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attributed products which vary in price disapproved incorrect price

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# 1
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I've been experiencing an on-going issue where items with variations with different prices are being disapproved because the price in the feed does not match the price on the website. This issue must be affecting thousands of retailers and I wanted to see what solutions anyone has found.


I'll give an example now because it makes the issue much easier to understand - "Store A" sells a type of dog food which comes in 3 different sizes:

  • 1kg - £5
  • 10kg - £30
  • 20kg - £60

For many usability and SEO reasons this product is set up as a single landing page with a drop down for the customer to choose which size they want. The default price which shows on the landing page is £5 for the cheapest variation. In the feed we used to submit the same URL for each variation but three different prices which was causing them to be disapproved because Google was crawling the landing page and picking up on the £5.


Whilst frustrating this is understandable so I got in contact with Google and the representative said that if we submitted item_group_id for the three item variations it would help the crawler understand that these are related items and that it they would be re-approved. No luck.


I then spoke to another Google representative who said we need to submit URLs which pre-select the variation so as soon as the user lands on the page, the correct variation will be selected. This makes sense as it will prevent a user from clicking on the 20kg ad but initially seeing the 1kg price on the landing page. To avoid duplicate content we did this via Javascript for example


However, it appears Google does not crawl Javascript (in this instance!) so still the items remain disapproved, even though the user experience will be seamless.


Somewhat frustrated I spoke to Google again who now said that a crawlable URL must be submitted for every price variation in the feed. As anyone with SEO knowledge will know, this is a nightmare as there is no way you want duplicate pages for price variations to be indexed (and this is exactly against Google's own quality guidelines).


The only solution I can think of is having unique crawlable URLs for each attribute but using the canonical tag to prevent duplicate content issues. This is a huge development which I would rather avoid if Google are likely to bring out a much simpler fix via the XML feed.


There must be thousands of retailers facing the same issue out there? Does anyone from Google monitor this forum? I can understand the need to ensure a good user experience but imo in this instance Google have got it wrong and there needs to be a simpler solution.


Thanks in advance.


1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: attributed products which vary in price disapproved incorrect pric

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

google does read and monitor the community forum.

generally, all that was indicated sounds correct.

the submitted price must match the single displayed price
on the landing-page and the default add-to-cart price for
the exact item being sold, for all users, at all times.

there are a few possibilities with respect to product variants --
one seemed not to be mentioned and the other might be clarified.

(1) do not submit any variants -- there is no requirement to submit
all product variants; one option is to simply submit only one of the
variants; the one variant that exactly matches the single price and
single (default) variant, on the link landing-page -- then, allow the

customer to select other variants if they wish -- but do not submit

the other product variants in any feed.


note that such landing-pages must show a default variant and price.

(2) item_group_id -- if item_group_id is used, the variants will not be
allowed unless (a) the item_group_id is submitted exactly as specified
by google; and (b) a variant attribute is also submitted properly; and
(c) the link landing-page conforms to all google's policies.

the item_group_id value must be identical for all items in a variant-group;
at least one variant attribute (e.g. size) must be submitted properly and be
unique for all items within the variant-group; each variant-group must have
its own item_group_id and its corresponding link landing-page must display
(only) the exact variant being submitted (e.g. size of 20 kg).

as to landing-pages --

yes, if a variant is submitted, the variant item must be
either pre-selected or have a separate landing-page.

regardless, google must be able to crawl the (variant) landing-page and
the details must match the submitted data, for all users, at all times.

for browser-based preselection using javascript and related technologies,
there are methods to allow the exact variant to be crawled by google,
that typically involve url-parameters or html-snapshots or both --

however, if possible, server-side pre-selection is generally best --
using a server-side solution and language such as php, python, etc.

a separate static landing-page per variant is still an option.

in all cases, proper item_group_id and proper variant attributes
are both still required to be submitted if any variant is submitted.