Link a Merchant Center Account to Search Ads 360 and Google Ads

Google Merchant Center helps you upload your store and product data to Google and make it available to Google services. If you've set up a Merchant Center account, link it with Search Ads 360 to create and manage the following types of campaigns:

Important details about linking accounts

Each campaign associates with one account

Each campaign can advertise products from only one Merchant Center account. Depending on how you structure your campaigns and inventory accounts, you can do either of the following:

  • Link one Merchant Center account for each campaign
    Example of one account per campaign.
  • Link one Merchant Center account, and then create campaigns that advertise only specific products in the account
    Example of one account for many campaigns.

Multi-client accounts and subaccounts

If you have a multi-client account Merchant Center account (also known as a parent or umbrella account), you can link to the multi-client account and Search Ads 360 will automatically link to all subaccounts. Campaigns that you associate with a multi-client account can advertise products in any of the subaccounts. You can use filtering in the campaign settings to limit the set of products the campaign can advertise.

If you've already linked a subaccount to Search Ads 360 and later you link the parent multi-client account:

  • Search Ads 360 treats the subaccount and the multi-client account as separate accounts. For example, if you unlink the subaccount, the multi-client account remains linked and continues to sync in data from the subaccount.

  • You can associate a campaign directly with the subaccount or with the multi-client account.
  • If a campaign is associated with the subaccount and you remove the subaccount, the campaign will stop generating and updating ads and keywords. You'll also see an error to let you know the campaign is no longer linked to an inventory account.

Linking in Shopping campaigns

If you use Shopping campaigns, the Merchant Center account you link to in Search Ads 360 must exactly match the account you link to in Google Ads. For example, if you link to a multi-client account Search Ads 360, you need to link to the multi-client account in Google Ads. If instead you linked to a multi-client account in Search Ads 360 but linked to individual subaccounts in Google Ads, your Shopping campaign would not be able to access inventory data. Note that in Search Ads 360, you can link to both a multi-client account and all of its subaccounts if needed. Search Ads 360 will not duplicate the inventory data.

How to resolve the "product groups may not serve ..." infrequent notification

Google Ads also provides the ability to link campaigns to inventory accounts. If you sign into Google Ads and link a campaign to a subaccount while only the parent multi-client account is linked in Search Ads 360, Search Ads 360 will not recognize the link you set up in Google Ads. In Search Ads 360, you may see a message similar to the following:

Some product groups may not serve. Please make sure Google Merchant Center account (account ID:xxx) is added as its own Search Ads 360 inventory feed and is linked to Google Ads account (CID:xxx)

If you see this notification, manually link the subaccount to Search Ads 360. The additional link won't impact the multi-client account or any other campaigns.

No support for "Online Product Inventory Update" feeds

When you register your data feed for a Merchant Center account, you can set up a full "Product" feed or an "Online Product Inventory Update" feed, which simply updates information for items already submitted through another account in a full "Products" feed.

Search Ads 360 requires all linked accounts to provide full "Products" feeds, and will ignore any data submitted from "Online Product Inventory Update" feeds.

How often does Search Ads 360 pull in feed updates?

Multiple times throughout the day, Search Ads 360 checks with Google Merchant Center for any updates to your inventory account. The Feed last update time column on the Inventory accounts tab tells the most recent time that Search Ads 360 successfully loaded updates from a feed. A lag of more than 24 hours could indicate a problem with Search Ads 360.

Special permissions required

To link with Merchant Center, your user account needs all of the following permissions:

If no one in your organization has the correct permissions, contact customer support. Please include both your Search Ads 360 advertiser ID and the Merchant Center account ID that you would like to link.

Once you link a Google Merchant Center account or a Bing Merchant Center store with Search Ads 360, you cannot remove the link. This is to prevent accidental removal of an inventory feed that's currently being used by a shopping campaign or inventory plan. Contact support if you need to remove a link to an inventory account. 

Link Merchant Center

After signing into Google with an account that has the appropriate permissions:

  1. In Search Ads 360, navigate to an advertiser.
  2. In the left navigation panel, click Inventory Management.
  3. Click + Inventory account and enter the following information:
    • Account name: This name appears only in Search Ads 360. You use the name when associating the account with a campaign, when pausing the account, or when viewing the product data Search Ads 360 has for the account.
    • Notification emails: An optional list of email addresses that will be notified when an adaptive Shopping campaign divides a product group, or when an inventory keyword campaign creates ad groups. You can override this list of emails when you set up each adaptive Shopping campaign or inventory keyword campaign.
    • Google Merchant Center Account: The account list contains all Merchant Center accounts for which you have Admin access. Select an account to link it to Search Ads 360.
  4. Click Validate.

    No response?
    If Search Ads 360 doesn't respond after you click Validate, someone may have already linked to the Merchant Center account before, but then the account was subsequently removed from Search Ads 360. Here's how to resolve this issue:

    1. Scroll to the top of the Inventory account edit panel. In the Show list above the reporting table, select Show all.

    2. If the Merchant Center account appears with Removed status button(removed icon) next to its name, the account has already been added but subsequently removed. 

    3. If the account was removed by mistake, click Removed status button (removed icon) and select Active.

    4. Then click Validate again.

  5. If validation succeeds, click Save.

Link a Merchant Center account with Google Ads 

To ensure that the Shopping campaigns you manage in Search Ads 360 will work correctly, Search Ads 360 checks that your Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts are linked. If they’re not:

  • Ads from existing Shopping campaigns Search Ads 360 will not appear on Google.

  • You won’t be able to create new Shopping campaigns in Search Ads 360.

  • You won’t be able to sync in changes to Shopping campaigns.

To link your Merchant Center account with Google Ads:

  1. Sign in to your Google Merchant Center account at https://merchants.google.com.

  2. In the left nav, navigate to Settings > Google Ads.

  3. In the Google Ads Customer ID field, enter the Google Ads account’s customer ID (in the fomat xxx-xxx-xxxx).

  4. Click Link Account.

For more information, read this article on the Google Ads Help Center.

Pausing or removing an inventory account

If you've removed all of the Shopping campaigns and inventory plans that use an inventory account, you can pause or remove the account. Search Ads 360 will no longer connect to the account's feed.

Don't pause or remove an inventory account if your advertiser still has inventory plans or Shopping campaigns that use the account. Inventory plans will stop updating campaigns, ad groups, and other items. Shopping campaigns will stop syncing with Search Ads 360, and many Search Ads 360 features will no longer work.
 
If you want to pause inventory-related campaigns, pause inventory plans and Shopping campaigns.

What's the difference between pausing and removing an inventory account?

Pausing and removing an inventory account both stop Search Ads 360 from connecting to the account's feed. 

If you pause an account:

  • The accounts inventory items still appear in the advertiser's Inventory items tab, though the items will no longer be updated.
  • The paused accounts still appear in the list of inventory accounts by default.

If you remove an account:

  • The accounts inventory items no longer appear in the advertiser's Inventory items tab.
  • The removed accounts do not appear in the list of inventory accounts by default, but you can change the Show menu to see the removed accounts.

You can re-activate a paused or removed account at any time. 

How to pause or remove an inventory account

  1. In Search Ads 360, navigate to an advertiser.
  2. In the left navigation panel, click Inventory Management.
  3. Click the status icon next to an account and select Paused.
    Click Pause on the status menu

How to remove an inventory account

Contact Search Ads 360 support and ask for the account to be removed. Only the support team can remove an inventory account.

 

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