FROM CACHE - en_header

BUG REPORT: identifier_exists needs to be set to FALSE for products without GTIN, MPN, BRAND

Solved
c_zagarskas
Excursionist
13 1 15

Documentation of bug, errors and possible solution are covered in this short 6m video.

https://www.screencast.com/t/fHC13pVy

Summary of problem:

We have a custom product that does not require the use of GTIN, MPN, BRAND. Based on the existing settings in Shopify it is not possible to send the product data from Shopify to Google Merchant Center in any way that allows for an approval. This creates suspensions that are difficult to understand and correct.

  • Error list:
    • Google Merchant Center: Limited performance due to missing identifiers: GTIN [gtin], MPN [mpn], brand [brand]
    • Google Merchant Center: Suspended account for policy violation
    • Google Merchant Center: Invalid text value [brand]
    • Google Merchant Center: Invalid text value [mpn]
    • Google Merchant Center: Invalid text value [gtin]
    • Shopify: Google Channel -> There is an issue with one or more of your accounts
    • Shopify: Google Channel -> Product Not approved
    • Shopify: Google Channel -> Google has suspended your Merchant Center account. Visit settings for info.

Expected Behavior:

When we do not enter any value for  GTIN [gtin], MPN [mpn], brand [brand] the SHOPIFY XML FEED via the API should send the following values:

 

 

<g:mpn></g:mpn>
<g:gtin></g:gtin>
<g:brand></g:brand>
<g:identifier_exists>no</g:identifier_exists>

 

 

SPEC:

  1. MPN https://support.google.com/manufacturers/answer/7421352#zippy=%2Cproducts-with-no-mpn
  2. GTIN https://support.google.com/manufacturers/answer/7494888 
  3. BRAND https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6324351 
  4. identifier_exists https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6324478?hl=en 

Important links for context:

 

Note: The suggestion given in this article [below] is not correct. "setting GTIN, MPN, BRAND to NO" results in an invalid value

https://support.google.com/google-ads/thread/130258836/why-are-my-shopify-products-now-suddenly-disa...

 

Requested solutions:

  1. CRITIAL: Tell us what rules should be in place in Google Merchant Center to correct this issue (see image below for the rules we are using)
  2. IMPORTANT: Patch the Shopify GMC XML API to send the correct values according to Google SPEC
  3. IMPORTANT: Add the following TEXT FIELD into the Shopify Google Channel popup: identifier_exists 

Enhancement ideas and suggestions:

  1. AWESOME:
    Add overrides for ALL Google Product Data into the Shopify Google Channel popup
    Example: [html input field] + [checkbox] "override value" for each of these:
    https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/7052112
  2. HELPFUL:
    Add an info box to "This is a custom product" checkbox that shows in Shopify Google Channel popup
    disambiguate what that box is and does (provide documentation)

 

Thank you for your consideration in this matter

 

Images for context

 

GMC errorsGMC errors

Shopify errorShopify error

Shopify Google Sales channel popupShopify Google Sales channel popup

GMC errorsGMC errors

GMC raw feed as sent by Shopify APIGMC raw feed as sent by Shopify API

GMC errorsGMC errors

GMC attempt at custom patchesGMC attempt at custom patches

 

Accepted Solution (1)

Accepted Solutions
c_zagarskas
Excursionist
13 1 15

This is an accepted solution.

What we had to do was go through a very difficult process of talking to Google Support.

 

Here is how that went down:

https://www.screencast.com/t/fHC13pVy

  • We got the brush off from both Shopify and Google
  • None of the "online solutions" posted anywhere actually worked
  • We could not wait any longer, we had already missed Black Friday (mind you we started in October)
  • We started SEM advertising (about $300 a day across FB and Google)
  • We could not use Google Shopping Ads...
  • So we manually created all campaigns via traditional SEM setups (search, display, ect...)
  • Once we had spent $3500 in Google Ads (after 10 days) Google took us "seriously" enough* to assign a Google Ads Rep 
  • Once we had a Google ADS rep and money was involved it still took us another 35 days to resolve the issue

Resolution: 

NO IDEA.

Google told us it was Shopify's fault, Shopify said it was Google...

Google said maybe its a bug, had us delete things, reconnect them, wait 7 days after EVERY ticket...

chaos and confusion

 

After ALL that, we reconnected the store WITH a Google Merchant Center DEV team on a conference call

the error occurred again, they put is on hold, 5min later it "magically worked" as if there was never a problem. They would not tell us what was wrong and had the audacity to say "there is no problem"

 

Things to keep in mind:

  1. Once you have 10 days of Google Ads SEM and have paid Google more than $3000 in Ads then Google will "assign a Google Ads rep" to your account - only way to get "real" support from Google
  2. Google Merchant Center DEV team is not the same as "Google Support" what we had to go through to talk to them was difficult and stressful
  3. Shopify NGAF across the board.
  4. Shopify only did "pretend support" with tickets and "im sorry you have trouble. goodby"
  5. Shopify gave us the brush off - support reps just told us to do the same things then closed the tickets or passed them to someone new who said the same things or made us explain ourselves over and over
  6. Along the way I have made it crystal CLEAR what the problem is
    Identifier EXISTS needs to be set to FALSE/NO
    Shopify needs to create a way for us to do this

 

The ultimate solution is simple and elegant:

EVERY VALUE IN THE PRODUCT FEED should be editable within Shopify.

Thats it. That's all that needs to be done. Just a few days of real coding by the dev team. Editable fields for every feed attribute value on a per product basis. 

View solution in original post

Replies 14 (14)
RiazS25
Tourist
6 0 2

Hi. 

I Am based in South Africa and I am having the very same issue. My products went into expiration in 1 day and disappeared as if Google cannot see them at all let alone deny their approval..

I have managed to get my products back on to Google merchant center but it was long tedious process that I would not like to repeat. 

There has to be some support from Shopify regarding this matter.

tessa-axis
New Member
1 0 0

This is an issue affecting our store. Shopify, please fix this! 

pureBAKLAVA
New Member
1 0 0

This is affecting us and our store for pureBAKLAVA as well. Shopify, please fix this.  Thank you !!

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1847 126 444

You did not read my solution correctly.

The correct way to resolve this issue is:

In Google Merchant Center feed rules, choose the option clear in the modification options for brand, mpn and gtin. I did not say, set the value to no.

The only value you want to set no to, is identifier_exists

Additionally, after you implement the rules. You need to wait till Shopify pushes all products again. Or alternatively force an update by adding a supplement feed, with only the IDs. This will then reprocess all content API data and feed rules.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
c_zagarskas
Excursionist
13 1 15

Emmanuel

 

Thank you for your reply. Alas, maybe the "rules have changed" - take a look at the error we get when we set those items to "clear"

Can you send a screenshot of the setting you are using in Google Merchant Center?

We have attempted the following combinations:

  • brand = empty in shopify (no rule in GMC)
    mpn = empty in shopify (no rule in GMC)
    gtin = empty in shopify (no rule in GMC)
    identifier_exists = no (using rule in GMC)
    request review, waited 3 days - returned error

  • brand = '' [empty] (using rule in GMC)
    mpn = '' [empty] (using rule in GMC)
    gtin = '' [empty] (using rule in GMC)
    identifier_exists = no
    request review, waited 3 days - returned error

For example: consider this warning

c_zagarskas_0-1636808933139.png

 

 

Note: we have been dealing with this since Oct 20th... 

c_zagarskas_1-1636808987461.png

 

Here are the settings we are using now -

im thinking about removing brand, gtin and mpn from the GMC-> feed-> rules list (but we tried that on attempt #2 already)

 

c_zagarskas_3-1636809162870.png

 

 

 

 

c_zagarskas
Excursionist
13 1 15

Here is the full list of attempts:

in all cases: "this is a custom product" is checked

Shopify attempts

  1. Default (no mods in GMC, raw data from Shopify) - Oct 20 error
  2. Enter empty spaces in Shopify for GTIN, brand and MPN (no mods in GMC) - Oct 24 error
  3. try "no" for just MPN, GTIN values in shopify, leave brand empty (no mods in GMC) - Oct 28 error

none of those work 

GMC attempts - use default Shopify setup

  1. Try "no" for ALL values in GMC feed rules - Oct 31 error
  2. Set only identifier_exists to "no" - without any other rules in GMC - Nov 4th error
  3. Set only identifier_exists to "false" - without any other rules in GMC - Nov 8th error
  4. Set only identifier_exists to "no" AND set GTIN, brand and MPN to '' [blank] - Nov 11th error

This brings us to today, Nov 13th - where we will be trying #2 again based on your suggestion for the sake of posterity.

c_zagarskas_2-1636809815885.png

Is this rule set correct based on your suggestion?

Shopify values for GTIN, MPN and BRAND are empty (no spaces, just empty field) - saved product.

GMC - all rules removed, added 1 rule only: Set identifier_exists to "no"

We will wait 3 days... wish us luck! lol

 

 

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1847 126 444

Make sure Shopify pushes all data again, for the change to apply. Simply adding the rule is not enough.

You can also force a reprocessing following this guide: https://feedarmy.com/kb/fix-products-expiring-created-via-website-crawler-in-google-merchant-center/

It's for a different issue, but its the same solution.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
c_zagarskas
Excursionist
13 1 15

Nice.

thanks!

 

will give that a go...

but... I am kind of horrified that this is the overly elaborate process in place here from Shopify to "push a feed". I feel like that should be a button... because from a dev standpoint I have no problem with this, but I do not see how the "primary demographic" Shopify targets would ever accomplish this without releasing a lot of cortisol into their body in the form of stress...

c_zagarskas
Excursionist
13 1 15

c_zagarskas_0-1637161860411.png

As per our previous topic chain here. can you give us feedback on this question about the rule we have set up? 

A Boolean would be great: "yes, thats correct" or "no, you messed it up, try again with this setting"

 

goodmorninggv
Shopify Partner
4 0 0

Hey guys,

 

I was going through the solutions you have laid out here. New to linking our Shopify shop to GMC and like the rest, our items are disapproved.

I tried doing @EmmanuelFlossie instructions as it was the easiest to understand (brand, dtin, mpn > clear// identifier exists> no), just waiting on the results (How long will that take, btw?).

 

Did you get results yet @c_zagarskas ? And did it work?

 

Thanks for all your help!

 

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1847 126 444

You can speed up the process by following this guide: https://feedarmy.com/kb/how-to-reprocess-content-api-in-google-merchant-center/

 

It will than be updated in half an hour, assuming the feed rules are correct.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
goodmorninggv
Shopify Partner
4 0 0

Thanks, @EmmanuelFlossie .

I hope to get positive results! I followed the steps already and will just check on it later/ tomorrow.

Cheers!

c_zagarskas
Excursionist
13 1 15

This is an accepted solution.

What we had to do was go through a very difficult process of talking to Google Support.

 

Here is how that went down:

https://www.screencast.com/t/fHC13pVy

  • We got the brush off from both Shopify and Google
  • None of the "online solutions" posted anywhere actually worked
  • We could not wait any longer, we had already missed Black Friday (mind you we started in October)
  • We started SEM advertising (about $300 a day across FB and Google)
  • We could not use Google Shopping Ads...
  • So we manually created all campaigns via traditional SEM setups (search, display, ect...)
  • Once we had spent $3500 in Google Ads (after 10 days) Google took us "seriously" enough* to assign a Google Ads Rep 
  • Once we had a Google ADS rep and money was involved it still took us another 35 days to resolve the issue

Resolution: 

NO IDEA.

Google told us it was Shopify's fault, Shopify said it was Google...

Google said maybe its a bug, had us delete things, reconnect them, wait 7 days after EVERY ticket...

chaos and confusion

 

After ALL that, we reconnected the store WITH a Google Merchant Center DEV team on a conference call

the error occurred again, they put is on hold, 5min later it "magically worked" as if there was never a problem. They would not tell us what was wrong and had the audacity to say "there is no problem"

 

Things to keep in mind:

  1. Once you have 10 days of Google Ads SEM and have paid Google more than $3000 in Ads then Google will "assign a Google Ads rep" to your account - only way to get "real" support from Google
  2. Google Merchant Center DEV team is not the same as "Google Support" what we had to go through to talk to them was difficult and stressful
  3. Shopify NGAF across the board.
  4. Shopify only did "pretend support" with tickets and "im sorry you have trouble. goodby"
  5. Shopify gave us the brush off - support reps just told us to do the same things then closed the tickets or passed them to someone new who said the same things or made us explain ourselves over and over
  6. Along the way I have made it crystal CLEAR what the problem is
    Identifier EXISTS needs to be set to FALSE/NO
    Shopify needs to create a way for us to do this

 

The ultimate solution is simple and elegant:

EVERY VALUE IN THE PRODUCT FEED should be editable within Shopify.

Thats it. That's all that needs to be done. Just a few days of real coding by the dev team. Editable fields for every feed attribute value on a per product basis. 

roundabout
Shopify Partner
18 0 3

this is ridiculous how shopify is not recognizing an doing something against this. 

Thanks to you for your @c_zagarskas work! 

 

Tbh i still do not understand how i am supposed to solve this issue.