Abuse of the network

Our policy

Google wants Shopping ads to be useful, varied, relevant and safe for users, and so we’ve made some decisions about how we serve content on our network. As a result we don’t allow any of the following:

  • malicious content
  • sites that offer little unique value to users and are focused primarily on traffic generation
  • retailers who attempt to gain an unfair advantage in Shopping campaigns
  • retailers who attempt to bypass our review processes

All of our policies are crafted to protect a high quality user experience, and we’ve built enforcement systems and processes to prevent content that falls below these standards from being shown to users. We take any attempts to trick or circumvent our review processes very seriously, so play fair.

Examples of what's not allowed

Malicious or unwanted software
Malicious software or “malware” that may harm or gain unauthorized access to a computer, device, or network
  • Examples: Computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, rogue security software, and other malicious programs
Promotions that violate Google's Unwanted Software policy
  • Examples: Failing to be transparent about the functionality that the software provides or the full implications of installing the software, failing to include Terms of Service or an End User License Agreement, bundling software or applications without the user's knowledge, making system changes without the user's consent, making it difficult for users to disable or uninstall the software, failing to properly use publicly available Google APIs when interacting with Google services or products. See Google's Unwanted Software policy
Low-value content
Products that are designed for the primary purpose of showing ads or promotional content
  • Examples: Driving traffic (whether through “arbitrage” or otherwise) to destinations with more ads than original content, little or no original content, or excessive advertising
Sites that do not provide all users a way to complete purchase of a product
Content that is replicated from another source without adding value in the form of original content or additional functionality
  • Examples: Mirroring, framing, or scraping content from another source
Landing pages that are solely designed to send users elsewhere
Gaining an unfair advantage
Using the Google network to gain an unfair traffic advantage in Shopping campaigns
  • Examples: Clicks or impressions generated by a retailer clicking on their own listings, automated clicking tools or traffic sources, robots, or other deceptive software; duplicate listings
Gaming the Google network
Engaging in practices that attempt to circumvent or interfere with Google’s systems and processes
  • Examples: Cloaking; use of dynamic DNS to switch page or product; manipulating product data or site content in order to bypass our automated system checks; restricting crawler access to your landing pages (learn more about Google web developer guidelines)

What you can do

Here's what you can do if your product is disapproved or if your Merchant Center account is impacted:

Malicious or unwanted software
  1. Read the policy above to learn what we don't allow. Don't distribute or host malicious or unwanted software.
  2. Clean your website. If you don't regularly check for malware, your site or computer could be infected. See our instructions to remove malware.
  3. Request a review of your account.
    • If your account is suspended, you’ll need to request an account review.

Most accounts are reviewed within 3 business days, but some can take longer if they need a more complex review. If you remove all malware and we don't find any additional problems, we’ll remove the warning, or, in the case of account suspension, we'll approve your account to start running.

Low-value content
  1. Read the policy above to learn what we don't allow. Check your website to see where you can replace low-value content with rich original content. Here are some examples:
    • Arbitrage: Don't use a landing page that has excessive advertising or is otherwise primarily designed to show ads. The main focus of your site shouldn't be ads, regardless of how relevant the ads are to your product.
    • Duplication: Focus on providing the user with useful, unique, and original content such as logos, business names, and images on each domain that you own.
      • Remove all HTML framesets that copy content from domains other than the product landing page domain.
      • If your site has search functionality, make sure that the search results aren't just copied from other sites.
    • Affiliate spam: Own the full checkout process, and don't use a landing page designed to send users elsewhere.
    • Restricted purchase: Allow everyone to checkout from your site including both businesses and individuals. Ensure that any fields in your checkout collecting business information are optional. Do not restrict purchases based on a user’s IP address.
    • User cannot purchase: Ensure it’s possible for a user to checkout starting from your landing pages and make sure the checkout process on your site is straightforward. This includes a working and easy-to-identify buy button.
  2. Change your product's landing page. To run your ad, you can either fix your landing page to make it comply, or you can update your product's attribute to point to another part of your site that does comply with our policy. If you made changes to comply with our policy, use this link to let us know:

Most accounts are reviewed within 3 business days, but some can take longer if they need a more complex review. If we find that you've removed the violating items from your product data, we’ll remove the warning, or, in the case of account suspension, we'll approve your account to start running.

Gaming the Google network

We take this violation very seriously and consider it to be an egregious violation of our policies. Retailers or sites that are found to be gaming the Google network will be suspended and won't be allowed to advertise with us again.

If this is an error and you have not actually violated our policy, we want to get your account running again as quickly as possible. We reinstate accounts only if there's compelling evidence that we made an error. If you believe we've made an error, you can submit an appeal with any additional information that supports your appeal. If you submit an appeal, it's important that you take the time to be thorough, accurate, and honest.

To ensure a safe and positive experience for customers, Google requires that retailers comply with all applicable laws and regulations in addition to Shopping ads policies. It is important that you familiarize yourself with and keep up to date on these requirements for the place where your business operates, as well as any other places Shopping ads and free listings are shown. When we find content that violates these requirements, we may block it from appearing, and in cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may ban you from promoting Shopping ads content with us.

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