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Google’s Editorial & Professional Requirements: Are Your Practices Violating Them?

Google has tightened the belt on people who deliberately make online competition unfair. Part of Google’s services is to provide companies with a platform to advertise their products and services. Unfortunately, some companies or marketers inadvertently use unethical ways to gain undue advantage against their competitors.

To make the playing field even, Google established editorial and professional requirements to enhance the quality and reliability of information found on the web. Google wants you out of the game if you can’t keep up with its requirements. Let’s check out Google’s editorial and professional requirements for shopping ads.

Google’s Policy

Google’s ad policy is a testament to its commitment to provide the most relevant information to its users. Over the years, Google was able to clear out unethical practices of advertisers online. However, it’s best to follow Google’s requirements to keep your business on the good side of things.

Here’s Google’s Policy extracted from the Google Merchant Center:

In order to provide a quality user experience, Google requires that all Shopping ads meet high professional and editorial standards. We only allow promotions that are clear and professional in appearance. These ads should lead users to products and landing pages that are relevant, useful, and easy to interact with.

As responsible marketers, let this policy be the framework in every advertising campaign or project.

Technical Requirements

Google has product data specifications that you need to follow when using Merchant Center programs on Google. Complying with these requirements ensures the success of your ads and outstanding results for your business. Google has enumerated different attributes that you need to comply with, its required format, and the minimum requirements on the kind of information you place in each attribute.

For a detailed discussion of this topic, visit the Product Data Specification support page.

What is Not Allowed?

Even if you successfully complete the technical requirements above, Google won’t stop there. That’s why they’ve set up the editorial and professional requirements to enhance the quality of shopping ads and filter out ads relevant to the users. Let’s check out some practices that violate Google’s requirements.

Usefulness Violations

Google wants to provide searchers with helpful information. Information is useful if it answers the searcher’s query and such answers offer high-quality information to them. Here are some cases that violate usefulness:

  • Content that is difficult to navigate: Websites overloaded with pop-ups or interstitial ads that interfere with the website’s usability is a famous violation. Sometimes, website buttons won’t work unless you click an ad several times. This example violates usefulness since it reduces the usability of the website.
  • Problematic website: Broken links and misleading redirects are also violations. If some parts of your website aren’t working or some links redirect users to an unrelated landing page, that means you’re violating Google’s policy.
  • Incomplete or difficult to understand business information: Contact information is crucial information commonly searched in search engines. If your contact information is outdated or hard to understand, you’re in violation already.

Misspellings and Incorrect Grammar

  • Incoherent and gibberish phrases: Using incoherent words that commonly appear on searches is violative of Google’s policy. A common example would be “Flowers here buy” instead of “Buy flowers here.”
  • Intentional spelling mistakes: Intentional misspellings like “Buy flwres here” violate Google’s policy.

Unclear Relevance

Promotions that redirect to an irrelevant page are a violation. For example, a skincare product ad redirects to a car repair website. Using generic landing pages also violates Google’s policies. Always ensure that landing pages lead directly to what the ad talks about.

Style Requirements Violations

  • Misuse of Shopping ad features: Using the title field as a description field is a violation. Instead of using “Buy iPhone 13 here!” as the title, you do this instead, “Buy iPhone 13 here Midnight Super AMOLED XDR A15 Bionic 512GB 5G-ready.”
  • Use of generic placeholders: Using generic text like “add customer reviews and testimonials here” or lorem ipsum placeholders is not allowed.

Domain Safety Violations

Redirecting users to unsafe websites as a result of hacking will violate Google’s policies. If Google detects that you’re doing this, they’ll block users from accessing your website and warn them that it can compromise their data. Doing this is unethical and can have a legal stance if proven to violate local laws applicable in your country or state.

Product Details Violations

Inaccurate, missing, or duplicate product details violate Google’s editorial requirements. Some companies copy-paste product details for similar products. Though these products are identical, each of the products must have differences. Google wants you to highlight those differences and retain the similarities of each product.

However, to be safe, don’t venture into copy-pasting product descriptions. Try to make each product description unique to prevent Google from suspending your webpage.

Suggested Quick Fix for Violations

What can you do? That’s the question. Google offers a variety of solutions to help users fight for their stand. However, Google’s remedies are intended to help those websites that have been wrongfully suspended. But if you’re intentionally violating their policies, try not to plead that you’re not guilty.

If you think Google has wrongfully warned or suspended your account, you can appeal. For warnings, click this link. For suspended accounts, you can view account suspension and request an account review here. Make sure to log in to your Merchant Center account before checking the links.

For other violations, the best fix is to study Google’s editorial requirements. Afterward, fix your website and ads. Here are some things you can quickly fix before requesting an account review:

  • Remove broken links
  • Remove irrelevant landing pages
  • Stop overloading sites with interstitial ads
  • Fix your website if it’s not functioning properly
  • Edit incorrect business information
  • Fill in missing business  information

It’s Time to Hire an Expert

Keeping up with Google’s requirements can be taxing. That’s why it’s best to let the experts do the job. Tulumi Digital Marketing has invested hours just to study all of Google’s policies. With Tulumi, you’re in safe hands. We can optimize your website through SEO and have experience running ads that don’t violate Google’s policies. Get a quote now or call us at (800) 481-1720.

Deb Wallace | CEO | Digital Marketing Services | Tulumi Digital Marketing

Deb Wallace

FOUNDER & CEO, TULUMI

Deb Wallace brings a dynamic career in mobile and internet marketing. She remains on the industry’s cutting edge for technology and innovation driving new business through establishing strategic partnerships and relationships. She carries with her a vast knowledge in the e-commerce marketplace as well as extensive experience in the online payment processing industry.

Deb is exceptionally well organized with a track record that demonstrates creativity, tenacity, and initiative in achieving both personal and business goals. She is currently focused on providing multiple locations for the company.

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