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 customers 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 product disapprovals.

Before your landing page is unavailable

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

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.

Once you limit your crawl rate, the new crawl rate will be valid for 90 days. After 90 days, the crawl rate will revert back to the previous setting. Learn how to change your Googlebot crawl rate

Step 2: Disable automatic item updates

If you use automatic item updates, disable them at least 24 hours before your landing page becomes unavailable.

  1. Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
  2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon], then click Automatic improvements under “Settings”.
  3. Turn off Enable Automatic product updates.
  4. Click Save.

Step 3: Use the excluded destination attribute in your product data

Note: The best practice is to pause the campaign before you start excluding products to prevent ads from serving due to system delays. You can either pause the campaign or use the excluded destination [excluded_destination] attribute.

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

Note: Don't use out of stock for the availability [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

When your landing page is available again, return each of the settings to their previous state.

Reset the crawl limit in Google Search Console

To make sure 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 a while, you may notice that Google is crawling your site at a higher rate than normal.

  1. Navigate to tools and settings in Google Search Console.
  2. Click the property that you had taken offline.
  3. In the upper right, go to "Settings" , and then click Site Settings.
  4. 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. Click Save.

Re-enable automatic product updates if you disabled them

  1. Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
  2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | 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 excluded destination attribute

Reset the excluded destination [excluded_destination] attribute to include your products in the desired destinations and then re-upload your feed.

Tip: 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.

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