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:
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
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?
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.
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?
@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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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...
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.
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?
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,
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
yes, it didn't work. The block is tied to the google merchant account. Nothing you change will revert the problem. I deleted the account and created a new one and products disappeared again after a few days. So something algorithmic likely triggers this. Once it's triggered there is no way to revert it. Honestly tired of paying for Google ads for sales that have neutral ROI at best. So yes Google go ahead and ban us, little to lose here anyway. Your ads are not profitable anyway. You can only profit if your customers are repeat customers. Glad to hear that the DOJ is suing Google for monopolistic behavior. Google is effectively pocketing the bulk of retail profits, crushes small businesses and the list goes on.
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