All items suddenly gone from google shopping free listings

ctwork3120
Excursionist
24 0 24

As of a few days ago, all my products have disappeared from google free shopping listings after having been there for a year. A few facts:

  • all items are approved except for the small portion (less than 10%) that are out of stock
  • Paid shopping ads still work
  • I have no warnings on my GMC account, no issues with diagnostics, everything is clean
  • no issues or warnings with google search console
  • I have not changed anything on my product feed
  • i am using simprosys app for feed management if that matters - they said they had no clue what’s happening

any idea? I used to have universal top 1-5 spots in all categories for my products and now they are gone. Any combo of “product + my brand name” yields nothing. No page 1, no page 10, no page 100. Totally gone. 

Please let me know if anyone has encountered this before and if I can do anything.  Thanks in advance 

Replies 91 (91)

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
2903 216 694

When you say disappeared, you are saying that the products for free listings are active?

 

If yes, have you checked the performance tab to see how you are performing? What do you see?

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?.
ctwork3120
Excursionist
24 0 24

Yes, product for free listings are active, but the Impressions just suddenly fall off a cliff as of a few days ago 

Screenshot 2023-03-27 at 10.19.50 PM.png

Screenshot 2023-03-27 at 10.23.24 PM.png

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
2903 216 694

I recommend rechecking everything, such as account settings in GMC.

Double check your data feed, what has changed.

 

If everything is correct, then most likely you either overlooked something, or there is an issue with Google. Which in this case you need to ask Google for help.

 

My guess is something changed.

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?.
ctwork3120
Excursionist
24 0 24

Thanks - is there some sort of change history function for GMC like you have in google ads? anything off the top of your head that could have been inadvertently changed that would set this off?

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
2903 216 694

@ctwork3120 No, there is no change history in GMC. Which is something I wanted for years. As I too, a professional in my field, sometimes struggle to spot changes. In the end I find everything, but that is only because I know what is correct and what is not.

 

The only way is to check the data feed that you currently have, and see if there is anything incorrect.

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?.
ctwork3120
Excursionist
24 0 24

Google says there is nothing they can do to investigate it as its generated by the algorithm and they said there's nothing that they can do. I have zero penalties on GMC or GSC. I have fixed even the most minor inconsequential errors on GMC that have never caused issues in the past. I don't know what other levers to pull, as all of my shopping ads run fine, and still error free. 

 

Is there anything else I can do here? 

flareAI
Shopify Partner
2405 223 534

Hello @ctwork3120,


Greetings! I am Gina from the flareAI app helping Shopify merchants get $6Million+ in sales from Google Search, on autopilot.


There are several reasons why your products may have disappeared from Google free shopping listings.


1. Google algorithm update
Google frequently updates its algorithm, which can impact how products are displayed in search results.

2. Violation of policies
If your products violate Google's policies, they may be removed from free shopping listings. Make sure your products comply with Google's Merchant Center guidelines.

3. Technical issues
There may be technical issues with your feed or website that are causing your products to be removed from free shopping listings. Check to make sure your product feed is properly formatted and that there are no errors or warnings.

4. Increased competition
It's possible that your competitors have improved their product listings or increased their ad spend, which could be impacting your visibility in free shopping listings.

5. Inventory issues
If a large number of your products are out of stock, this could impact your visibility in free shopping listings. Try to keep your inventory up-to-date to avoid this issue.


It's important to note that even if you haven't made any changes to your product feed, Google may still update its algorithm, which could impact how your products are displayed. I recommend reaching out to Google support for further assistance in troubleshooting this issue.


Gina

flareAI : Get Sales from Google Search, on Autopilot
$10+ billion in eCommerce on Google Search, every day. Find out how much you are missing
Tiparts
Tourist
3 0 1

I recently changed my shopify inventory setting to "continue selling when no stock",
im not sure this is the reason cause the inventory issue.
GMC shown error "missing inventory data", 'unverify inventory' error,

and their asisstance article are too technical for me.

 

I will try to untick "continue selling when no stock " and see hows it goes.
Recreate GMC account just a bit worry for me. Thats my last choice.
Thanks for sharing.

ShopDev231
Excursionist
12 0 20

We have experienced the same thing starting around Mar 20, 2023. Went from 10K free impression/day to about 50-100. Notably if you check reports, there are still high impressions for assisted listings (e..g image search) but nothing on the shopping tab. Not sure what's causing this, please update us if you make a change that you think resolved this

BillyGoatLawn
Visitor
2 0 4

Same thing happed to me as well, 20th of March all the products fell of the free listings. Paid ads are still working fine. Google support was of no assistance and no idea where to go next.

ShopDev231
Excursionist
12 0 20

Something extremely curious I noticed is that when we first started our Merchant account got suspended. That was Mar 21, 2022. Exactly one year later, our free listings are gone, coincidence? 

 

Question for the experts: could this be some kind of Google bug, and how could it be reported? The google support center is absolutely horrible in this regard and continue denying what going on, even to the extent of saying that everything looks "great" with no path for resolving this

BillyGoatLawn
Visitor
2 0 4

Yeah google support was below expectation. I tried on 5 occasions and every time they said it was the "algoritham" 

 

Nothing changed my end and all products were listed previously. As of the 20th not one of my 120 products lines is listed. If anyone comes up with a solutions would be keen to hear about it.

Quiltsitepro
Excursionist
15 0 4

Mine was kind of the opposite - our account was suspended, and our free listings were still working.  Then, our account got unsuspended on May 20, and after that we never had any free listing impressions ever again.

ZYJ
Visitor
2 0 7

Our free listings traffic was also dropped to 0 since March 20, and now I am not able to find any of my free listings. Maybe there was an algorithm update that affects most of us on the same day?

salmilk
Tourist
4 0 0

Same experience, We also lost free listings traffic from March 20th

tipt0110
Tourist
4 0 7

Same issue to my Free Listing impression drop significantly and they are no where to be seen on Google Shopping tab since early April. Google Support is below expectation, they even said that they don't support issue with free listing but Google Ads only.

pbnj89
Tourist
3 0 2

Hello,

This happened to me too, all impressions are at 0 from March 21st (AEST timezone) so March 20 US time zones. All shoppings ads are still live but all free listings are gone despite merchant center saying they're active. Has anyone had any luck in resolving this? what could it be? so very distressing for a small business.

ShopDev231
Excursionist
12 0 20

Just FYI nothing has changed for us. Impressions went from 10K/day to 50-100/day. In the last week they "increased" to 200/day still effectively shadowbanned. I can't find evidence that  google is targeting smaller stores... there are plenty of obscure small stores still showing on free listing. Very confusing and no way to get it solved.

 

stejed786
Tourist
7 0 7

I'm so happy I found this thread as the exact same thing has also happened to me. I've been pulling my hair out for weeks and tried everything!!

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
2903 216 694

I have talked to my community managers over at Google Ads, and they will not assist.

Basically, Google considers free listings as a complimentary feature, and so advertisers must use high quality data.

 

There is no reported bug with Google.

 

And that the free listings are subject to Google's honest result policy: https://www.google.com/about/honestresults/

 

It is recommended for merchants to follow https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/9826542?sjid=17964466587427775763-AP

https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/9199328?hl=en

 

Please do not shoot the messenger, I am just relaying what they told me. So for those who had performance, may now need to re-check everything and make sure they have connected everything, added everything and improved everything.

 

Please note, I am not starting a debate, and again, only referring the info Google has given me. I am a Google Ads Product Expert and I can ask and get help for specific issues. The only times they don't help, to ensure it is fair for everyone is related to free listings. It would be unfair if Google gives us product experts info regarding free listings that nobody else gets.

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?.
ShopDev231
Excursionist
12 0 20

Hi everyone,

 

I also tried going through many google channels and the response is the same sad response. From all we can gather, Google has made an algorithmic change around Mar 20 that effectively limited the visibility for many of us. 

 

Logically this is not an issue related to a change we made right before, otherwise we would not all have been affected on the same date. This is related to something about our store. Can I kindly ask you to respond to this thread with this information

 

1) how many items are in your feed? 18,000+

2) what is your website authority score? 15 (Semrush)

3) when did you start using Merchant center? May 2022

4) have you experience a significant change in organic ranking in 2023? Yes, traffic dropped by half from Dec to Mar due to toxic backlinks, then recovered after disavowing these backlinks in March

5) what % of products in your merchant account were affected by errors before Mar 20? <1% on average, problem fixed at the end of each day

6) what % of products in your merchant account were affected by warnings before Mar 20? 10-25%

 

Please feel free to add more information that you think may be related to generic trust factor that google may be using as it may help us troubleshoot this! We need to find a common denominator among us to resolve this!

ShopDev231
Excursionist
12 0 20

Additional follow up: in my core web vital page there is an interesting change which also happened on March 20, I am not sure why valid impressions started showing on March 20, but thought of sharing to see if others see the same thing...

 

Screenshot 2023-04-27 at 9.49.27 AM.png

Kargad
Tourist
4 0 4

I have the product snippet behaviour though don't have a clue what these snippets are..

 

pbnj89
Tourist
3 0 2

Hello, 

 

Here is some more info on my end. 

I have a very small store - only 5 products. All are very high quality with high quality imagery and content. I am not a reseller or dropshipper, I sell branded products in Australia only. I am a new store and do not have much traffic at all, not becuase its low quality but becuase I don't have much time and money to spend of marketing. I have attached screenshots of my impressions of my ads and free listings from Feb 1st to today. As you can see, ads are working as expected, however free listings had a first drop to 0 on March 11, then they came back for a few days only to drop again to 0 on March 21st (AEST) and never to return again. I had one product that was disapporved as it contained hemp, however after appealing has been approved and working fine in ads.Screenshot 2023-04-30 at 4.30.17 pm.pngScreenshot 2023-04-30 at 4.30.25 pm.png

gazzaboy
Visitor
1 0 1

I have experienced the same issue, but starting on 29 April. We no longer appear on any page on Google Shopping Free Listings and also received no impressions since then. We have not made any changes to our website. I also talked to Google Support and they were not super helpful. I did ask them whether or not we were banned and they said we were not.

 

Did anyone find a solution?

 

gazzaboy_0-1683018777184.png

 

ShopDev231
Excursionist
12 0 20

no solution here. Our impressions were 10K/day, dropped to 50/100 per day, have now "recovered" to 200-250/day so pretty much no change. I believe Google did some kind of re-set of trust factors and it will take months for anything to meaningfully change if ever... 😞 very disappointing. We have started investing in other channels to promote our products, 

Quiltsitepro
Excursionist
15 0 4

I asked Google support the same thing, they say I am not banned and yet every single one of my products has zero impressions and it never changes.  There is a severe lack of transparency from Google here - if they are enforcing a set of trust parameters that prevent free listings, they should expose your site's trust score.  Google needs to share a set of meaningful steps to raise your trust score, the frequency of algorithm reevaluations, and the results of each evaluation.  They certainly shouldn't show you "eligible" for free listings because that is just infuriating since we all know that is hogwash based on our results.  They are leaning way too far into the "hey this is a free service so you can't complain" since some of us absolutely refuse to spend more money on enhanced listings when the basic organic listings are ripped away with no explanation.  I would rather spend ad money with Meta, Bing or DuckDuckGo if Google can't fix this.

tipt0110
Tourist
4 0 7

My other concern is my competitors don't seem to have this issue. When searching for the same item on Free Listing page, their products are still showing but not mine.

ctwork3120
Excursionist
24 0 24
Same. We’ve had to go to paid shopping ads just to have visibility against
our competitors. No improvement on our end on anything and google continues
to be unresponsive.
SamArcher
Visitor
2 0 5

I experienced exactly the same thing. I bet my competitors, like yours, are spending way more $$ on Google Ads than we are. With deep suspicions, I think we all know what's going on...

stejed786
Tourist
7 0 7

I spend loads on google ads and still my free listings disappeared. There is nothing wrong with my feeds, no errors at all and my google ads are still on all day. My free listings just completely stopped though.

Kargad
Tourist
4 0 4

Looks like my competitor spends zero on ads but takes full page of free listings.. So probably it is not the reason.

Kargad
Tourist
4 0 4

I am very glad i found this discussion. Endless conversations with Google support were driving me crazy, same story: we can do nothing about it, everything looks fine, check if you follow our guidelines, helping you would be unfair towards the others... I can't understand why they choose to waste their resources on such "support". I am on E***d so started to think that maybe Google takes more data directly from websites but not Merchant Center and people on say Shopify have more Google-friendly html.. so once again, good to see you here) I think I will give Google a break for a while and concentrate on Meta instead.

SamArcher
Visitor
2 0 5

I have experienced exactly the same issue from around 25th April so a bit later than most of you on the forum. I reached out to Google and they also told me it's an algorithm issue and that there's nothing they can do.

awallace
Tourist
5 0 4

Did anyone figure this issue out by chance?  Or did it resolve itself?  Running into the same as of a few days ago and can't figure it out.

ShopDev231
Excursionist
12 0 20

Still shadowbanned here. Does anybody uses Simprosys for feed management and having this problem? I cannot think of a better product for feed management, but also wonder if we all have that in common...replies appreciated

 

awallace
Tourist
5 0 4

We use Simprosys for one store which is not having the issue.  The other store we use Content API directly ourselves.  We migrated from Sales & Orders though.  From what I can tell it doesn't seem dependent on the feed management tool.

ShopDev231
Excursionist
12 0 20

And do you have a separate merchant account for the store/account that's not impacted?

awallace
Tourist
5 0 4

Yes they are separate.

salmilk
Tourist
4 0 0

We are still looking for a solution

awallace
Tourist
5 0 4

Did anyone have any updates on this or is still happening for everyone affected?

ShopDev231
Excursionist
12 0 20

Still happening. Ironically Google is working on Merchant Next to make it easier to list products..... 

ctwork3120
Excursionist
24 0 24
Still happening…
awallace
Tourist
5 0 4

Just PM'ed you to check if you are seeing the same as me on something possibly related to the issue.

stejed786
Tourist
7 0 7

Still happening here... Google paid ads are still working fine and my page rank is still great, its just the free shopping ads that are not showing.! Its so frustrating.

pbnj89
Tourist
3 0 2

Still happening for me. Googe ads not affected, product showing as active for free listings in merchant centre however not actually appearing in any google shopping pages.

tipt0110
Tourist
4 0 7

still happening ... anyone shed some lights?

eCommrece5335
Visitor
2 0 0

This started happening to us on 6/15, any resolution from anyone?

eCommrece5335
Visitor
2 0 0

Did anyone try creating new feeds with new IDs?