websites that are missing required contact information, have unverified business information in Merchant Center, or both
  • Examples: Website is missing contact information (e.g. no social media link, contact email address, or phone number); Merchant Center account has missing contact information, such as a physical business address or a verified phone number; contact information is missing from both the store website and Merchant Center account.
Missing return and refund policy
 Websites that are missing return and refund information
  • Examples: Store return policy pages that are empty or don't state all the requirements for return; refund policies that aren't clear or easy to find; no return or refund policy is clearly stated.
Usefulness
 Login is required or content is unnecessarily difficult or frustrating to navigate
  • Examples: Websites with pop-ups or interstitial ads that interfere with the customer’s ability to see the content requested; sites that require a visitor to enter a username or password to see the content requested; sites that disable or interfere with the browser’s back button; websites that don’t load quickly on most popular browsers and devices, are under construction, not functioning, require download of an additional application to view the landing page (aside from common browser plug-ins), or lead to a file, email address, or error messages. For specific guidelines on how to comply with this policy, refer to the 'link' attributes in the product data specification.
Website that is not fully functional
  • Examples: Links for Contact Us information, social media business profiles, blogs, etc. on landing pages that don’t work and/or lead to an unrelated page. Ensure all links on the website are working and point to relevant pages.
Website that has incomplete or difficult to understand business information
  • Examples: Contact information, shipping information, or a frequently asked questions section on the website is incomplete or unclear for customers to take action on. Ensure that business information on your website is complete and easy to understand.
Not all customers are able to complete their purchase
  • Examples: Business information fields in your checkout process are required. Customers from certain internet locations (IP addresses) can not complete the checkout process.
Spelling and grammar
 Listings that do not use commonly accepted spelling and grammar
  • Examples: "Flowers here buy" or "Buy flwres here"
Punctuation, symbols, capitalization, spacing, or repetition that are not used correctly or for their intended purpose
  • Examples: Excessive or gimmicky use of numbers, letters, symbols, punctuation, emoticons, emoji, repetition, or spacing, including: f1owers, fllllowers, fl@wers, Flowers!!!, f*l*o*w*e*r*s, FLOWERS, FlOwErS, F.L.O.W.E.R.S, flowers-flowers-flowers!, f l o w e r s, buyflowershere. For specific guidelines on how to comply with this policy, refer to the title [title] and the description [description] attributes in the product data specification.
Unclear relevance
 Listings that are not relevant to the landing page
Style requirements
 Free listings that do not use the features of the listing for their intended purpose
 Website that is using generic placeholders or templated content
  • Examples: Generic text on the website that says “Add customer reviews and testimonials here” or an empty box that says “lorem ipsum.” Ensure text and images on the website are tailored to your business.
Domain safety
Retailer landing pages or associated site domains that Google deems unsafe
  • Examples: Domain page deemed unsafe as a result of hacking or other activity causing the site to become compromised. If Google detects suspicious signals, it may block customers from visiting your site from some browsers and from Google Search. Learn how to resolve this issue in the unsafe website domain troubleshooter.
Product details
Website that has inaccurate, missing, or duplicate product details
  • Examples: Product descriptions and specifications that are unrelated to the product image or listing. The same product details being used for multiple products without differentiation. Ensure the product details on the website are accurate and unique for each product.

What you can do

Here's what you can do if your product is disapproved or if your Merchant Center account is impacted:

Product disapproval

Products that don't comply with our policies may be disapproved. When a product is disapproved, it won't be eligible to serve. If the product doesn't comply with our policies, it should be removed from your product data feed.

In some instances, you’ll see the option to request a review of a product that has been disapproved for policy violations. If you believe that your product was incorrectly disapproved and you would like to request a manual review, click Request Review in the 'Item Status' of your product page. Learn more about product disapprovals for free listings policy violations and requesting a review

Account disapproval

For most violations, we'll send you a warning email detailing the policy violation and give you 7 or 28 calendar days to fix your issue.

  1. Read our policies to learn what we don't allow.
  2. Update your website. If your listing leads to content that violates a policy, update your website to meet the requirements and be in compliance with our policies.
  3. Remove the violating products from your product data. You’ll receive an email with details about the violation. If you have products in your product data that violate the policy (or policies) you'll need to remove the offers from your feed.
  4. Update your product data in Merchant Center. If you created a schedule for automatic uploads, update your product data manually or wait for your product data to be automatically updated before requesting a review. Product data that you’ve uploaded as a test won’t go live and isn’t considered during account reviews.
  5. Request a review of your account.
    • If your account is still within the warning period, it will automatically be reviewed again at the end of the warning period. If the violating products are removed, you won't need to request an account review or take any additional action.
    • If your account is suspended and you've taken action to resolve the issue, request an account review.

Most accounts are reviewed within 3 business days, but it can take longer if a more complex review is needed. If we find that you've removed the violating products from your product data, we’ll remove the warning. In the case of account suspension, we'll approve your account so your products can start displaying again.

Account issue that limits product visibility

Your account has an issue and is operating with reserved functionality, therefore your products have limited visibility. An email was sent with a notice on what to do and the steps needed to resolve your account issue.

  1. Read our policies to learn more about our requirements to benefit from Shopping ads and free listings.
  2. Update your website. If your listing leads to content that violates a policy, update your website to meet the requirements and be in compliance with our policies.
  3. Fix any other open policy violation in your account.
  4. Request a review of your account.
    • If your Merchant Center account is still within the warning period for certain policies, it will automatically be reviewed again at the end of the warning period. Otherwise, if your account is affected and you've taken action to resolve the issue make sure to request a Merchant Center account review.
    • If you participate in a third-party program, request a review there or fill out this form.

Most accounts are reviewed within 3 business days, but it can take longer if a more complex review is needed. If we find that you've removed the violating products from your product data, we’ll remove the warning. In the case of accounts with limited visibility, we'll approve your account so your products can start displaying again.

 
To ensure a safe and positive experience for customers, Google requires that retailers comply with all applicable laws and regulations in addition to our policies. It's important that you familiarize yourself with and keep up to date on these requirements for the place where your business operates, as well as any other places your listings are shown. When we find content that violates these requirements, we may block it from appearing. In cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may ban you from listing content with us.
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