In this help center, you can find content for both Merchant Center Next and the classic Merchant Center experience. Look for the logo at the top of each article to make sure you're using the article for the Merchant Center version that applies to you. 

Product Ratings policies

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To participate in Product Ratings by uploading a feed of reviews, you must have a minimum of 50 reviews in your Product Ratings feed.

If you are participating in Product Ratings through Google Customer Reviews, your reviews will be collected by Google Customer Reviews and sent to Merchant Center.

Here are additional policies that apply to all retailers signed up for Product Ratings:

Retailers must share all their reviews with Google through monthly updates

In order to provide shoppers with a transparent and comprehensive experience, you are required to share all your product reviews with Google, including low-star reviews, unless specifically instructed otherwise. At a minimum, you need to send your full reviews feed at least once a month, if not more frequently. We’ve found that the more recent the reviews, the more relevant they are to shoppers researching a product. If reviews aren't refreshed every month or if you have stopped actively collecting reviews, your feed will be deemed stale and will lose eligibility to participate in Product Ratings.

Review feeds must adhere to content policies

All reviews must follow Google’s content policies. We may remove reviews or block entire feeds that violate these policies.

  • Spam: We don’t allow spam content. Ensure any content known to contain irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text is marked as spam in your feed using the <is_spam> attribute.
  • Dangerous products or acts: Don’t submit reviews of regulated products that can cause damage, harm, or injury. For example, don’t submit reviews of guns, tobacco products, or regulated drugs. Additionally, don’t include content that depicts or provides instructions to complete activities that are dangerous and/or widely illegal.
  • Phone numbers, email addresses or URLs: Don't submit phone numbers, email addresses and links to other websites in the review content.
  • Personal and confidential information: Don't submit reviews that contain personal information, including but not limited to full names, credit card information, national insurance number, driving license information, etc.
  • Keep it clean: Don’t submit reviews that use obscene, profane, or offensive language or include content that depicts scenes of violence, serious injury or death, contains personal attacks, or are defamatory.
  • Conflict of interest: Don’t submit reviews that were paid for or are otherwise inauthentic. Reviews are most valuable when they are honest and unbiased. We remove reviews that we believe have conflicts of interest and/or have been written by employees or people with a vested interest in the product. Only submit reviews that were honestly solicited from customers who made a purchase.
  • Illegal content: Don't submit reviews that contain or link to unlawful content, such as links that facilitate the sale of prescription drugs without a prescription, illegal drugs, counterfeit products, or illicit weapons. This content is not allowed.
  • Malware & Phishing: Don’t submit reviews containing links to malware, viruses, or other harmful software. We don't allow phishing or other content that harms or interferes with the operation of the networks, servers, or other infrastructure of Google or others.
  • Copyrighted content: Don't submit reviews that infringe on others' rights, including copyright. For more information or to file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) request, review our copyright procedures.
  • Trademark infringement: Don’t submit content that uses a trademark in a way that’s likely to cause confusion about the origin of the product being reviewed.
  • Plagiarism: Don’t submit reviews containing appropriation of content created by another person or entity.
  • Automated Content: We don’t allow reviews that are primarily generated by an automated program or artificial intelligence application. If you have identified such content, it should be marked as spam in your feed using the <is_spam> attribute.
  • Sexually explicit material: Don't submit reviews that contain sexually explicit material. We also don't allow reviews that sexually exploit children or present them in a sexual manner. For this type of content, we remove the review, shut down the product reviews feed, and send a report to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and to law enforcement. This content is not allowed.
  • Hate speech: Don't submit reviews that advocate against groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Violent language, terrorist content, or content intended to incite and encourage violent acts or extremist behavior, are not allowed in reviews.
  • Cross promotion of other products/websites: We don’t allow reviews that include promotional content for other unrelated websites, products, or services. If you have identified such content, it should be marked as spam in your feed using the <is_spam> attribute.
  • Off-topic reviews: We may remove reviews that primarily seek to discuss other topics unrelated to the product itself. This includes comments about shipping and delivery, experiences with particular retailers, political or social controversy, attacks on others, or don't represent a first-hand experience with the product. This also includes merchant responses to reviewer comments.
  • Impersonation: We don't allow reviews from people claiming to be someone that they aren't.
  • Language: Reviews should be submitted in the original language they are written in. Google will display reviews in the original language with an option on the Shopping page to be translated to the user’s language.
  • Duplicate content: Each review should only appear in one feed and only once in that feed. If a review applies to multiple variations of a product, this should be designated by including multiple unique product identifiers and URLs with the review. The same review shouldn't appear in feeds from different retailers. The retailer should own the review and shouldn't send Google content syndicated from other sources. In the case of duplicate reviews in multiple feeds, we may blocklist one or more of the reviews or entire feeds.

Review feeds should be of high quality

The better the overall quality of your reviews, the more impact they have on shoppers’ buying decisions. For feed-based Product Ratings, make sure that your reviews are relevant and provide value when shoppers research a product. A review that simply states, “luv it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :):)” has no relevant information and is considered low-quality. Low-quality reviews may not be shown.

For example, we may remove reviews or block entire feeds that contain:

  • Low quality content: Partial, incomplete, or extremely short review comments or reviews that contain poor formatting, poor punctuation, or gibberish.
  • Boilerplate text: For example text that is pre-populated for users.
  • Non-functional content: Product URLs [product_url] must lead to the merchant’s site, and shouldn’t be all the same. Active product pages should display reviews. Review URLs [review_url] should be functional and lead to a page where reviews are displayed.

Our program policies don't allow you to convert a review system with fewer than 5 stars to a 5-star review system. For example, you may not assign a star rating to a Yes/No question such as “Will you buy this product again?”

Review feeds should be collected and owned by retailers

You must collect and own the reviews you share with Google. You can share reviews directly or through an approved third-party aggregator, but we don't accept reviews syndicated from other sources.

There are a few exceptions to this policy:

  • Retailers whose e-commerce site is hosted by an online marketplace that collects and shares reviews for these retailers.
  • If a business manages accounts on behalf of a retailer that wants to share reviews with Google, those managed accounts are eligible.
  • A retailer may send a single review feed for all its subsidiaries if the retailer collects reviews for all of these subsidiaries and it isn't possible to assign review ownership to each individual subsidiary. If this applies to you, get in touch with us.
  • Retailers participating in Product Ratings through Google Customer Reviews.

User generated images in product reviews

Feeds can contain images owned and submitted by users for product reviews. User owned and generated images must adhere to Google’s content and quality policies mentioned previously as well as formatting criteria.

Image style - Formatting Do’s and Don'ts
Do Don't
Submit high quality photos (high resolution) from your customers Submit dark or blurry photos
Submit photos that your customers have taken themselves Use images that the customers didn't take themselves
Ensure that photos submitted by your customers are relevant Use customer photos that contain irrelevant imagery, advertising, or promotional material
Ensure that photos submitted by your customers use filters minimally Use customer photos that contain screenshots, drawings, or other non-photos
Ensure that photos submitted by your customers use relevant text or overlay Use customer photos that contain text overlay that is distracting or irrelevant

Users can provide feedback on images they feel are irrelevant, low quality, etc.

To report an image:

  1. Click the "Feedback" option.
  2. Select the reason most closely matching your feedback.
  3. Click the submit button.
Note: Photos taken in private residences, publicly inaccessible locations, or in other private locations shouldn't be published without the owner’s consent. Don't publish photos in which people are identifiable without their permission.

We use a combination of automated and human evaluation to ensure that content and reviews comply with our policies. Our enforcement technologies use machine-learning algorithms to help protect our merchants and users by keeping our shopping platforms safe. More complex, nuanced, or severe cases are reviewed and evaluated by our specially trained experts who conduct content evaluations that might be difficult for algorithms to perform alone, for example, because an understanding of the context of the piece of content is required.

We take action on content and reviews that violate our policies. This may include disapproving violating content or a violating review, as well as issuing warnings or suspending accounts for repeated or egregious violations. We take repeat violations of our policies seriously.

Upon request, we’ll sometimes remove content under applicable laws or in response to a court order. Submit legal requests here.

Request a review for your Product Ratings issues

If your content is disapproved and you’ve fixed the issue or you disagree with the issue, you can request a review. If the review is successful, your issue will disappear. If the disapproval remains and you’re uncertain how to proceed, contact us for support.

If you’re working with a third-party platform, some of these instructions may not apply to you. Refer to your third-party platform for instructions on how to resolve the issue and request a review. Learn how to find support if you use a non-Google platform.

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