Fix & Resolve Suspended
 Google Merchant Center
 Account With This Comprehensive 
Checklist

Is your Google Merchant Center account suspended for any of the below reasons?

  • Untrustworthy promotions
  • Misrepresentation of self or product
  • Unacceptable business practices
  • Violation of shopping ads policy

Then this extensive checklist guide will be of great use.

Before you request a review from Google, any action you take with Google, ie: call, chat, appeals, or review requests, are permanently recorded on your account. Repeated requests without resolving any issues can do more harm than good. Therefore I offer a full Google Merchant Center Suspension Check-Up Service. However, if you are confident in resolving the issue yourself. Then continue reading.

As of April 2020, Google has ramped up suspending accounts for misrepresentation of self or product. Google is now using 3rd party tools to check your trust factor. Below a list of common issues related to this type of suspension.

Important!
Do not create a new website and or Google Merchant Center account. Doing this will put you in a potential lifetime ban.
Do not request reviews when you have not resolved all policy violations.

Business Details VS Payment Details

Ensure your business details match the payment details on all platforms. Especially all Google platforms.

One Account

Only have one Google Ads and One Google Merchant Center account. Creating multiple accounts when suspended is considered circumventing policy violations.

One Website

Only have one website linked to your business. Only in certain situations can you have multiple websites, in general, merchants that are suspended have multiple websites for no valid reason other than to gain an unfair advantage.

Existing Suspensions

If you already have existing suspensions on other accounts, you must first resolve these issues before resolving your additional accounts’ problems.

Track Record of Order Fulfillment

Make sure you generate reviews from orders placed on your website. Ensure all reviews are real, and you have a mix of positive and negative reviews.

Reviews

If you get reviews that are not verified from a purchase, remove the review.

Phone Number

Make sure your phone number is answered during business hours listed on the website and Google My Business.

Google Maps

Your business address must easily be found on Google Maps. And connected to Google My Business, BBB, Facebook if eligible.

Accessibility

Your business premise must have the ability to accept packages and legal documents. And have someone at the premises during business hours listed on the website and Google My Business.

Verify

Track all availability, pricing, applicable taxes and shipping policies are accurate and listed on the website.

Selling Products

Validate and or confirm you have the appropriate reseller license and certificates from your distributor.

Availability

Verify your product status, is in stock or out of stock, and that this is verified with actual stocked goods—both on your website and in your data feed. Also, avoid frequent availability changes during one day. Google requires stable availability information.

When ordering products, make sure no-one can purchase more than stocked. For example, do not allow customers to order 1000 products when you only have 20 in stock.

Payment Logos

Add the payment methods used in plain text on your product landing page just above or below the add-to-cart button.

Or with logos, have the plain text under the logos.

Pricing

As with the availability status, make sure you have accurate product pricing and are up to date in the data feed, and that Google has collected this info.

Only list 1 product price, if you have multiple products, consider submitting different landing pages for each product.

Don’t Sell Products You Can’t Deliver

Don’t sell products you can not deliver to the customer. And don’t sell products you can not deliver within 1.5 weeks.

Content

Make sure to not copy-paste the same images and text from the manufacturer and or other resellers. At the moment it seems identical to any other reseller. You will increase the quality of your ranking by taking your own images and writing quality content.

Copying content from others will also lower your trust score.
Google may see you as low quality due to not adding additional or different content. The reason behind this is that Google wants to provide users with good listings and user experience, if you are not different from any other merchant, there is no benefit.
BTW: just as a side note, this is also for organic listings. You can rank better by having your own content.

PopUps

Generally, PopUps are not allowed. When for example, a pop-up or banner blocks or covers important content and or information for your customers. Instead have a small icon in the bottom corners that show / hide the newsletter subscription.
Reference: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/4752265?hl=en

Discounts

Don’t have side wide discounts when you have never sold the item at its original price. Listing discounts when they are not real is considered misleading.

Misleading Content

Do not mislead, make false claims or statements. Such as:

  • If you are selling products related to healthcare, medicine or supplements, remove any claims or statements not approved by the target country government body.
  • If you a reseller and not an official partner, do not show images, or quotes that you are.
  • Don’t suggest you have certificates when you don’t

Contact Page

Make sure to have a contact page with the below listed items and linked in the footer of all pages.

  • Physical business address (Virtual Offices or PO Boxes or Distribution centers are generally not allowed)
  • Telephone number
  • Email address (same domain as website)
  • Contact form
  • Contact Hours (even for online businesses)

Also add the physical business address, telephone number and email address in the footer of all pages. And if possible also your business registration number.

Website Footer Google Merchant Center

Make sure to also add your exact same business address in Google Merchant Center > Wrench > Business Information > About Your Business

Do not add FAQ’s to the contact page, separate this on a FAQ dedicated page.

Footer Links

Make sure the below links are visible and accessible to anyone on a desktop, tablet or smartphone.

  • refund page
  • returns page
  • delivery / shipping page
  • payment policy
  • privacy policy
  • terms and conditions
  • disclaimer

Payment Methods

Clearly show with image icons in the footer of the page which payment methods you accept on all pages. Also, add the same info written in the terms and conditions page.

Delivery / Shipping Page

Add a delivery page with your handling time, estimated delivery time, pricing and warehouse location. Make sure to write the information clearly, and can be easily read.

Link this page in the footer of all pages.

Terms and Conditions Page

This is a rather technical page and should be written by professionals / lawyer. Some eCommerce platforms such as Shopify have a template available for you to use.

Link this page in the footer of all pages.

Privacy Policy Page

This as with the terms and conditions page is a technical page and should be written by professionals / lawyer.

Link this page in the footer of all pages.

Disclaimer

A disclaimer is used primarily to notify or warn users of the limit or the extent to a website’s liability to a user if there is a legal action.

For example, if you have a disclaimer that states you are not liable for any issues a user may have when they click on a third-party link on your site and a user does end up having an issue, that disclaimer can protect you.

Disclaimers are a key way a website can prevent potential future liability from the use of their site or errors and omissions on the site. Any website or app should have disclaimers for protection, but they are highly recommended for ecommerce sites.

Including these statements can protect an ecommerce store from any issues in shipping, returns, refunds, third party partners, or affiliates. Ecommerce stores are unique because people often rely on these websites to not have issues. However, sometimes things do happen and disclaimers act as safeguards against this.

People sometimes confuse disclaimers with other agreements on a website, such as a Terms of Use or a Privacy Policy. While including all of these is essential to protect your site, disclaimers do offer something different.

Returns Page

Do not merge the return info into the refund policy page. I recommend creating a separate page just for the return policy. I received an email from Google suggesting this to be best practice.

The return policy should be based on the delivery day. Not purchase day. The reason is that an item could theoretically be in transit beyond the refund policy days, meaning a consumer can never return the goods. In this case, it is considered dishonest. So make sure it is based on the delivery date.

Under what circumstances you offer a return. For each of the listed items below, you need to explain what happens for each scenario.

  • To cancel an order
  • Damaged on arrival
  • Faulty manufacturing or broken after use (What is your warranty)
  • They changed their mind
  • For an exchange
  • Or its a wrong product

Explain the initial steps a user must take to initiate a return, such as do they need to call you, do they email you or do they need to submit a contact form?

Also explain what documents they need to show and if they need to take a picture of the product.

Also explain the complete steps to initiate a return, such as an address, email process, what info they need to give you, etc.

Do not mention things you don’t sell. For example you mention VHS or flowrs, you don’t sell this? This policy page seems to be a copy paste from somewhere else. You need to write a professional policy page. To do this, contact a lawyer or policy professional.

In short, provide as much information a client needs to understand the full process of a return.

Refund Page

Separate the return policy info from the refund policy. And have this linked in the footer of all pages.

Under what circumstances you offer a return. For each of the listed items below, you need to explain what happens for each scenario.

  • If the products never arrived
  • Damaged on arrival
  • Faulty manufacturing or broken after use (What is your warranty)
  • They changed their mind
  • Or its a wrong product

Explain when your user can expect a refund.

The refund policy should be based on the delivery day. Not purchase day. The reason is that an item could theoretically be in transit beyond the refund policy days, meaning a consumer can never return the goods. In this case, it is considered dishonest. So make sure it is based on the delivery date.

Explain the initial steps a user must take to initiate a refund, such as do they need to call you, do they email you or do they need to submit a contact form?

Also explain what documents they need to show and if they need to take a picture of the product.

Explain the complete steps to initiate a refund, such as an address, email process, what info they need to give you, etc. It only explains this for exchange, not for refunds.

In short, provide as much information a client needs to understand the full process of a refund.

Remove User Based Modifications

Remove all IP, browser, user modifications. Such as automated currency conversions or changing the website content or design. All users must see the same exact info, regardless of where they are located.

Checkout

Allow for guest checkout and do not force customers to accept terms and conditions.

The checkout requires the following policies linked from the footer of the page.

  • Privacy Policy Page
  • Return and Refund
  • Delivery / Shipping Policy Page

Read All Policies

Complete All Google Merchant Center Settings

Complete all the settings found in the top right corner > gear icon >

Verify Phone Number

You also need to verify your business phone number.

You can verify your phone number by going to GMC > Gear Icon > Business Information > About your business

Advertise Only Products Google Allows

Make sure you sell what Google allows: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6149970

Submit Accurate Product Identifiers

When submitting product identifiers the following rule applies.

If a manufacturer has assigned a bar code, then submit brand, mpn (if available), GTIN and set identifier exists to yes.

If the manufacturer has not assigned a bar code, then remove the values brand, mpn, gtin and set identifier exists to no.

References:

Resolve Disapproved Products

Ensure all products don’t have any errors or warnings. To check go to Google Merchant Center > Products > Diagnostics

Remove Disapproved Products

If you had disapproved products before receiving the suspension and you are not able to resolve the individual product disapproval, then remove the products from the feed.

Accurate Shipping & Tax Settings

Ensure in Google Merchant Center you have accurate shipping and tax settings. You can test the shipping and tax prices on individual products by going to Products > All Products > click on your product > scroll to the center of the page.

This needs to be accurate so double check in your product information page.

Structured Data

Ensure that the SKU in the structured data matches the product id in the data feed submitted to Google Merchant Center.

To check the id in feed, go to Google Merchant Center > Products > All Products > and view the Item ID column. These values need to match with the SKU in the structured data. 

Double check you have no errors here: https://search.google.com/test/rich-results

Promotions

Offering a promotion or discount that does not exist.

Not Adding Accurate Product Information

Make sure you add accurate product information and that you follow Google’s editorial guidelines.

Stop Watching Hype Videos

Don’t watch so called easy big money drop ship videos or buy in a get rich quick scheme. These don’t work.

Pro Tip!!!

Check your Google Merchant Center on a weekly basis or even more frequently and fix all issues, before you get suspended. I offer a full data feed management service if you do not have the time to do this yourself.

Request A Review

Go to the below link and request a Google Review. Only request this once you have resolved all issues. Do not request a review when you have done half the job. Requesting a review is permanently recorded in your account and can lead to a permanent ban.

https://support.google.com/merchants/contact/suspended

Need Help?