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Debugging a Disapproved Product

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi everyone,


I have a coffee business that uses Shopify and I'm trying to set up the Google Shopping link via the Shopify app. My product has multiple variants for roast and grind levels. Right now, I have 1 product that is disapproved  because of "Automatic item disapprovals due to policy violation". This is a single origin coffee (Brazilian Fair Trade Organic) and the only single origin coffee I've uploaded so far. It's unclear to me why this was rejected and there's no link that I can see to request a manual review. This instruction appears to be outdated ( I'm also unsure if this is for all variants or just one...assuming all at this point.


I have 65 others disapprovals because of "Wait up to 3 days for image crawl to complete". These are all for coffee blends. I assume this will clear itself once the crawl is complete(?). 


I'm not using an MPN because each coffee is custom roast and ground. I have no idea why this product was rejected for policy violation. Help?




1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Debugging a Disapproved Product

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

only certain types of item disapproval issues are
available for a manual-review -- so that help-article
may seem out-of-date or incongruous, compared to
what is being seen in the merchant-center-account.


a single disapproval status may be triggered by many multiple issues.


generally, only a product-offer that is currently in physical,

on hand, stock inventory and in the merchant's possession,

may be submitted as a shopping-ad.


be certain all data submitted, especially the price
or sale_price, matches the landing-page, exactly.


importantly perhaps, automatic-item-disapproval-due-to-policy-violation
errors are sometimes related to legal issues and are often only a small
subset, or sample of all items, that may be potentially violating policies --
more items may be disproved in the future if a root-cause is not fixed;
the root-cause should be investigated by reviewing all policies against all
submitted data, the website, business, and supply-chains, so that all the
current and potential issues are permanently fixed, or the items removed.


items without valid mpn or gtin and a valid brand must be submitted
with the identifier_exists attribute and a value of no -- then, brand,

mpn, and gtin values must not be submitted for such items, or is

otherwise a policy violation and grounds for a disapproval or a
suspension from the program, at any time.


images may take up to 72-hours to be crawled and inspected for policy issues;
if images are too large (larger than 300x300 pixels or so) the website may not
be able to keep pace with all google's crawl requests and should be considered
for resizing -- especially if the image does not show within the products-list-tab,
after four-days or so.


once crawled, images must meet all google's image requirements and policies.


for the identifier_exists and image crawl issues,
the best likely course would be to contact shopify
support directly -- to verify all the submitted data
meets google's policies and to check the server's
logs to verify all image url's are responding properly
to all google's crawl requests.


if the api is being used to submit items, always check the api-diagnostics-tab.


also, check the individual item status under the linked-ad-account --
by clicking on the individual product's speech-bubble, under the
product-status column, under the products-tab, under the specific
shopping campaign, that the processed item matches for any

additional status related information.


however, this is mainly a peer-to-peer public forum and forum-members
cannot look into any submitted information or any account details --
forum-members can mainly offer suggestions based on what is posted;
posting the exact data submitted and screen-captures may help.


otherwise, a merchant-center shopping-ads support
specialist, at google, may be contacted directly for
account-specific guidance.


otherwise, such items may need to simply be deleted and not re-submitted --
there are many other campaign-types and ad-formats that are available and
may be a better fit for advertising certain types of product-offers:

Debugging a Disapproved Product

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for the response Celebird!


a) physical inventory - check

b) accuracy of data submitted


ok...It all looks good except I have multiple variants for roast and grind. One option is unroasted (green coffee). This is sold at a lower price than the other variants. Since my variants don't 'look' different in terms of consumer packaging, I don't have different images for each. Consequently the Shopify app only publishes the first variant which happens to be green coffee (with the cheaper price). The product page defaults to a medium roast (at a higher price than green coffee). Could this be the issue? 


Is there a way to publish all the variants if the image is the same?


c) In terms of no MPN due to custom product... Can I ask what you mean by 'Valid Brand'? The way you've described it leads me to believe that I'm not allowed to include my own brand name then when I submit custom products to the Merch Center. Is that right?


d) You lost me on the individual item status. I don't have a shopping campaign yet. I'm just loading in a few products first to see that everything is correct.


e) Thanks for the tips on the other offer types. I'll dig into these. It sounds like the variants might make this whole Google Shopping thing a 'no go' for me.  Which sucks...but...c'est la vie.





Re: Debugging a Disapproved Product

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome.


(b) accuracy of data submitted


the price submitted for the exact item-offer, the single price on the

link landing-page, and the price after the user clicks on the, single,

add-to-cart link, must all match exactly, at all times -- or is usually

a rather serious policy violation.


the image submitted should match the landing-page image
and both should reflect the exact product-offer that is
purchased, shipped, and received by the customer --

especially if there are color differences among variants.


(c) valid brand


yes, that sounds correct.


global-trade-data (brand, mpn, and gtin) are mainly legal designations,
that identify an exact, specific, product-offer sold by multiple merchants --
unique-product-identifiers; a valid brand, mpn, or gtin can be assigned
only by a manufacturer, never merchants.


also, the seller's business display ("brand") name, that is set within the
merchant-center-account is automatically added, to all items, by google,
by default, and may be displayed with shopping-ads -- without having to

duplicate the details in the submitted data.


(d) individual-item-status


per-item status scan be seen within the merchant-center's products-list;
yes, the potentially additional status details within the shopping-campaign
are only available if a shopping-campaign has been configured and will only
be seen if the item's details match the campaign's details -- e.g. the same

target-country or a product-group.


(e) variants


one possibility would be to only submit the default variant on the page;
then, simply make clear in the ancillary on-page information that other

similar items are available -- but without any other price information

displayed, until perhaps, another variant is selected by the user.


just to emphasize, a single item can have multiple policy violations
and the automatic-item policy violation may relate to a supply-chain
or some other legal related issue -- having nothing whatever to do

with the submitted data, image, or website.


of course, depending on the issue, there still exists many
other campaign-types and ad-formats to advertise items

that are not a good fit for a shopping-ad.


otherwise, contacting google directly and asking for a merchant-center
shopping-ads specialist will allow a person at google to look directly into

the submitted data, items, account, and website details.


Debugging a Disapproved Product

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you again so much. I really appreciate all your assistance with this.




Debugging a Disapproved Product

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Anyone considering opening a Merchant or AdWords account should just stop themselves before wasting their time and money.  The automation flags stuff as violations practically at random.  The humans you are supposed to verbally straighten these problems out with barely speak English and have never been able to help any of the half dozen times I've tried to work with them. I sell fossils and fossil replicas and the automation continuously flags half my products as violations for being endangered species.  It apparently doesn't matter that they have already been dead and extinct for 75 million years because you can't explain that to a person with a vocabulary of 500 words or less (i.e. anyone who calls you from AdWords).  The one time I successfully got one of my hundreds of products unflagged, it was immediately flagged again the next week and taken down.  You will seriously get more satisfaction from beating your head against a brick wall than trying to deal with this utterly incompetent excuse of a service platform.  


If you want to get your stuff advertised by Google for free and not have to deal this this stupidity, put an example of it on eBay, Etsy, Amazon or just about any other shopping platform and Google will do a much better job advertising it than if you actually try to pay them to do so.