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 that 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
Merchant Center accounts are reviewed regularly. If it's found that your product data isn't 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're eligible to request one courtesy review by either using the review request form or the request review button (if applicable).
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 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 will continue serving as normal. If any of the issues aren't 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 won't be affected and you'll 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.
Bear 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.
Warnings regarding price and availability mismatch as well as image inconsistencies may result in preemptive item disapproval. Pre-emptive item disapproval (PID) is still considered account-level enforcement. It's called 'pre-emptive 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 don't meet requirements, you can still advertise other products from your account that meet the requirements.
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 time frame in which to make changes. If you fail to make changes within the given time frame, 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.
Pre-emptive 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 aren't resolved within the 28-day warning period.
- 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.
- Use the following steps to re-submit your product data: From the navigation panel, click Products, 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.
- Once you've fixed the issues:
- Warning period: Wait until the end of the warning period for the review to happen or request a courtesy review. You're entitled to one courtesy review during the warning period.
- Account suspended or in pre-emptive 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).
- Make sure that 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.
If your account has received a warning, has been suspended or if any of your items have been pre-emptively 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 aren't 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'll have two more opportunities to request a review. After two attempts, you'll need to use the request review form or contact your dedicated account representative.
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 pre-emptive 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
- Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
- Navigate to Account issues on the 'Diagnostics' page.
- Locate the account-level issue that you'd like to have reviewed.
- Make sure that there are in-stock products uploaded and all issues for the affected country of sale are resolved.
- Click Request review.
- Read the pop-up window to ensure that you understand the review process and its requirements and limitations.
- Tick the box and click Request review.
Note: Review requests can take up to five days to complete. You'll receive an email notification once the review has been completed.