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Google Merchant Center Suspended Fixes

Resolving Data Quality Suspension for Inaccurate Sales Tax Information

This 'How To' provides a solution for fixing the Inaccurate tax information suspension of your product feed in Google Merchant Center.

Problem

You may receive an email from Google Merchant Center that says:

Subject: Data Quality Suspension Warning Of Your Merchant Center Account

We've found product data that doesn't meet the Shopping Ads requirements in your Merchant Center account. You have until the deadline below to update your account and products so that they meet Shopping Ads requirements. If the issues aren't resolved by the deadline, your Merchant Center account will be suspended and your Shopping ads will no longer appear on Google.

Deadline: Jan 1, 2021

Your Merchant Center account presently does not meet the following Shopping Ads Product Data Specification requirements:

Inaccurate tax information

For many of your items, the tax information in your product data doesn't match the tax information on the product pages.

If you can't provide accurate tax information, you may provide data that matches or overestimates the average tax rate users visiting your site from Google would pay. Keep in mind that no matter what tax amount you provide for Shopping ads, you're still responsible for collecting the appropriate amount of tax from your customers.

Using the correct product data will help optimize your ads' performance. Update your product data to meet the specifications on tax.

Resolution

The product feed itself typically does not contain any tax information (i.e. the tax attribute is left blank). Instead, the tax settings are configured at the account level here:

Tax Settings - Google Merchant Center

If you recently started collecting sales tax for certain states, please update your tax settings there. Remember to also carefully check or uncheck the box for charging tax on shipping. It has to match your store exactly.

The email from Google will have some sample zip codes where they detected incorrect tax.

To determine the state of any zip code, simply search for 12345 zip code in any search engine.

If you are unable to locate the email from Google with the sample zip codes, go to Message Archive - Google Merchant Center to find all recent notifications from Google.

After verifying that the tax settings are correct, click the Request Review link in your Google Merchant Center Account under Products > Diagnostics > Account Issues.

Be sure to check carefully, because Google sometimes limits reviews to one every seven days. If you are at or past the deadline, and the review fails, your campaigns will be offline for at least seven days before becoming eligible for another review.

If you do not see a Request Review link, then use this form to contact Google:

Google Merchants - Contact Form for Disapproved Feeds

Items disapproved due to shipping terms in the product description

Google Shopping prohibits items with words like "free shipping" or "free ground shipping" anywhere in the product listing, including titles and descriptions. These items will be disapproved or disallowed by Google.

Google's content policy states, "Text relating to shopping or store policies should not be included in your feed."

To see all your disallowed items, click on the "Products" tab in your Google Merchant Center Dashboard. In the "Status" drop-down box, select "Inactive". Click an item title to see the product details.

  • The best way to resolve this is to remove the policy text from your product descriptions/captions, titles, and other fields. We recommend moving policy text to fields such as 'availability', 'headline', and 'promo-text'.

    If you decide to move the policy text to another field, then you may have to modify your RTML page template to display that text. You could also move the policy text to an image, a custom field, or another store field.

  • If there are not that many items, you can ignore the error or filter those items out with a product filter.
  • If you need a quicker solution, you can upgrade to a Custom feed and we can customize your data feed to remove the policy text. We may charge a small programming fee to set up the filtering rules specific to your store.

Restricted Items

Another common reason for disallowed items is keywords that indicate restricted items, such as human body parts and weapons. For more information, please see our article titled: Can you help if my feed was disapproved by Google?

Google Product Ads Disapproved in Google Merchant Center

If you have item listings that are disapproved for Product Ads, it only affects the ad campaigns in Google Adwords that are based on the your item listings. If you are not advertising with Adwords this way, then these disapproval messages are irrelevant and do not affect your listings in Google Shopping.

Product Ads may appear as disapproved in your GMA Diagnostics. If you have disapproved items, a red line will appear in the Products Overview > Product Ads Chart. When you hover your mouse over the line, the number of disapproved items will appear.

Reasons for Disapproved Product Ads

  • Google may not yet have reviewed the Product Ads for compliance with Adwords policies
  • There is no Adwords campaign with a product target matching the listings
  • Product Ads may have failed the review, especially due to violations of strict rules for trademarked terms

To find out the cause of the disapproval, you generally need to contact Google using the GMA Contact Form for Disapproved Items. Note that they generally reply with a canned response at first, but if you reply back, they should clarify the issue.

Resolving Inaccurate Tax Information Warning in Google Merchant Center

In order to fix the "Inaccurate Tax Information" Account Issue in your Google Merchant Center account, go to your Google Merchant Center Tax Settings and define your sales tax rates for each state where you collect sales tax. For detailed diagnostic and resolution instructions, please continue reading.

Background Information

The email notice from Google might look something like this:

Subject: Data Quality Suspension Warning Of Your Merchant Center Account [Store Name, US] Dear Google Merchant Center User, Merchant Center Account: Store Name (12345) We've found product data that doesn't meet the Shopping Ads requirements in your Merchant Center account. You have until the deadline below to update your account and products so that they meet Shopping Ads requirements. If the issues aren't resolved by the deadline, your Merchant Center account will be suspended and your Shopping ads will no longer appear on Google. Deadline: Apr 31, 2020 Your Merchant Center account presently does not meet the following Shopping Ads Product Data Specification requirements: Inaccurate tax information For many of your items, the tax information in your product data doesn't match the tax information on the product pages. If you can't provide accurate tax information, you may provide data that matches or overestimates the average tax rate users visiting your site from Google would pay. Keep in mind that no matter what tax amount you provide for Shopping ads, you're still responsible for collecting the appropriate amount of tax from your customers. Using the correct product data will help optimize your ads' performance. Update your product data to meet the specifications on tax. Examples of violations: Red Widget - sku100 - https://www.store.com/red-widget.html Value in landing page - 9.99USD Value in the data feed - 0.00USD Zip code - 90210

Step 1: Verify your checkout shows the sales tax indicated

  1. Follow the product page link for the first example in your email
  2. Add the item to your cart and checkout as Guest
  3. Search Google for 90201 zip code to determine the state
  4. Enter a sample address with zip code 90210 and state CA
  5. Continue checking out until the cart displays a sales tax amount, and verify that it is $9.99USD as indicated in the example.

If the sales tax displayed in your cart is not the same as the "Value in landing page" indicated by Google, then Google is having a problem reading the sales tax from your cart. In this case, open a support ticket with Google using their Contact Form for Disapproved Items. For phone or chat support, please see Google Merchant Center Contact Information.

Step 2: Check your tax settings for the state

  1. Go to the Google Merchant Center Tax Settings
  2. Verify that a tax rate is set up for the state mentioned in the example
  3. Add tax rates for all states for which you collect sales tax

Checking Google's Computed Sales Tax for a Specific Product

  1. Go to Google Merchant Center > Products > All products
  2. Click the filter icon and add a filter like id equals sku123
  3. Click the item title to view the item details
  4. Scroll down to the Shipping and tax rate calculator section
  5. Enter the destination zip code, e.g. 90210, and press Enter
  6. Compare the Tax calculated by Google to the sales tax in your checkout. They should match.
Can you help if my feed was disapproved by Google?

Google has recently disapproved feeds of many of our clients due to stricter enforcement of Restricted Products. Even a single restricted item can result in disapproval of all your items!

Please beware that although you may be selling an item that is allowed, it may still contain keywords that make it appear to be a restricted item in Google's view. This may result in disapproval of your entire feed.

Thankfully, Google has also published an extensive set of restricted keywords in their documentation of Restricted Products. Please review those rules carefully, as well as the Google Shopping Program Policies.

To resolve the issue, you have to email Google until they tell you which item or items are causing the disapproval, a process which may take a week or two of emailing back and forth. You can start the process by contacting them using these forms:

Common Reasons for Disapproval

  • Submitting out of stock or discontinued items as being "in stock"
  • Submitting used or refurbished items as "new"
  • Submitting items in or related to any Restricted Product category, particularly supplements and weapons

Additional Tips and Advice

For a great overview of why Google disapproves feeds and how to get approved again, please refer to Celebird's Product Search Disapproval Checklist.

For many issues, you may find assistance or advice in the Google Merchants Help Forum.

We have a separate article that explains how to solve the issue when your items are disapproved due to shipping terms in the product descriptions.

A common cause of disapproval is non-compliance with the policy regarding Affiliates, cataloged drop-shipping programs, and multi-level marketing. See the program policies for more details.

If your items do not have unique identifiers, but Google has disapproved them, then you can contact Google to request an exemption or exception from the unique identifier requirement.

If your entire feed is disapproved and Google is not responding, unfortunately, we can not provide any support. This issue is between the merchant and Google, and there is nothing we can do about it. We do not have any knowledge of, and can not advise on a workaround. We do not have an 'inside' contact at Google. Creating a new Google account and resubmitting does not work, and is not recommended.

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