Understanding account-level enforcement for product data quality violations

To create successful ads for your products and provide a good experience for people who are shopping, follow the product data specification and data quality requirements when submitting your product data to Google. If your data doesn't meet the data quality requirements, your items or your entire Merchant Center account are subject to disapproval. Disapproved items can’t be advertised in Shopping ads, so it’s important that you identify the reason for disapproval and then take the necessary steps to fix the issue and get approval for these items.

This article explains the different types of disapprovals, how they can affect your account, and the steps you should take if you have disapproved items in your account or if your account is suspended. Learn more about item disapprovals for product data violations

Warnings

Merchant Center accounts are reviewed regularly. If it's found that your product data is not in compliance with the product specification requirements, you’ll receive a warning email with examples of the issues that you need to fix, and a timeframe in which to fix your issues. During the warning period, your items will continue to appear in Shopping ads. (The warning period will also be displayed in your Merchant Center account on the Diagnostics page, under “Account issues”). During the warning period, you are eligible to request one courtesy review by either using the review request form or the request review button (if applicable).

Account suspension

If your account is suspended, you’ll receive a series of emails containing all of the relevant information about data quality issues and account suspension.

If you do not request a review during the warning period, your data will be reviewed once more at the end of the warning period. If all of your issues are resolved, the warning will be lifted and your ads will continue serving as normal. If any of the issues are not resolved, your account will be suspended and all of your items will be disabled from Shopping ads for that feed. You’ll receive an email notice saying that your account has been suspended. You’ll also see your suspension status on the Home and the Diagnostics pages of your Merchant Center account.

  • Important: If your account is suspended, your items will no longer show in Shopping ads. They will, however, still be available for other destinations. The Google Account used to access Merchant Center will not be affected and you will still be able to use it to access other Google products.

Note: Messages regarding data quality and account suspension are also temporarily stored in the Merchant Center message archive of the impacted account.

Keep in mind that account suspensions are specific to each country of sale. If you target multiple countries of sale, your unaffected products and feeds will continue to serve. 

Preemptive item disapproval

Warnings regarding price and availability mismatch as well as image inconsistencies may result in preemptive item disapproval. Preemptive item disapproval (PID) is still considered account-level enforcement. It's called "preemptive item disapproval" because Google errs on the side of caution and disapproves items that are likely to violate requirements (for example, items that contain watermarks). While you resolve your product data quality issues for items that do not meet requirements, you can still advertise other products from your account that meet the requirements.

Example

Suppose a manual review of your product data shows that you’ve submitted multiple images with watermarks. You’ll receive a warning email with examples of the images that need to be updated, as well as a timeframe in which to make changes. If you fail to make changes within the given timeframe, the items with watermarked images will be disapproved, as will any other items in your account that likely also don't meet the requirements. You’ll be able to see a list of all the impacted items using the link provided in the initial email.

Preemptive item disapproval is only available for the following product data violations: price, availability, and images. Other data quality violations may still result in account suspension if issues are not resolved within the 28-day warning period.

How to resolve data quality issues

  1. Remove or fix any items that don’t meet the product data specification requirements. Users who’ve opted in to mandatory service announcement email notifications will receive an email with details about the violation, including examples. Update any additional items that violate the same product data quality requirements, even if they aren't included in the email.
  2. Use the following steps to re-submit your product data: From the navigation panel, click Products, and then click List from the page menu. Review the information that was most recently submitted to Google Merchant Center, and compare this data to your live website. Submit your product data again.
  3. Once you have fixed the issues:
    • Warning period: Wait until the end of the warning period for the review to happen or request a courtesy review. You are entitled to one courtesy review during the warning period.
    • Account suspended or in preemptive item disapproval: Request a review by contacting Google, contacting your dedicated account representative, or by using the Request review button in Merchant Center (if applicable).
  4. Make sure your product data meets the requirements to prevent disapprovals. Using the violating items listed in the email as a reference, you can plan an approach to avoid violating the product data requirements in the future.

Request review button (Australia, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands)

Note: This option is only available for merchants that have Australia, Canada, Germany, or the Netherlands as a country of sale. If you’re looking to resolve issues in different countries of sale, please refer to the “How to resolve data quality issues” section above.

If your account has received a warning, has been suspended, or if any of your items have been preemptively disapproved, you can request a review using the Request review button. For each country of sale you’ll see one Request review button only, and you’ll only be able to request a review if there are no other pending requests for that country. If your account has multiple data quality issues in the same country of sale, the review will apply to all issues for that country of sale. 

During the warning period, you can request one courtesy review of your account at any time. Once you request a review, the status of the associated issue will change to “Under review.” If all of your issues are resolved, the warning will be lifted and your ads will continue serving as normal. If any of the issues are not resolved, the account will remain warned and your ads will continue to serve throughout the warning period. 

If your account is already suspended or under PID, you will have 2 more opportunities to request a review. After 2 attempts, you will need to use the request review form or contact your dedicated account representative.

Cool down period

If you don’t resolve your data quality issues after your first request for review, you can make a second request for review at any time. If your issues aren’t resolved after the second request, this will trigger a one-week cool down period during which the review button will be blocked. Your account will remain suspended or in preemptive item disapproval state during this period and you won’t be able to request another review. This one-week cool down also applies to all subsequent requests for review. You can see the end date of any cool-down period by navigating to the Diagnostics page of Merchant Center and clicking the “Account issues” tab.

Instructions for requesting review

  1. Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
  2. Navigate to Account issues on the “Diagnostics” page.
  3. Locate the account-level issue that you would like to have reviewed.
  4. Make sure that there are in-stock products uploaded and all issues for the affected country of sale are resolved.
  5. Click Request review.
  6. Read the pop-up window to ensure that you understand the review process, and its requirements and limitations.
  7. Check the box and click Request review.

Note: Review requests can take up to 5 days to complete. You’ll receive an email notification once the review has been completed. 

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