Checklist Suspended Google Merchant Center Account Fix & Resolve

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1228 65 288

A comprehensive checklist for merchants that are suspended from Google Merchant Center

Business Details VS Payment Details
Ensure your business details match the payment details on all platforms. Especially all Google platforms.

One Account
Only have one Google Ads and One Google Merchant Center account. Creating multiple accounts when suspended is considered circumventing policy violations.

One Website
Only have one website linked to your business. Only in certain situations can you have multiple websites, in general, merchants that are suspended have multiple websites for no valid reason other than to gain an unfair advantage.

Existing Suspensions
If you already have existing suspensions on other accounts, you must first resolve these issues before resolving your additional accounts’ problems.

Track Record of Order Fulfillment
Make sure you generate reviews from orders placed on your website. Ensure all reviews are real, and you have a mix of positive and negative reviews.

Reviews
If you get reviews that are not verified from a purchase, remove the review.

Phone Number
Make sure your phone number is answered during business hours listed on the website and Google My Business.

Google Maps
Your business address must easily be found on Google Maps. And connected to Google My Business, BBB, Facebook if eligible.

Accessibility
Your business premise must have the ability to accept packages and legal documents. And have someone at the premises during business hours listed on the website and Google My Business.

Verify
Track all availability, pricing, applicable taxes and shipping policies are accurate and listed on the website.

Selling Products
Validate and or confirm you have the appropriate reseller license and certificates from your distributor.

Availability
Verify your product status, is in stock or out of stock, and that this is verified with actual stocked goods—both on your website and in your data feed. Also, avoid frequent availability changes during one day. Google requires stable availability information.
When ordering products, make sure no-one can purchase more than stocked. For example, do not allow customers to order 1000 products when you only have 20 in stock.

Payment Logos
Add the payment methods used in plain text on your product landing page just above or below the add-to-cart button. Or with logos, have the plain text under the logos.

Pricing
As with the availability status, make sure you have accurate product pricing and are up to date in the data feed, and that Google has collected this info.
Only list 1 product price, if you have multiple products, consider submitting different landing pages for each product.

Don’t Sell Products You Can’t Deliver
Don’t sell products you can not deliver to the customer. And don’t sell products you can not deliver within 1.5 weeks.

Content
Make sure to not copy-paste the same images and text from the manufacturer and or other resellers. At the moment it seems identical to any other reseller. You will increase the quality of your ranking by taking your own images and writing quality content.
Copying content from others will also lower your trust score.
Google may see you as low quality due to not adding additional or different content. The reason behind this is that Google wants to provide users with good listings and user experience, if you are not different from any other merchant, there is no benefit.
BTW: just as a side note, this is also for organic listings. You can rank better by having your own content.

PopUps
Generally, PopUps are not allowed. When for example, a pop-up or banner blocks or covers important content and or information for your customers. Instead have a small icon in the bottom corners that show / hide the newsletter subscription.
Reference: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/4752265?hl=en

Discounts
Don’t have side wide discounts when you have never sold the item at its original price. Listing discounts when they are not real is considered misleading.

Misleading Content
Do not mislead, make false claims or statements. Such as:
If you are selling products related to healthcare, medicine or supplements, remove any claims or statements not approved by the target country government body.
If you a reseller and not an official partner, do not show images, or quotes that you are.
Don’t suggest you have certificates when you don’t

Contact Page
Make sure to have a contact page with the below listed items and linked in the footer of all pages.
Physical business address (Virtual Offices or PO Boxes or Distribution centers are generally not allowed)
Telephone number
Email address (same domain as website)
Contact form
Contact Hours (even for online businesses)
Also add the physical business address, telephone number and email address in the footer of all pages. And if possible also your business registration number.

Make sure to also add your exact same business address in Google Merchant Center > Wrench > Business Information > About Your Business
Do not add FAQ’s to the contact page, separate this on a FAQ dedicated page.

Footer Links
Make sure the below links are visible and accessible to anyone on a desktop, tablet or smartphone.

  • refund page
  • returns page
  • delivery / shipping page
  • payment policy
  • privacy policy
  • terms and conditions
  • disclaimer

Payment Methods
Clearly show with image icons in the footer of the page which payment methods you accept on all pages. Also, add the same info written in the terms and conditions page.

Delivery / Shipping Page
Add a delivery page with your handling time, estimated delivery time, pricing and warehouse location. Make sure to write the information clearly, and can be easily read.
Link this page in the footer of all pages.

Terms and Conditions Page
This is a rather technical page and should be written by professionals / lawyer. Some eCommerce platforms such as Shopify have a template available for you to use.
Link this page in the footer of all pages.

Privacy Policy Page
This as with the terms and conditions page is a technical page and should be written by professionals / lawyer.
Link this page in the footer of all pages.

Disclaimer
A disclaimer is used primarily to notify or warn users of the limit or the extent to a website’s liability to a user if there is a legal action.
For example, if you have a disclaimer that states you are not liable for any issues a user may have when they click on a third-party link on your site and a user does end up having an issue, that disclaimer can protect you.
Disclaimers are a key way a website can prevent potential future liability from the use of their site or errors and omissions on the site. Any website or app should have disclaimers for protection, but they are highly recommended for ecommerce sites.
Including these statements can protect an ecommerce store from any issues in shipping, returns, refunds, third party partners, or affiliates. Ecommerce stores are unique because people often rely on these websites to not have issues. However, sometimes things do happen and disclaimers act as safeguards against this.
People sometimes confuse disclaimers with other agreements on a website, such as a Terms of Use or a Privacy Policy. While including all of these is essential to protect your site, disclaimers do offer something different.

Returns Page
Do not merge the return info into the refund policy page. I recommend creating a separate page just for the return policy. I received an email from Google suggesting this to be best practice.
The return policy should be based on the delivery day. Not purchase day. The reason is that an item could theoretically be in transit beyond the refund policy days, meaning a consumer can never return the goods. In this case, it is considered dishonest. So make sure it is based on the delivery date.
Under what circumstances you offer a return. For each of the listed items below, you need to explain what happens for each scenario.

  • To cancel an order
  • Damaged on arrival
  • Faulty manufacturing or broken after use (What is your warranty)
  • They changed their mind
  • For an exchange
  • Or its a wrong product


Explain the initial steps a user must take to initiate a return, such as do they need to call you, do they email you or do they need to submit a contact form?
Also explain what documents they need to show and if they need to take a picture of the product.
Also explain the complete steps to initiate a return, such as an address, email process, what info they need to give you, etc.
Do not mention things you don’t sell. For example you mention VHS or flowrs, you don’t sell this? This policy page seems to be a copy paste from somewhere else. You need to write a professional policy page. To do this, contact a lawyer or policy professional.
In short, provide as much information a client needs to understand the full process of a return.

Refund Page
Separate the return policy info from the refund policy. And have this linked in the footer of all pages.
Under what circumstances you offer a return. For each of the listed items below, you need to explain what happens for each scenario.

  • If the products never arrived
  • Damaged on arrival
  • Faulty manufacturing or broken after use (What is your warranty)
  • They changed their mind
  • Or its a wrong product


Explain when your user can expect a refund.
The refund policy should be based on the delivery day. Not purchase day. The reason is that an item could theoretically be in transit beyond the refund policy days, meaning a consumer can never return the goods. In this case, it is considered dishonest. So make sure it is based on the delivery date.
Explain the initial steps a user must take to initiate a refund, such as do they need to call you, do they email you or do they need to submit a contact form?
Also explain what documents they need to show and if they need to take a picture of the product.
Explain the complete steps to initiate a refund, such as an address, email process, what info they need to give you, etc. It only explains this for exchange, not for refunds.
In short, provide as much information a client needs to understand the full process of a refund.

Remove User Based Modifications
Remove all IP, browser, user modifications. Such as automated currency conversions or changing the website content or design. All users must see the same exact info, regardless of where they are located.

Checkout
Allow for guest checkout and do not force customers to accept terms and conditions.
The checkout requires the following policies linked from the footer of the page.

  • Privacy Policy Page
  • Return and Refund
  • Delivery / Shipping Policy Page


Read All Policies
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6363310
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/7052112
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/4752265
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6149970
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/9158778
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/4752265
https://support.google.com/adspolicy/answer/6015406#:~:text=Sensitive%20events
https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/9811449
https://support.google.com/adspolicy/answer/6020954

Complete All Google Merchant Center Settings
Complete all the settings found in the top right corner > gear icon >

Verify Phone Number
You also need to verify your business phone number.
You can verify your phone number by going to GMC > Gear Icon > Business Information > About your business

Advertise Only Products Google Allows
Make sure you sell what Google allows: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6149970

Submit Accurate Product Identifiers
When submitting product identifiers the following rule applies.
If a manufacturer has assigned a bar code, then submit brand, mpn (if available), GTIN and set identifier exists to yes.
If the manufacturer has not assigned a bar code, then remove the values brand, mpn, gtin and set identifier exists to no.
References:
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6324351
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6324461
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6324482
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6324478

Resolve Disapproved Products
Ensure all products don’t have any errors or warnings. To check go to Google Merchant Center > Products > Diagnostics

Remove Disapproved Products
If you had disapproved products before receiving the suspension and you are not able to resolve the individual product disapproval, then remove the products from the feed.

Accurate Shipping & Tax Settings
Ensure in Google Merchant Center you have accurate shipping and tax settings. You can test the shipping and tax prices on individual products by going to Products > All Products > click on your product > scroll to the center of the page.
This needs to be accurate so double check your product information page.

Structured Data
Ensure that the SKU in the structured data matches the product id in the data feed submitted to Google Merchant Center.
To check the id in feed, go to Google Merchant Center > Products > All Products > and view the Item ID column. These values need to match with the SKU in the structured data. 
Double check you have no errors here: https://search.google.com/test/rich-results

Promotions
Offering a promotion or discount that does not exist.

Not Adding Accurate Product Information
Make sure you add accurate product information and that you follow Google’s editorial guidelines.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert (Only 9 Google Ads Diamond Experts in the world!), also I'm a Google Premier Partner
. Need Premium Data Feed Management Support? Get in touch.
Replies 19 (19)
Sara32
Shopify Partner
46 4 15

Excellent resourse @EmmanuelFlossie - thanks for sharing, so many people will find this helpful.

Specialising in Google Shopping for Shopify stores.
EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1228 65 288

Pleasure @Sara32 

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert (Only 9 Google Ads Diamond Experts in the world!), also I'm a Google Premier Partner
. Need Premium Data Feed Management Support? Get in touch.
JNR-Studio
New Member
1 0 0

Excellent resource thank you,

Our account is suspended due to misrepresentation and we have already change a big chunk of the site but still failed at an appeal. There is more on this list that we will work through, thank you. Do you offer personal services that could assist? Our site is https://jnr-studio.co.uk

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1228 65 288

Hello @JNR-Studio Yes I do. You can contact me by going to my website on the left of this post. just underneath my name. And navigate to the contact page. Thank you in advance.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert (Only 9 Google Ads Diamond Experts in the world!), also I'm a Google Premier Partner
. Need Premium Data Feed Management Support? Get in touch.
yambudeals
New Member
1 0 0

Ok so if I am understanding this correctly, the aliexpress reviews I have been paying for is one of the reasons why my account was suspended and that some policies needed to be separated that may get my merchant store reactivated. It is frustrating, to say the least, that i have been paying for alireviews for months, thinking that people would purchase from a site that has reviews. Why is shopify allowing this crap being sold on their platform? Also, can you check my website?

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1228 65 288

I totally agree with your thinking.

Yes having reviews does increase the reputable trust of your business. However not if they are fake. IE not collected from sales made on your website.

I think the issue is that technically there is no issue for Shopify to import reviews from anywhere, but of course, Google does not like this as it is not real.

For example you are not allowed to collect reviews by providing an incentive.

I recommend that you share your opinion directly with Shopify so they can look into the legality of the app and maybe update their policies and improve their platform.

If you like my assistance, please click on my website URL under my name and contact me. I am happy to look into your issues.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert (Only 9 Google Ads Diamond Experts in the world!), also I'm a Google Premier Partner
. Need Premium Data Feed Management Support? Get in touch.
elexmedia
New Member
2 0 0

Hello Emmanuel,

If I already closed my old-suspended MC account (targeting US), and my brother open a new MC account for me but targeting different country with different website.

Will the new MC account (that target different country & have different website) get suspended because of circumventing?

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1228 65 288

That is possible yes, you have to remember that Google is very smart and can easily cross reference accounts. However if you are lucky you might get away with it.

 

But I would not do this as a standard solution as the consequences are higher than the rewards.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert (Only 9 Google Ads Diamond Experts in the world!), also I'm a Google Premier Partner
. Need Premium Data Feed Management Support? Get in touch.
TheCoolCat
Tourist
13 0 0

Regarding reviews - how can a new shop get accepted if it's too new to have reviews?
If I have real reviews from a market place where sold these items, could I use them or is it not allowed?

Why do websites need business hours on the landing page? It's a website. 

Thanks!