The main reasons for blocking an account in Google Merchant Center

Why Google Merchant Center Can Be Blocked Google Shopping

One of the most effective sales channels is Google Merchant Center. True, an account in it can be unexpectedly blocked if the rules of the system were violated when setting it up. In this article, we will look at the pitfalls that can be encountered when setting up Google Shopping and answer the question “why can an account be blocked in Google Merchant Center”.

Why can Google Merchant Center be blocked?

  1. No door-to-door delivery. Even if there is self-pickup and the ability to choose delivery by a transport company or mail, Google Merchant Center can be blocked only because the site does not have information about targeted delivery right to the buyer’s door;
  2. Payment cannot be made online. The ability to make an online payment must be implemented using payment services or, at a minimum, in the form of a list of details for making a bank transfer;
  3. There is no information about the possibility of returning the goods. All key points regarding the possibility of returning goods should be described in an accessible and understandable form, preferably in a separate subsection of the site. If the goods cannot be returned, then information about this must be available to the user without fail;
  4. It is not possible to complete a purchase without interacting with the manager. The requirement of the system is the ability to make a purchase in one visit. The phrases “we will contact you soon”, the need to make additional calls or wait for the manager’s response to clarify the details of the purchase almost always lead to account blocking.

For what products can a GMC account be blocked?

Google Merchant Center requirements must meet not only the site itself, but also the products sold with its help. Advertising a product through GMC is only possible if the product is actually sold in the store. The product must be present on the company’s website.

These products may result in GMC account blocking

There are other restrictions. You can’t sell through the system:

  • Fakes and counterfeits are counterfeit products bearing trademarks that are identical or similar to the original. Google Merchant Center account ban is likely even if products are honestly labeled as “replica”, “copy” or “imitation”;
  • Goods, the use of which is dangerous to health: any weapon, drugs, tobacco, as well as their derivatives, components and accessories;
  • Products used in activities that violate the law – false documents, access to hacked computer programs, etc.;
  • Prohibited by law or inadmissible content – propaganda of cruelty towards a person or animals, texts related to harassment or blackmail, photos from accidents and crime scenes;
  • Digital products and services that can only be used by installing specific software.
Attention! You need to be careful when promoting products of a light beige shade, which the system can perceive as an image of naked parts of the body. This advice also applies to products that look like cigarettes, adult products, or other unadvertised products.

How to avoid blocking my Google Merchant Center account?

If you follow these simple rules, you can very likely avoid getting your GMC account banned.

Monitor the availability of the site and product feed from any country

Moderation in the system is carried out both by the sites linked to the account, and each added feed. When a moderator, for example, in Warsaw, cannot load a feed or site, he automatically blocks ads.

Help! The reason for the unavailability of resources in another country may be incorrectly configured network attack filters. They block any non-standard or erroneous activity. Visiting the site by a user from abroad may be perceived by such special programs as “suspicious” activity.

Product price must be the same in Merchant Center and website

Many stores operate based on the location of the buyer, who is shown on the product page the cost applicable to a particular city or region.

Due to the fact that only one price can be specified in the feed, a problem arises – the cost on the page for a particular buyer may differ from that specified in the feed. In this case, you can avoid blocking in one of two ways:

  1. If the difference in the price of a product for different regions arises from the difference in shipping costs, then only the price for the product itself should be indicated on the page, and the delivery price should be indicated using the Merchant Center special tool;
  2. If other factors influence the formation of the cost, then the concern is solved by creating a unique ID for each price position of the product in the feed, as well as a separate landing page for all cities. You can specify the name of the region in the “Custom label” attribute. This makes creating campaigns more convenient and allows you to segment your feed data.

Don’t require the user to register to place an order

The system blocks accounts if the user needs to perform additional actions to make a purchase, even such innocuous ones as, for example, mandatory registration before the transaction. You can bypass the block if you do not require the buyer to confirm the validity of the email address or phone number, i.e. if you limit yourself to passive registration.

Check if the SSL certificate is working

SSL certificate

The SSL certificate is designed to secure the processing of user data that it provides when making a transaction: access details, personal data or bank card numbers.

Important! The duty of the online store is to ensure the safety of the personal data of customers and prevent them from falling into the hands of fraudsters.

You can tell if a certificate is working correctly by looking at the address bar of your browser. If a gold, gray or green padlock is lit to the left of the address, then there is no problem with the SSL certificate. Another confirmation of the correctness of its work is the presence of the company name written in green next to the domain name.

GMC account is locked automatically when the SSL certificate is not working. And often, checking this concern is the last thing to be puzzled, trying to find the cause in other places.

Do not offer to repair products sold

It is not forbidden by the rules of the system to offer repairs to goods that the seller makes himself. But if an online store is a platform for the sale of several brands, then on the pages of its website there should not be advertising for a repair service – this is considered a violation.

Summary

Technically, setting up ads for selling products through GMC and creating the right feed is only part of the task. It is necessary to be able to preliminarily control the compliance of the site with the requirements of the system. Your account will not be blocked if you:

  • Provide comprehensive information about payment options and delivery methods on the pages of the site;
  • You will monitor the performance of the HTTPS protocol;
  • Competently set up the form for the buyer’s personal data;
  • Please provide your company postal address, email address, and phone number;
  • Provide information about the possibility or impossibility of returning the product and money;
  • Be consistent with your promotions and don’t cheat with discounts.

All Google Merchant Center members are subject to the same requirements and there are no exceptions. If you follow all the recommendations of Google Ads, then sales growth will not be long in coming.

Сергей Шевченко
Сергей Шевченко
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