Content API Feed rules for out of stock product from appearing in google shopping and free products

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Content API Feed rules for out of stock product from appearing in google shopping and free products

BertRoy
Tourist
4 0 1

Hello!

 

I'm reaching out because I created a feed rule in Google Merchant Content API (Shopify Google Channel app) to prevent out of stock products from appearing in Google Free Listings and Google Shopping Ads.  I will come back to the grave consequences (Google merchant and Ads account suspension) we faced when an out of stock product was fed to Google Merchant.

So, I created 2 feeds rules (screenshot link - click here)

  1. Feed rule created on attribute "excluded destination" "If Content API.availability equals 'out_of_stock'›Set to multiple: Free listings, Shopping ads": This feed rule excludes out of stocks product from showing in free listings and Google Shopping Ads.
  2. Feed on attribute "pause" "If Content API.availability equals 'out_of_stock'›Set to: all": this feed rule does a similar job as the first feed but it pauses out of stock products for 14 days from appearing in the Google Ads network, but not in the Google Free Product Listings.  This gives us the time to act to remove the product from the Google sales channel.

I have 2 questions:

  1. First, will my feed rules work to prevent any Google account suspension because an out of stock product is uploaded in the content API and Google sets Sell Quantity on Google at 1 while availability is out of stock (This is what happened)?  In other words, will these rules prevent products from appearing in Free Listings and Shopping Ads the way I created the rules (See red arrows in the screenshot link provided)
  2. Secondly, you will notice in each of the two feed rules, there is a supplemental feed rule (see green arrows) that automatically applied "If excluded destination has no value yet › Apply default rule: Take from: Supplemental eedAttributes +1 more".  Will this supplemental feed rule overtake the actual feed rules I created?  The exclude destination and pause attributes are not in this supplemental feed...

The reason I am asking for help is because we changed the status of a product by mistake from Draft to Active in Shopify.  The Google Channel was ticked so the Content API fed it to Google Merchant.  The problem is even though the product was clearly out of stock, Google set the Sell Quantity on Google to 1 (should have been 0), and the product was flagged for Misrepresentation in Google Merchant which led to an immediate account suspension in both Google Merchant and Google Ads.  I removed the product from the feed and the Google Merchant account suspension appeal reinstated the account within minutes.  It's not the case in Google Ads for which a formal appeal was made and we are awaiting the verdict to this day...  This happened 2 days ago...

 

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for your help!

 

Bert

Accepted Solution (1)
EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
3169 232 759

This is an accepted solution.

Promoting products that are not stocked refers to you never or having no intention of stocking products. That is my interpretation of the policy.

 

Out of stock products itself, if you have stocked them, but are temporarily not available is not an issue.

 

You can even use the logic of, why Google allows availability status of out of stock, pre order and backorder.

 

In all 3 situations, they are out of stock. But does not mean you will not stock them. If they suspend you as soon as a product goes out of stock, that would mean everyone gets an instant suspension. And that is not the case. 

 

However in your case for that specific product, yes its possible you got suspended for it. The problem is very hard to identify, considering Google is always vague about the exact reasons.

Get in touch with Emmanuel: a Google Shopping Specialist, Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a a Google Product Expert Education 2021 & Tailwind 2023 Award winner.
Need Google Merchant Center or Google Shopping support?.

View solution in original post

Replies 6 (6)

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
3169 232 759

1) It's very rare that you get suspended for out of stock products, generally with a healthy account (assuming you have no other major issues) out of stock products are left as out of stock and not removed.

 

Suspensions just based on out of stock products will not occur.

 

2) Feed rules will overwrite spreadsheet data. (assuming the feed rule is applicable)

 

Google does not set sell quantity levels, but the app you are using does. So you might be using the Google Channel which is an app that creates data feed info.

Sell Quantity is not used by Google for shopping ads. It's actually for Buy on Google. More info: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/9451716?hl=en

 

A product does not get flagged for misrepresentation, misrepresentation is an account level issue, not product level.

 

Yes, a product can be a cause for suspension.

 

For Google Ads, I recommend you contact Google Ads support and kindly ask for examples of reasons for policy violation. If non exist, you should get approved.

 

Get in touch with Emmanuel: a Google Shopping Specialist, Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a a Google Product Expert Education 2021 & Tailwind 2023 Award winner.
Need Google Merchant Center or Google Shopping support?.
BertRoy
Tourist
4 0 1

Thank you so much!  I already submitted an appeal and from their email, the only reason for the Google Ads suspension was the GMC account suspension and they used the word "specifically"!  So, I will call them!

As far as misrepresentation, the issue was flagged and for the specific product being out of stock.  I found this link: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6150127?hl=en

The important part is on the link is: "Examples: Promoting products that are not stocked, promoting a deal that is no longer active, call-to-action in promotion that isn't easily achievable from the landing page
See the feed specification attributes on availability and price for specific guidelines to comply with this policy"

In  my situation, the product was fed for the first time with availability attribute out of stock, and the Content API feed flags all new product being imported for Free Listings and Shopping ads...

Thanks again, I really appreciate you taking the time, I did not know we could call them during the appeal process!

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
3169 232 759

This is an accepted solution.

Promoting products that are not stocked refers to you never or having no intention of stocking products. That is my interpretation of the policy.

 

Out of stock products itself, if you have stocked them, but are temporarily not available is not an issue.

 

You can even use the logic of, why Google allows availability status of out of stock, pre order and backorder.

 

In all 3 situations, they are out of stock. But does not mean you will not stock them. If they suspend you as soon as a product goes out of stock, that would mean everyone gets an instant suspension. And that is not the case. 

 

However in your case for that specific product, yes its possible you got suspended for it. The problem is very hard to identify, considering Google is always vague about the exact reasons.

Get in touch with Emmanuel: a Google Shopping Specialist, Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a a Google Product Expert Education 2021 & Tailwind 2023 Award winner.
Need Google Merchant Center or Google Shopping support?.
BertRoy
Tourist
4 0 1

I fully agree with what you tell me about out of stock items!  We had other out of stock items, but they became out of stock after they were already in GMC...  In this case, what triggered the problem seems to be that the product in question was a draft and it was set to active while Google Sales Channel option was selected in Shopify, so it fed the out of stock product right of the bat!

In case an employee makes this mistakes again (I hope not), the feed rules will be in place!

I just received an email from GMC support as I had begged them to call me when I submitted the appeal and they are asking for the best time to talk...

I will keep you posted after my conversation with them!

You rock, thanks a thousand time!!!

BertRoy
Tourist
4 0 1

Emmanuel!

I just go off the phone with GMC support, and there are only good news!  They confirmed the GMC account suspension was removed very rapidly after I deleted the problematic product, and they also confirmed that because the Google Ads account suspension was caused by the linked GMC account, it will also be lifted.  The Google Ads account suspension is not lifted yet because there is a delay between the two entities!

Again, I really appreciate your involvement with my case, thank you!!!

Cheers!

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
3169 232 759

pleasure

Get in touch with Emmanuel: a Google Shopping Specialist, Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a a Google Product Expert Education 2021 & Tailwind 2023 Award winner.
Need Google Merchant Center or Google Shopping support?.