Best practices for landing page maintenance or a planned site outage

You might need to perform maintenance on your product's landing pages or plan for an outage on your site. If your product data remains active when your landing page isn't, you could end up paying for clicks when users visit your landing page's error message. Your products could also be disapproved in Merchant Center if the landing page is crawled and returns an error.

This article explains how to submit your product data to let us know about an outage on your site, and to limit the risk of item disapprovals.

Before your landing page is unavailable

Step 1: Use Google Search Console to limit how often Google crawls your site

When: at least 24 hours before your landing pages become unavailable

Caution

We don't recommend limiting Google's crawl rate if your site gets more than around a million or more visits per day. Instead, skip to step 2: disable automatic item updates.

  1. Go to tools and settings in Google Search Console.
  2. Click the property that you'll be taking offline.
  3. In the upper right, click "Settings" , and then click Site Settings.
  4. Now under "Crawl rate," click Limit Google's maximum crawl rate. If you don't see this option, click Learn more, and then let Google know about your down time through the linked form.
  5. Drag the slider to the lowest setting, and then click Save.

Step 2: Disable automatic item updates

When: if you use automatic item updates, disable them at least 24 hours before your landing page becomes unavailable

  1. Sign into your Merchant Center account.
  2. Click the tools icon , then click Automatic improvements under “Settings.”
  3. Turn off Enable Automatic item updates.
  4. Click Save.

Step 3: Use excluded_destination in your product data

When: At least 2 hours before your landing page becomes unavailable

If the product is available for sale but you’d like to stop showing ads for the product, use the excluded_destination attribute. This will allow you to disable Shopping ads while still taking advantage of other ad formats, such as surfaces across Google or dynamic remarketing. Learn more about the excluded_destination attribute

Don't use out_of_stock for the availability attribute for products that you're no longer selling. Instead, remove any discontinued products from your product data.

After your landing page becomes available again

Once your landing page is available again, make sure that you return each of the settings to their previous state.

Reset the crawl limit in Google Search Console

To ensure that Google crawls your site sooner, let Google optimize the crawl rate for your site or at least set the rate to a high limit. If your site has been offline for awhile, you may notice that Google is crawling your site at a higher rate than normal.

  1. Go to tools and settings in Google Search Console.
  2. Click the property that you had taken offline.
  3. In the upper right, click "Settings" , and then click Site Settings.
  4. Now under "Crawl rate," click Let Google optimize for my site or drag the slider to the highest setting. If you don't see this option, click Learn more, and then let Google know that your page is available again through the linked form.
  5. Then click Save.

Re-enable automatic item updates if you disabled them

  1. Sign into your Merchant Center account.
  2. Click the tools icon , then click Automatic improvements under “Settings.”
  3. Select the Item updates tab.
  4. Turn on Enable Automatic item updates.
  5. Click Save.

Update the availability attribute

Reset the availability attribute to match your products' current availability, and then re-upload your feed.

Troubleshooting

If you followed the steps in this article and your product was still disapproved because Google crawled your page while it wasn't available, don't worry. Google will generally crawl your landing page again within a day. If your landing page is available at that time, then the disapproval notification will be removed.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue