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3 Google Merchant Center changes you may have missed

Earlier this quarter, Google announced a series of changes coming to Merchant center that retailers should be aware of. Here’s a recap.

Pause attribute. In April, Google announced a ‘pause’ attribute to temporarily halt ads. This lets merchants the ability to temporarily pause shopping ads without needing to use the “out_of_stock” attribute or “availability” attribute.

This was a needed change because many times a retailer isn’t looking to halt ads completely, or that a product will be back available for purchase in the near term. Starting in 2023, using the “availability” attribute incorrectly may result in your ads being disapproved.

Availability dates for backorder and preorder products. Later this month, all items with the “backorder” or “preorder” attribute will require an “availability_date” on when the item will be back in stock. This date can be up to a year in the future and if further out it could have products disapproved.

Unsupported Shopping content. Google also announced that, effective this month, it has updated its Unsupported Shopping content policy to include a change to how motor-powered bicycles are listed:

“Electric bikes of a speed of 25 km/h or 15.5 mph or less are still allowed. However, product listings for these electric bikes are now required to explicitly state the bicycle’s speed on the landing page and either the product title or description. If the speed isn’t stated, the products are in violation of our policy and will be disapproved.”

Why we care. While these changes are all fairly small, the failure to adhere to the new rules could potentially stop products from showing. The ability to quickly pause product ads has been a nice touch that bypasses the previously needed workarounds.

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About The Author

Greg Finn is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that provides digital marketing and web development. He is a co-host of Marketing O’Clock and has been in the digital marketing industry for nearly 20 years. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

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