Fixing Google Merchant Center Errors - A Comprehensive Guide
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Resolving Google Merchant Center Errors: A Comprehensive Guide

Resolving Google Merchant Center Errors: A Comprehensive Guide

By Corsto Blog Team
Learn how to identify and fix common Google Merchant Center errors, ensuring your product data quality remains high and your online presence thrives. Boost your Google Shopping performance today!

Google Merchant Center is a crucial tool for businesses looking to sell their products online. It allows them to showcase their products on Google Shopping and other Google services. However, errors can arise within the platform, leading to a frustrating experience for businesses. This article will outline common Google Merchant Center errors and provide step-by-step solutions to help you fix them.

Invalid GTIN or Missing GTIN

GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) is a unique identifier for products, usually a 12-14 digit number. Google requires GTINs for specific products to ensure accurate product information is displayed.

How to fix:

  • Check if your product requires a GTIN.
  • Make sure the GTIN you’ve entered is correct and valid.
  • Update your product data to include the accurate GTIN.

Insufficient Product Data

Google requires specific information about your products to display them effectively. If your product data is incomplete or inaccurate, you may encounter this error.

How to fix:

  • Provide complete and accurate product data, including titles, descriptions, and images.
  • Ensure all mandatory fields are filled in your product data feed.
  • Keep your product data up-to-date and relevant.

Duplicate Product Listings

Duplicate listings can create confusion and harm the performance of your ads. Google will notify you if it identifies duplicate products in your data feed.

How to fix:

  • Consolidate duplicate listings by deleting or merging them.
  • If duplicates exist due to variations (such as size or color), use the ‘item_group_id’ attribute to group these products together.

Incorrect Product Availability

An inaccurate availability status can lead to poor customer experience and negative reviews. Google Merchant Center will flag this error if your product data feed lists an incorrect availability status.

How to fix:

  • Update your product data feed to reflect the correct availability status (e.g., ‘in stock’, ‘out of stock’, or ‘preorder’).
  • Ensure your inventory management system is synced with your product data to maintain accurate availability.

Invalid Product URLs

Google Merchant Center requires that the ‘link’ attribute in your product data feed directs to a valid and live product page.

How to fix:

  • Check your product data feed for broken or invalid links.
  • Update the ‘link’ attribute with the correct URL for each product.
  • Make sure that your website is live and accessible to Google’s crawlers.

Inaccurate Shipping Information

Providing accurate shipping information is crucial for customer satisfaction. If your shipping information is incorrect, your products may not appear in Google Shopping.

How to fix:

  • Verify your shipping settings in Google Merchant Center.
  • Update your shipping information to accurately reflect shipping costs, delivery times, and carrier information.
  • Ensure your shipping information aligns with your website’s shipping policies.

Inaccurate Pricing Information

Inaccurate pricing information can lead to customer dissatisfaction and lost sales. Google requires that the prices listed in your product data feed match the prices on your website.

How to fix:

  • Double-check your product data feed for incorrect pricing information.
  • Update the ‘price’ attribute to reflect the correct price for each product.
  • Regularly review your pricing information to ensure it remains accurate and up-to-date.

Policy Violations

Google has strict policies for products that can be advertised on their platform. If your products violate these policies, they may be disapproved or your account may face suspension.

How to fix:

  • Familiarise yourself with Google’s policies regarding restricted and prohibited products.
  • Review your product listings and remove any products that violate these policies.
  • Ensure your product data feed adheres to Google’s editorial guidelines and requirements.

Incorrect Product Categories

Accurate product categorisation helps users find your products more easily. However, sometimes products can be categorised incorrectly, leading to poor visibility and decreased sales.

How to fix:

  • Review Google’s product taxonomy to understand the correct categories for your products.
  • Update the ‘google_product_category’ attribute in your product data feed to accurately reflect each product’s category.
  • Regularly review your product categories for accuracy and consistency.

Image-related Errors

High-quality, accurate images are essential for successful online sales. Image-related errors can occur if your product images are too small, of poor quality, or do not accurately represent the product.

How to fix:

  • Ensure your product images meet Google’s minimum size requirements (100×100 pixels for non-apparel products and 250×250 pixels for apparel products).
  • Update your product data feed with high-quality images that accurately represent the product.
  • Avoid using watermarked or promotional images.

Missing or Invalid Tax Information

Providing accurate tax information is crucial for both customer satisfaction and compliance with tax laws. Google may flag errors if your tax information is missing, incorrect, or invalid.

How to fix:

  • Ensure you have provided accurate tax information in your product data feed using the ‘tax’ attribute.
  • Verify that the tax settings in your Google Merchant Center account are correct and up-to-date.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about tax requirements, consult with a tax professional.

Unsupported Languages or Currencies

If your product data feed includes unsupported languages or currencies, you may encounter errors that prevent your products from being displayed correctly.

How to fix:

  • Familiarise yourself with the languages and currencies supported by Google Merchant Center.
  • Update your product data feed to only include supported languages and currencies.
  • If targeting multiple countries, create separate product data feeds for each country to ensure compliance with local language and currency requirements.

Missing or Invalid Product Identifiers

Product identifiers such as Brand, MPN (Manufacturer Part Number), and GTIN are essential for helping users find your products. Errors may occur if these identifiers are missing, incorrect, or invalid.

How to fix:

  • Ensure all required product identifiers are included in your product data feed.
  • Double-check the accuracy of Brand, MPN, and GTIN information.
  • Regularly update your product data to ensure it remains accurate and up-to-date.

Invalid Sale Price Dates

If you offer special promotions or discounts, you’ll need to provide sale price dates. However, errors can arise if your sale price dates are invalid, missing, or formatted incorrectly.

How to fix:

  • Ensure the ‘sale_price_effective_date’ attribute is included in your product data feed for promotional products.
  • Verify that the dates provided are accurate and formatted correctly (YYYY-MM-DD).
  • Regularly update your product data to reflect changes in sale prices and dates.

Inaccurate or Misleading Product Titles and Descriptions

Clear, concise, and accurate product titles and descriptions are vital for helping users find and understand your products. Errors can arise if your product data contains inaccurate, misleading, or excessively promotional titles and descriptions.

How to fix:

  • Review your product titles and descriptions to ensure they accurately represent each product.
  • Avoid using excessive promotional language or irrelevant keywords.
  • Regularly update your product data to maintain accurate, engaging, and informative titles and descriptions.

Invalid or Missing Product Types

Product types help users navigate your products and improve your ad performance. Errors can occur if your product data feed includes invalid or missing product types.

How to fix:

  • Review Google’s guidelines for product types and ensure your product data feed adheres to these guidelines.
  • Use the ‘product_type’ attribute in your product data feed to accurately classify each product.
  • Regularly review your product types for accuracy and consistency.

Feed Upload Errors

Issues with your product data feed, such as incorrect formatting, incorrect file type, or missing required fields, can lead to feed upload errors.

How to fix:

  • Ensure your product data feed is formatted according to Google’s guidelines (e.g., XML, CSV, TSV, or Google Sheets).
  • Verify that your file type is supported by Google Merchant Center.
  • Check for missing or incorrect data in required fields and update accordingly.

Unsupported or Inaccurate Target Country

Errors can arise if your target country is unsupported, not specified, or if your product data doesn’t comply with the target country’s requirements.

How to fix:

  • Review the list of supported countries in Google Merchant Center and ensure your target country is included.
  • Specify the target country using the ‘target_country’ attribute in your product data feed.
  • Update your product data to comply with the requirements and policies of the target country, including language, currency, shipping, and taxes.

Conclusion

Google Merchant Center errors can have a significant impact on your online sales and customer satisfaction. By addressing these common issues, you can improve your product data quality and enhance your presence on Google Shopping. Regularly reviewing and updating your product data feed will ensure a seamless shopping experience for your customers and increase the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts.

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