Policy compliant and high quality product landing pages[ Edited ]
September 2014 - last edited September 2014
Google Shopping is built on providing a high quality experience where consumers can confidently research products and compare prices. In order to create a successful shopping experience for consumers and retail partners, it is important that your product data, and the links to landing pages, comply with the Google Shopping Products Feed Specification requirements and the Google Shopping Program Policies.
In today's post, we will cover some fundamentals about submitting policy compliant and high quality product landing pages for your product listing ads.
As always, please do leave a comment in case you have any follow-up questions or suggestions on other subjects you’d like us to cover.
Landing page content:
First and foremost, your landing page must show a product offer that is essentially identical to the product listing you submitted to Google in your product data, regardless of the user’s device, browser, location, cookies, your ad targeting choices, or any other consideration.
In fact, price and currency related violations are sometimes the result of adapting the landing page based on the user’s location or the user’s IP address. In such cases, users outside of the target country should still see product information that matches the information submitted to Google in the product data for that target country, regardless of a users’ location.
Users shouldn’t have to log in or register to see the key elements of the product offer (title, description, image, price, currency, availability) and landing pages can't be under construction or return error status codes (such as a 404 error). Generic pages or search results pages are also not allowed.
If we find that the items in your product data lead to non-compliant landing pages, we may either disapprove violating products that lead to those pages or suspend your account from Google Shopping. More information on account suspension can be found in our previous post.
For more details, we recommend visiting Google Shopping Products Feed Specification on the link attribute, Landing Page Content Policy and Implementation Guidelines for Landing Page Content Policy.
Unavailable landing pages:
We want to create the same experience for users regardless of the device they use to browse product listing ads. Google Shopping users expect that the landing pages they click through to will be available. Landing pages need to work on both desktop and mobile devices. If the landing pages are not available it is both a bad user experience and a bad return on your ad spend. Therefore, we disable items that have an unavailable landing page.
The most common errors that make your landing pages inaccessible are:
- Page not found (404): When a landing page is not found on the server.
- Could not connect / HTTP 5xx response: Server not available at the time the we try to access the landing page.
- Hostname not resolvable: When we are not able to resolve the hostname. Your DNS configuration should be setup properly.
- Robots.txt restriction: If the Googlebots are prevented from crawling the specified landing pages due to a robots.txt setup.
The URL provided by the 'link' attribute must start with 'http://' or 'https://' and use the domain name you verified in Google Webmaster Tools and in the Settings of your Merchant Center account.
Also please note that landing page crawl rates can affect how quickly our system can recrawl landing pages that are now fixed. Remember to check your crawl rate via Google Webmaster tools to ensure that the crawl rate is not too low.
If we are unable to access your landing pages, you will see a notification on the Data quality tab in your Merchant Center account. You will also be able to view a list of recently affected items and more information on how to fix the errors.
As we stated above, our requirements are based on the premise that the information you submit to Google Shopping in your product data is consistent with the information you display on the product pages of your website. Based on this information, Google builds and displays product listing ads for users interested in a particular merchant's products.
For this to work reliably, it is critical that our crawlers (the systems that visit your landing pages to retrieve up-to-date information) can always see the exact same content as users when they follow the same links, regardless of the crawlers’ user agent, IP address, etc., otherwise we would not be able to confidently update your product listings.
Shopping Quality Operations, Google