Friday, October 26, 2012

Google Shopping Policies

A highlighted thread in the Site Help forum reads:
On Oct 17, Google replaced Google Product Search with Google Shopping, and -- at the same time -- replaced free syndication of listings with all paid ads, called Google Product Listing Ads. We announced the change in this blog post.

Knowing how important referrals directly to listings are during the holiday season, Etsy made the decision to purchase ads on Google Shopping on behalf of sellers through the end of the year. Our goals were to maintain traffic from the Google marketplace through the holiday season, and to better understand ad performance when we evaluate whether we should use these ads in the future. We’ve been working closely with Google, and we’re excited to see how this progresses. Most of all, we are committed to understanding the value these ads provide to sellers.
An Etsy seller commented on the importance of following Google Shopping Policies in order to be included. The most common mistakes sellers make are in their titles and descriptions. Google's policies are as follows (read their policy site for further explanations, examples, and exceptions):

Google Shopping doesn't allow product listings with titles or descriptions that use excessive or gimmicky capitalization. These guidelines also apply to promotional messages.

Punctuations and Symbols
Google Shopping doesn't allow product listings that uses gimmicky or unnecessary punctuation or symbols in title or description, including promotional messages, like the following:
  • Exclamation mark in the product listing title
  • More than one exclamation mark in the product listing text
  • Repeated punctuation or symbols
  • Symbols, numbers, and letters that don't adhere to their true meaning
  • Bullet points
Google Shopping doesn't allow text that uses gimmicky repetition of words or phrases.

Google Shopping doesn't allow text that contains inappropriate spacing between words or punctuation, like the following:
  • Extra spaces that make the text difficult to read
  • Extra spaces between letters when used in a gimmicky fashion, like "G r e e n R u n n e r s"
  • Missing spaces between words or punctuation, like "TheEnd" or "GreenRunners"
Grammar and Spelling
Google Shopping doesn't allow product listings with incorrect grammar or misspellings in title or description. These guidelines also apply to promotional message. Examples include:
  • Wrong words
  • Wrong verb tense
  • Incorrect subject-verb agreement
  • Misspellings
We do allow certain exceptions, for example:
  • Common misspellings that the majority of users would understand (like "nite" instead of "night")
  • Abbreviations that the majority of users would understand (like "info" instead of "information")
  • Commonly used informal words or phrases (like "lovin it" instead of "loving it"
  • Misspellings used as puns (like "grate savings on kitchen utensils")
Relevance, Clarity, and Accuracy
Product listings must be relevant, clear, accurate, and descriptive of the products offered. Requirements:
  • Product listings must directly relate to the content on your landing page. When users see your product listing, they should be able to understand what kind of product they'll find on your site.
  • Product listings shouldn't include additional details about free shipping, billing information, promotions, stock information or your store's policies.
  • Product listings shouldn’t contain any promotional text, boilerplate text or simulate email inbox notifications.
  • Product listings can't use call-to-action phrases such as "click here" or "click +1" that could apply to any product listing, regardless of content. This includes phrases in the third line of your product listing that lead into your display URL, such as "See this site."

Review these policies and make any necessary changes to ensure your listings appear in searches in preparation for the holiday season!

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