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How to troubleshoot common errors for Google Merchant Center

The Google Merchant Center is an amazing tool to expand your (E-commerce) business, but sometimes it can be quite hard to understand the combination of terminology and systems within. Today we will go through some of the most common errors of the Google Merchant Center and how to fix them. We have included a redirect menu for you to select and redirect to the topic you like. Or, just continue reading! 

Rogier Lunter

Marketing

The basics

Let’s start with the basics. There are three types of messages you can get; Errors, Warnings, and Notifications: 

  • Errors – It implies only one thing. Something is incorrect. Typically they imply suspension of the account or disapproval of the object. Items will not appear in Google Shopping searches due to a variety of errors.
  • Warnings – These are not major issues like the suspension of an account or the disapproval of an object. It could, however, be in the future. Warnings can impair the performance of your product listing advertising.
  • Notifications – This is a recommendation to maximize your product information. They’re not going to impact the products, but Google lets you know the product data can be enhanced.

The 7 Common Mistakes At Google Merchant Center

Here, we will discuss the 7 most common mistakes you can face at your Google Merchant Center Account. The titles are named after the descriptions of the mistakes on your Google Merchant Center Account:

  1. Invalid pictures, titles of the product, or descriptions
  2. Incorrect price and availability
  3. Rejection regarding Google Policies
  4. Invalid shipping or taxes
  5. Incorrect category names or no categories at all
  6. What is GTIN and its errors (invalid or missing values)
  7. Targeting more countries with a single domain 

1. Invalid pictures, titles of the product, or descriptions

 

The key focus of Google’s algorithm is on product title and product definition to display particulate items on the search pages. The title, definition, and photographs of the product are also relevant to include. These characteristics are used to align items with consumer search results.  

The most common errors are:

  • Too long title of the product;
  • Too long/short definition;
  • Invalid URL of the image;
  • Special characters in your image, name, or some other name.

How can I solve this?
The first move is to review the directions for the official Google Merchant Centre. Be sure the names and explanations work with them properly. Or use the list above to guide you through fixing the most coming errors. 

2. Incorrect price and availability

The rates you send to your feed must be equal to the same price on your website or landing page. Google crawls all over the internet to make sure the information and prices provided are matching. If any difference is detected, these items will not be accepted. This error can occur when your feed is not fresh or well updated.

How can I solve this?
The remedy is an easy one. You ought to keep rates up-to-date. First refresh your product feed to see if this fixes your issue already. If your issue is related to discounted prices, you should make a new sheet for the discounted items and fetch them from the original Google sheet. When a deal or promotion is made, you can change the price of the sale and not the actual price of the commodity.

3. Rejection regarding Google Policies

Google has a restricted product policy. It might result in you having issues with your advertising. For example, Google automatically refuses the marketing of goods that are unsafe, restricted by the government of the country, trademarked, etc. Google can, for example, consider any items to be hazardous, such as ammunition, switchblades, firecrackers, and many more.


How can I solve this?
Stick to the Google policies and review their policies once again. Bear in mind where you market your goods. Locally additional policies come in play. Any product you advertise needs to be legal (locally). Finally, do not fail to include the right product description and product pictures, which again, leads to a policy violation. 

Good to know

It happens that the Google automated violence checker reports your account or campaigns to not be matching their policies whilst you are sure you meet all the requirements. Simply submit the suspension form to the Google team. They will get back to you shortly. 

4. Invalid shipping or taxes

Many people in the Google Merchant Center forget to set up their tax and shipping details. Imagine buying anything without an address, it can’t work, of course.

How can I solve this?
To set up a tax, you need to go to the tax details in your Merchant Center account, then go to the shopping rule and set up your shipping settings. If you need help with this, you can search the Google Help Center guide.

5. Incorrect category names or no categories at all

The Google Merchant Center provides a limited range of product categories available for your products. If you upload feeds without a category name or an incorrect category name, you will face an error. Setting the correct product categories is mandatory to prevent any errors. Your product categories must always be in line with the categories offered by the Google Merchant Center. You can also find a complete list of predefined product categories by downloading this document.

 

How can I solve this?
To fix this issue, use Google’s taxonomy when filling in the “google product category” area. Bear in mind that you will always be able to use your “product type” categories.

6. What is GTIN and its errors (invalid or missing values)

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is the trade item identifier. These identifiers are used to check the product details in a database (often by entering the number through a barcode scanner that points to the actual product) that may belong to a retailer.

At this time, Google is requesting GTIN for all new items that have been allocated to GTIN by the vendor. Google is used to recognise and identify items. Your advertising will display more important searches, which will cause more conversion rates. Your errors can be caused by an invalid GTIN problem or a missing GTIN issue.

How to repair it?
Make sure that you have the correct GTIN for all items that need it. If you don’t know if your goods require a GTIN or not, search the Google Guide. You can create your own GTIN codes here.

7. Targeting more countries with a single domain

Know, if you use the same data for more countries, there will be errors for sure. Each feed of the product needs to be localised, making it tailored. For example, local currency rates, titles, and explanations in the local language.

How to repair it?
A way to fix this is by using different feeds per country. Or by editing your product feed, per country. Change the currency, titles and explanation in the local language. Also, for communication with different cultures we advise you to use sub-domains with different communication strategies. 

A communication style that works perfectly for The Netherlands might be a disaster for Swiss. Analyse the markets you are going to sell in and try to find the cultural differences so that you can adopt them in a new website. This way you can specify your communication style towards the right audience

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