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About item and account disapprovals for product data violations

Providing the best experience for users on Google Shopping means that we ask you to follow the requirements in the Products Feed Specification. If your data doesn't meet the requirements, we may need to disapprove an item or your entire Merchant Center account. It's important to understand how disapprovals work and what to do about them, because a disapproved item can't be advertised on Google Shopping.

This article will explain the different types of product data disapprovals and what you can do if you have disapproved items in your account.

Temporary item disapproval

We review your individual items submitted via data feeds and the Content API for Shopping regularly. If we detect that the data that you provide does not match the product information on your website, we may disapprove these items temporarily. This will prevent the item from appearing on Google Shopping. Please review any disapproved items and ensure that you're submitting accurate product data.

If you have valid schema.org microdata on your website, you can choose to enable automatic item updates, a feature that reduces the risk of account suspension for price and availability mismatches and prevents temporary item disapprovals.

What to do

  1. Make the corrections to your product data and ensure that you've implemented a long-term solution to prevent future violations.
  2. After a disapproved item has been updated with accurate information and uploaded again, we will review the items again. This might take up to 12 hours to verify that the items have been fixed. Note that temporarily disapproved offers will be approved again automatically within 4 days. Items that have been approved again automatically are still subject to future disapproval.

Request an exception from the 'gtin' attribute requirements

If you submitted a product without a 'gtin' when a 'gtin' would normally be required, your product will be disapproved. To get an exception from the 'gtin' requirements for your product, you can request a manual review through your Merchant Center account. You'll only be able to request a manual review when targeting Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.

Use the steps below to request a manual review:

  1. Click on the title of the item on the Products tab to view the individual item page.
  2. Click the link for "Why is this item disapproved?"
  3. Review the 'gtin' attribute requirements related to your item disapproval and then tick the box that acknowledges that you reviewed the information.
  4. Select "Request manual review".

It may take up to 7 business days to complete the manual review. Items that are approved as the result of a review will be eligible to serve on Google Shopping within 24 hours.

Pre-emptive item disapproval

In addition to automatic item disapprovals, we also perform manual reviews of your product data. If during a manual review we find items that don't meet the Products Feed Specification requirements, we'll send you an email asking you to remove or fix these items and any other items that don’t meet the product data requirements. If you don't remove or fix the items within a certain timeframe, we'll start disapproving other items in your product data that are likely to not meet the Products Feed Specification requirements.

We call this "pre-emptive item disapproval", because we err on the side of caution and disapprove items based on their likelihood to violate our requirements (e.g. contain watermarks). Pre-emptive item disapproval allows you to still advertise other products from your account while protecting users from products that may not meet our requirements.

Example:

If we find multiple images with watermarks or promotional text, we'll send you an email with examples of images that need to be updated and provide a timeframe to make the changes. If the changes aren't made within the timeframe provided, we'll disapprove the items with these images, plus other items in your account that are likely to not meet the requirements, like any image with text or certain annotations. You can find a list of all the impacted items using the link provided in the email that we sent you.


Pre-emptive item disapproval might not be available for all product data violations. Egregious or repeat violations may still lead to account suspension rather than pre-emptive item disapproval. 

What to do

  1. Update your product data. Any item that doesn’t meet the Products Feed Specification requirements needs to be removed from your product data or updated to meet the requirements. Details about the violation are included in the email sent to your technical contact, including examples. If you have additional items in your data that violate the same product data requirements but aren't included in the email, you'll need to update those, too.
  2. Make sure that your product data returns to approved status. Once you've updated your product data, you can wait until the end of the warning period or request a review. If you already see pre-emptive item disapprovals in your Diagnostics tab, you need to request a review of your account. If we find that your account meets the product data requirements, items that were pre-emptively disapproved will return to approved status within 3 days without any additional work on your part. 
  3. Make sure that your product data meets the requirements to prevent disapprovals. Using the violating items we listed in the email as a reference, consider ways that you can avoid violating the product data requirements in the future.

Account suspension

We'll send you the following series of emails containing all relevant information for account suspension for data quality issues.

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

Warnings: Google Shopping will review merchants on an ongoing basis. If we find that your data is not in compliance, we'll send you an email with a warning and time frame to fix your data quality issues – this notification will also be stored in the Merchant Center message archive. During the warning period, your items will continue to appear on Google Shopping. Please note that this warning period will not be displayed in your Merchant Center account.

Account Suspensions: After the warning period specified in our email, we'll review your data again. If you haven't resolved the issue, your account will be suspended and all items consequently removed from Google Shopping. You will also see your suspension status appear in both your Google Merchant Center Dashboard and Diagnostics tabs.

Important: Please note that account suspensions refer to the removal of your items from Google Shopping. Your items will still be available for other destinations and your actual Google account will still allow you to access other Google products.

What to do after an account suspension not related to tax or delivery

  1. Make the corrections to your product data and ensure that you've implemented a long-term solution to prevent future violations.
  2. Submit your product data again.
  3. Review your data in the Products tab. Here you can see the information that was most recently submitted to Google Merchant Center, and you can compare this data to your live website.
  4. Once you have fixed the issues, please contact us by using this form or contact your dedicated account representative.

What to do after an account suspension related to tax or delivery

If your account was suspended for tax or delivery violations, we recommend that you use these steps to request a quick review.

  1. Review the errors in the Diagnostics tab to understand why the suspension occurred.
  2. Update your product data or account to make sure that you meet the requirements. There are two ways for you to make the update:
  3. From the notification on the Dashboard or Diagnostics tab of your Merchant Center account, request an account review. You'll be able to request a review from this notification up to three times. If you've used all three of your review requests, contact us using the "Disapproved data feeds or items" form or through your dedicated account representative.
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