Understanding account-level enforcement for product data quality violations

To ensure the success of 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 shown in Shopping ads and unpaid listings, so it’s important that you identify the reason for disapproval and 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 them. The warning period will also be displayed in your Merchant Center account on the Diagnostics page, under “Account issues”. You are eligible to request one courtesy review by using the "Request review" button. During the warning period, your items will continue to appear in Shopping ads and unpaid listings.

Account suspension

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

If you don't 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 and unpaid listings 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 appearing in Shopping ads and unpaid listings for that feed. You’ll receive an email notification that your account has been suspended. Your suspension status will be shown on the Home and the Diagnostics pages of your Merchant Center account.

Important: If your account is suspended, 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 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 show.

Preemptive item disapproval

Warnings regarding price and availability mismatch 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 have a different price on the landing page compared to the feed). While you resolve your product data quality issues for items that do not meet requirements, you can still show other products from your account that meet the requirements.

Example

Suppose a manual review of your product data shows that you’ve submitted multiple items where the price provided on the landing page doesn’t match the price in the feed. You’ll receive a warning email with examples of the items where attribute values for price didn't match the landing pages at the time of the review, as well as a timeframe in which to update those and other products that may be affected. If you fail to make changes within the given timeframe, the items with mismatched pricing 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 product data violations related to price and availability. 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 resubmit 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 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 by using the "Request review" button in Merchant Center. You are entitled to one courtesy review during the warning period.
    • Account suspended or in preemptive item disapproval: Request a review 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 examples of the violating items listed in the email notification as a reference, you can plan an approach to avoid violating the product data requirements in the future.

Request review button

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.

Instructions for requesting a 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"

Once you request a review, the status of the associated issue will change to “Under review”. Review requests can take up to 7 days to complete. You’ll receive an email notification once the review has been completed.

Note: During the warning period, you can request one courtesy review of your account at any time. 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 show throughout the warning period. Your account will be reviewed again at the end of the warning period.

If your account is already suspended or under PID, you will have 3 more opportunities to request a review. After the third attempt, a cool-down period will be enabled for a period of one week, during which the button will not be available.

Cool down period

If you don’t resolve your data quality issues after requesting a review, you can make your next request at any time. If your issues aren’t resolved after the third request, then a one-week cool-down period will begin 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 period will also apply to all subsequent requests for review until all issues are resolved. 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. Use this one-week cool-down period to review your data and fix the issues. After the one-week period passes, the button will be available again and you will be able to request a new review.

 

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