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Products disapproved for policy violations

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Last week, out of our 8000+ products, 6600 of them were suddenly without warning disapproved for policy violations. Our feed hasn't changed other than the odd description / title on a couple of products and prices have been updated. What's going on and how do I fix it? There are no clues on why the disapproval happened and most of these products have been on for years without issue. Google support say expect an answer within 48 hours after speaking to them, but this is crippling our business which relies on Google shopping!

2 Expert replyverified_user

Products disapproved for policy violations

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Disapproved reasons can be found in two locations.

 

1) Google Merchant > Products > Feeds > click on your feed > than view the processing errors listed

If you don't see a feed, you are using Google API which means you need to check your eCommerce platform plugin system. Best likely course is to ask the eCommerce community or contact support.

 

2) Google Merchant > Products > Diagnostics and check both account and item warnings, resolve all errors listed

Please note, you might only see a couple errors, but this is just for reference basis. Meaning that if you see for example an image problem on a couple of items, it might be on allot more. Therefor you need to check the whole data feed.

 

If the product does not have any disapproval reasons, than this is most likely due to the product not following the policy requirements. If they don't explain it than you need to find the reason.

 

Sometimes if you call Google (link below) and you are being very kind and explain the issues clearly, they will help you if the violation is not too serious. If you do have a serious violation, than there is not much they can say extra other than read the policies.

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/7218750

 

As we have no account access, and this is a member to member forum and we are not part of Google, we can not give you any clear solutions. However if you provide more in depth details about the issue such as links, what violations you see, what plugin you are using, what is the data you submit, etc... forum members might be able to assist.

 

Google Feed Requirements : https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/7052112?hl=en

Google Shopping Policies : https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6363310?hl=en

 

Hope it helps.

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Re: Products disapproved for policy violations

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for your suggestions.

 

I have attached screengrabs of the relevant error messagesProductError.PNGError message on product pageDiagnosticsError.PNGErrors on the diagnostics pageFeedError.PNGErrors on the feed page

 

As you can see, there is no real reason given for the "Automatic item disapproval's due to policy violation" - the vast majority of these items have been advertised on Google shopping for 5 years or more and haven't changed.

 

I did call Google but they seemed unable to help. They suggested that I check that certain things are present on our website such as returns policy, company address, email address and support number which I pointed out were there and clearly marked.

 

The site is www.thetonerplace.co.uk and it is all of our compatible products that are affected. We have read all the guidelines for the feed for these products and as far as we can tell we are following them to the letter.

Re: Products disapproved for policy violations

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

An example product from our feed that is dissaproved:

 

<item>
      <g:custom_label_0></g:custom_label_0>
      <g:custom_label_1></g:custom_label_1>
      <g:custom_label_2>1to2</g:custom_label_2>
      <g:brand>The Toner Place Compatible</g:brand>
      <g:custom_label_3>Compatible</g:custom_label_3>
      <g:id>TTPTSGB15</g:id>
      <title>Compatible Brother LC970M LC1000M Magenta Ink</title>
      <description>Part No: LC970M  

Average yield: 325 pages
This quality Brother compatible ink cartridge is suitable for most home and office situations. 

To fit the following models: DCP130C, DCP330C, DCP350C, DCP540CN, DCP560CN, DCP750CW, DCP770CW, FAX1355, FAX1360, FAX1460, FAX1560, MFC240C, MFC3360C, MFC440CN, MFC465CN, MFC5460CN, MFC5860CN, MFC660CN, MFC665CW, MFC680CN, MFC685CW, MFC845CW, MFC885CW, LC1000, LC970, LC1000M, DCP 130C, DCP 330C, DCP 350C, DCP 540CN, DCP 560CN, DCP 750CW, DCP 770CW, FAX1355, FAX1360, FAX1460, FAX1560, MFC 240C, MFC 3360C, MFC 440CN, MFC 465CN, MFC 5460CN, MFC 5860CN, MFC 660CN, MFC 665CW, MFC 680CN, MFC 685CW, MFC 845CW, MFC 885CW, LC1000, LC970, LC1000M

Our Budget Brother LC970M will save you money and give you excellent quality printing. No matter what your business, if you are a student or if you are at home, in all cases you will need to print at some point in your life. 

 With our budget Brother compatible cartridges, you can replace your printer consumables far cheaper than with the Brother original product. Our LC970M ink cartridge is a cost effective way to fulfil your printing needs. To save your hard earned money, use this Brother LC970M compatible ink cartridge. More discounts are available when buying in bulk. 

 Designed to be 100% compatible with your Brother printer, this LC970M ink cartridge gives you crisp, sharp prints every time. Ensure high quality prints every time by using this Brother compatible LC970M ink cartridge. Suitable for printing all types of documents, this budget Brother compatible ink cartridge will ensure your documents print with the highest quality.</description>
      <link>https://www.thetonerplace.co.uk/brother-ink/15-ttp-lc970m.html</link>
      <g:image_link>https://www.thetonerplace.co.uk/3-big_default/ttp-lc970m.jpg</g:image_link>
      <g:condition>new</g:condition>
      <g:product_type>Home-Inks-Printer Inks-Brother Ink</g:product_type>
      <g:google_product_category>356</g:google_product_category>
      <g:availability>in stock</g:availability>
      <g:price>2.40 GBP</g:price>
      <g:mpn>LC970M-COMPAT</g:mpn>
      <g:identifier_exists>TRUE</g:identifier_exists>
      <g:shipping>
        <g:country>GB</g:country>
        <g:price>0</g:price>
      </g:shipping>
    </item>

Products disapproved for policy violations

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

first, thank you for the posted information.

 

all issues flagged and mentioned by google should likely be addressed.

google has policies for both transparency and global-trade-data --
the global-trade-data policies for toner/printer-ink/printer-cartridge
related products have been updated and all related policies must
be followed, or such items must be removed from submitted data.

google may flag a policy issue at any time --
the length of time an item or account is active
are not considered when flagging a policy issue.

(1) contact-us page:

generally, for transparency, on the contact-us page, google tends to
look for trust-related signals: such as posted business-hours, a valid
phone-number that rings and will be answered during business-hours,
valid business-email-address, and a business-address that will resolve
properly on google-maps -- all in plain *text*, that google can crawl and
verify, not a graphic or image -- in addition to any contact-us web-form.

(2) printer-ink and global-trade-data:

for global-trade-data and printer-ink related items -- google's policies differ
based on oem-ink, oem-containers, third-party-ink, third-party-containers,
refills, and if the specific product being sold meets google's direct-from-the

factory new, or used, condition-related policies.

a physical inventory item may only ever be listed only once --
regardless of how many other products the item may fit or

may be compatible with.

for example, cartridges refilled, in any way, by any party,
must be submitted with a condition value of used --

never new.

for example, if the physical inventory is new, from the factory,
with third-party-ink in a third-party-container/cartridge then,
google requires all the following:
(a) condition attribute with a value of new;
(b) title attribute that being with a value of either compatible, third-party,
or generic -- never the oem's name or the compatible-manufacturer's name;
(c) all global-trade-data (unique-product-identifiers) -- brand, gtin, mpn --
that are submitted must be values of the third-party-manufacturer; never the
oem, never the compatible-brand-manufacturer's, and never the business-brand.

brand, mpn, and gtin attributes are reserved
manufacturer's data -- not a merchant's data.

for example, mpn cannot be used for a merchant's sku or similar --
LC970M-COMPAT is likely not a valid manufacturer's part-number.

for example, the-toner-place ..., is not a valid manufacturer's brand --
brand must be the manufacturer of the actual physical-item being sold.

regardless of any printer-ink-related policies, google will submit the

business's brand/display-name, that is set in the merchant-center,
automatically, for all items -- a business-brand-name cannot be
submitted in any uploaded data -- for any public-facing attribute,
but especially for the brand attribute, which is reserved for the
manufacturer's brand, not a merchant's brand/business-name.

 

(3) optional automatic-item-updates feature:

if the optional automatic-item-updates feature is not wanted or cannot be
properly implemented on the website, then the automatic-items-updates

feature may be disabled in the merchant-center-account -- if so, simply be

certain that all uploaded-prices match the landing-page, exactly, at all times,

and is identical for all users, regardless of any user-specific detail.

see also
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6363310
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/7558050
https://support.google.com/merchants/topic/7294606

 

Re: Products disapproved for policy violations

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Once again, thank you for a detailed reply.

 

1) Our contact details are as a graphic as this is what we were advised to do by our PCIDSS compliance company. If these are the issue then it doesn't explain why some of our product listings still work - surely this would be a site wide issue and result in our account being suspended?

 

2) We have carefully followed the specifications listed here: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/7558050?hl=en for our listings.

 

None of our items are listed twice UNLESS they are part of a multipack or bundle in which case there would be a listing for the bundle and one for the individual item.

 

The link above shows the conditions as follows:

 

Use the correct attribute value depending on the condition of your product:

  • new. Your product is new and has never been used. It's in its original packaging, which has not been opened.
  • refurbished. While your product isn’t new, it has been professionally restored to working order so that it appears new, and it comes with a warranty. The product might or might not be in its original packaging. This is sometimes referred to as "remanufactured".
  • used. Your product is a second-hand item. For example, the product has been used before, the original packaging has been opened, or the original packaging is missing.

Most of the MPN's used by the compatible manufacturers match the OEM sku's - we added the -COMPAT at the request of Google a few years ago as our listings were being mixed up with other traders and were not equal offers. For example, Google would show our remanufactured cartridge in a comparison with compatible cartridges using somebody elses description or image.

 

Also regarding the brand, google says this about white label products:

 

Under Googles advice last night, we changed all our remanufactured items condition to used, but this hasn't made any difference.

 

 

Products disapproved for policy violations

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome.

if all the rules are being followed and there are no issues, then
simply ignore the messages and re-contact google for guidance.

usually, any specific rules or policies, for a particular product
or circumstance, override the more general rules and policies.

generally, google does not check all issues or all potential policy violations
on a website, or for all items, all the time; so an issue on a website or in
submitted data may be flagged, at any time -- related, not being flagged,

even for years, does not necessarily mean all policies are being followed.

 

all global-trade-data attributes are reserved for manufacturer's data --

not for merchants', except in very specific circumstances, for very

specific item-offers, with very specific supply-chains or very specific

use-cases, and sets of conditions.

force-fitting data, simply due to google not showing items under
compare-prices, or in any other particular circumstance, is
typically not recommended, unless the policies were not being
followed, even on the advice of google at a particular point in
time -- for example, google may change or update their policies,
in general, or for specific products or specific circumstances,
that usually override the more general or previous policies.

regardless, as was indicated, this is mainly a peer-to-peer public
community forum; forum-members can mainly offer suggestions,

based on the information posted here in public --

google is the final arbiter of all policies.

 

Re: Products disapproved for policy violations

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

As far as contacting Google goes, unfortunately they have been no help whatsoever so far. They cannot seem find a fault with our data other than the used/new condition flag which should only affect around 20-30% of our products. Even after changing this, everything is still disapproved. Is there another team at Google that I can talk to other than our adwords account manager that might be able to resolve things quicker?

Products disapproved for policy violations

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

Normally when you say, identifier exists, Google requires you to submit bar codes in the GTIN field. This is most likely the cause of your violation.

If a valid bar code can not be added, than remove the brand and mpn, than set Identifier exists to no

 

 

Also make sure you are not drop shipping, which is not allowed via the normal advertising platform.

 

Please note this is based on my experience.

 

You can only contact Google Adwords for support, there is no other team.

Re Reading all policies might help you resolve current issues.

 

Hope it helps.

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Re: Products disapproved for policy violations

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We are currently waiting for an answer from the feed implementation team. They have had a good look at it and can't see anything wrong with our feed so they are in discussion with the policy violation team. It is only inks and toners that are affected - other items such as drums, staples etc are OK despite using exactly the same format in the feed such as conditions, title structure, descriptions etc.

 

It's around 85% of our products that are disapproved currently including OEM / Genuine, 3rd party / Compatible and our remanufactured items. The fact that genuine items are disapproved despite having gtin, brand and mpn is concerning as these should be the easiest set of items to get right.