First, let’s understand why you are getting price match issues. Google Merchant Center has a feature that allows Google’s bot to check your product landing page and update the product listing information if the price info is different from the landing page vs the data feed. This is especially useful if you change the price during the day where the data feed has not been updated yet. It helps your product listing to have the freshest possible information. However, it is important to note that if you do not have this automated feature enabled, your data feed and website still needs to show accurate product pricing. If the price mismatch happens frequently, Google will no longer use automatic updates. There is also a possibility that Google will suspend your account.
Below a checklist to ensure you follow best practices and policies.
Checklist 1) Check the source of the issue
To find out where the is located, the data feed or the website. Go to Google Merchant Center > Products > All Products > click on the product that has the issue.
Scroll down till you see Final attributes, and expand Final attributes, Raw feed attributes and Information found on your site. In the image example before we can see that the issue the sale price. On the website it is £19.50 but in the feed due to the sale price being listed, it says it is £12.00
In this case either the feed is wrong, the website’s structured data or the visual representation of the price. Simply start checking the feed is correct and work your way backwards to identify the source of the issue.
Checklist 2) Product Landing Page Design
Make sure that the price the customer pays is the first price visible, (reading left to right, top to bottom). Google’s bot will always read the first price, so if you have an RRP or old price shown before the effective price, then swap it around. This will then allow Google to read the correct price.
When listing prices, always make sure the effective price is the same or greater font size than the old price or RRP price.
Make sure if you submit variants, that the variant price, image, title and selection boxes are that of the variant advertised for.
Checklist 3) Product Landing Page Structured Data
Even when you have everything perfect visually, Google may still sometimes not be able to see the price. In all cases regardless if you have it working or not, it is recommended you add structured data. Structured data is something Google’s bot will look at and cross-reference to the visual representation of the product landing page and the data feed information.
Make sure if the product is a variant that the first product element listed is the specific variant advertised for.
Checklist 4) Keep Your Data Feeds Updated
Make sure you update your data feed every single day or whenever you make a change, it is very common for merchants to let Google fetch a new data feed copy on a daily basis.
If you change your prices multiple times per day than I suggest to look into Google Shopping Content API. This is a data feed that allows you to update the price and availability, without having to submit all the other information.
Or if you are using FeedArmy, you can fetch the data multiple times per day, then setup a supplement feed to overwrite the price and sale price data.
Using a combination of the main data feed and the supplement feeds, allows you to submit fresh info multiple times per day.
Google does have a policy that requires stable pricing. So if you change your prices too frequently you may get suspended from the platform. Consider changing your prices less frequently.
When submitting your data feed, make sure that you let Google collect a copy after you made changes. For example, if you make changes at 8 am in the morning, then let Google schedule a fetch at 9 am.
Lastly) You Could Disable Automatic Updates, But…
You could disable automatic updates, if this was enabled, however you still need to update your product data feed, as soon as you change the price on the website.
To disable this feature you first need to check your pricing is indeed correct as disabling automatic updates while you have issues will definitely get you suspended.
- Use rich results test to check if the product price is correct. The first listing must be the product advertised. For example, if you have variants listed on the site, make sure that the selected variant is the first listed in the structured data.
- The first price you read is the price you sell it at.
You can disable this feature in the Google Merchant Center by going to the top right corner and clicking on the wrench > Automatic improvements > item updates, then choose to enable or disable the feature.
Do note that even when you disable this feature, you still need to update your product data feed as soon as your product information changes.