Product Feeds and Rules: 5 Reasons for Google Merchant Center Disapproval
Aug 11, 2018

Product Feeds and Rules: 5 Reasons for Google Merchant Center Disapproval

There are many different reasons as to why your products or product feed can be disapproved in the Google Merchant Center. From missing GTINs, the lack of key product information, or failing to adhere to Google's advertising policies, merchants have to constantly be up-to-date with the rules and requirements to avoid seeing disapprovals.

When a google shopping ad is disapproved, it means extra work for the advertiser, who will have to scrap all the work invested in the specific campaign and start from scratch. Disapproved ads in the Google Merchant Centre can also be damaging for the overall product feed, as it could affect the search results and consequently the product visibility.

In this knowledge post, we have put together 5 main reasons why google shopping ads can be disapproved by the Google Merchant Center.

1 – Missing GTINs (Global Trade Item Number) or Insufficient Product Identifiers

GTINs are essential to the performance of your products. Google is adept at understanding which products should have GTINs and which do not need them. Most product disapprovals are the results of missing GTINs. Although you can use your brand name and MPN to meet the requirements from Google or even set your 'Product Identifier Exists' as false, you won't receive as many impressions, clicks or sales if you fail to include GTINs in your product feed. This will consequently affect your product visibility, Search results and overall performance.

Our solution to this? Always include GTINs in your product feed where available. Also, do so as part of your product feed management strategies to keep your product feed fully optimised and at its best digital potential to perform.

2 – Missing Shipping Information

Often, when products are newly added to the Google Merchant Center, they are almost instantly disapproved. This usually happens when the merchant forgets to add the shipping details. You can add your shipping or delivery rules directly within the Google Merchant Center, or you can add them to your product feed. If your shipping rules are complex or they change frequently, then we recommend adding them directly to your Google Merchant Center rather than having to go in and out of your product feed.

3 – Robot.txt files

As a merchant or retailer, have you ever received an error message from Google that stated your products had been disapproved as a result of the products being 'roboted'? Well, this error message means that your robots.txt file has blocked Google from crawling the product or image URLs. If that is the case, remove these blocks from your robot.txt file and utilise Parameters in the Google Search Console instead.

4 – Price mismatching

Price accuracy is an absolute requirement for Google and failing to comply with this policy will always result in product disapprovals, or in the worst case, the suspension on your account. If your product feed does not update as often as your website, you will fall foul of Google's automated price checking. Google will disapprove products for having incorrect prices, but if you continue to send them incorrect prices, they will eventually suspend your entire product feed. You’ve been warned!

5 – Failure to adhere to warnings

As a merchant, you could receive multiple warnings in the Google Merchant Center for various infractions. Google will usually give you a reasonable time frame to fix these issues and improve your product feed. For this reason, it's important that you check Google Merchant Center regularly so that you don't miss Google's warnings. Ignoring the warning eventually leads to the suspension of a specific product or the entire product feed.

We hope that the above reasons have provided you with more knowledge about why Google could be rejecting your ads or information within your product feed. For more information about product feed management, visit our product feed optimisation guide or contact us today to go through a simple and free demo of our product feed optimisation software, which is the best solution to avoid ever receiving warnings or disapproval from Google.


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