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Recommended Settings for Automatic Improvements in Google Merchant Ctr

Learn the recommended settings for Automatic Improvements in Google Merchant Center, along with reasoning for the recommendations.

Automatic updates

We recommend to disable all three types of automatic updates. The page should say:

  • Prices not updated automatically
  • Availability not updated automatically
  • Condition not updated automatically

Automatic image improvements

We recommend to set it to Images improved automatically if and only if you have Promotional overlay on image [image link] errors in your Google Merchant Center Diagnostics.

In all other cases, leave the setting at Images not improved automatically.

Rationale for Automatic Update Recommendations

Because we submit a accurate and up-to-date feed to Google with all your product data on a regular basis, there is no need for automatic updates for price, availability, and condition.

The way the automatic updates works is that Google's web crawler (Googlebot) scans your website periodically and guesses the values. Based on what we see on our clients merchant accounts, the guesses are often incorrect affecting about 1-5% of the product catalog. When the guess is incorrect, product listings will have warnings and errors, curtailing their visibility.

  • Warning - Automatic item updates active [condition]
  • Warning - Automatic item updates active [availability]

Disabling automatic updates will fix these errors and warnings.

Rationale for Automatic Image Improvements Recommendations

Google's specifications for image_link prohibit images with promotional overlays, such as calls to action, price/sale information, and any other text that covers the physical product image. Overlays can also be watermarks, brand names, and logos not part of the actual product.

By enabling "Automatic Image Improvement", Google will attempt to detect and remove the overlay using software. Because it could inaccurately remove legitimate parts of your product images, it is best to leave the setting off unless you have products that are disapproved for overlays. If you have products disapproved for overlays, then enabling this setting will fix that error.


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Updated: September 17, 2023