If you use Google Shopping, you may have an email that says images are disapproved because of Google Shopping feed specifications
. Maybe you received Google’s “risk of disapproval” email, followed by the “preemptively disapproved” email. Or, if you’re a distributor or manufacturer, maybe you have an email from one of your major resellers, along with a spreadsheet of disapproved products due to image problems.
There are a lot of changes with Google Shopping images right now. This also impacts feeds for Google Express/Google Shopping Actions. But don’t worry, we broke down the most common reasons for disapproval for you, right here:
Google Shopping management for OEM parts in 2019
Google Shopping is a great way to sell OEM auto parts. It also has a nice conversion rate and ROI.
For many companies selling auto parts online, Google Shopping is their primary source of paid search revenue.It’s a big deal when auto parts drop out of a Google Merchant Center product feed.
It takes time to fix, and your Google Shopping campaigns do not show these products.
We’ve seen Google getting stricter on reinforcing Google Shopping feed specifications for aftermarket as well as OEM auto parts in recent months (as of Sept. 2018). When you get warnings from Google on your auto parts images, it may not make total sense. This article explains how Google’s image disapprovals work and how you can do a better job at Google Shopping management.
Google’s image requirements for Google Shopping are pretty clear. We’ve also seen a trend where images are at risk of disapproval if they don’t also follow Google Shopping best practices.
Google’s artificial intelligence scans your images
Google is getting better at identifying images that don’t pass quality guidelines. Images below Google’s quality standards are flagged. Sometimes, the algorithm is a bit too aggressive, too.
Disapproval due to missing image, a real Google Shopping management headache
Missing images are bad for Google Shopping management, and always have been. Google doesn’t like auto parts with missing images. If you got by with missing images so far, consider yourself lucky.
You’re under the microscope when you’re “caught.” Eliminate all auto parts with missing images AS SOON AS NOW!. Don’t wait for auto parts images to be disapproved.
Google Shopping doesn’t allow auto parts listings without an image, or with a generic “Coming Soon” “Missing Image” image.
Google Shopping disapproval due to “promotional text or logos”
Google’s shopping feed specifications do not allow text to appear in an auto parts image, No promotional text nor watermarks are allowed. Google’s image requirements state, “…all items on Google Shopping require an unobstructed image that does not contain additional promotional elements, nor watermarks”
Google Shopping disapproval when an auto part image has text
Some auto parts, shirts or hats have text or logos on them. Do they fall under the “no promotional text or logos” rule?
No. These product images are fine to use in Google Shopping. Occasionally, Google’s algorithm “reads” text in the image and interprets it as promotional text or a logo. Recently, it seems like these misinterpretations have increased.
If you were previously flagged for a disapproved image, you’re also subject to additional scrutiny like with missing product images mentioned above.
Here’s an example of an image for a Banks Monster-Ram. It could potentially be flagged as having promotional text. If this image would get disapproved, Google has a method of requesting a manual review of disapproved images. There’s a link to request a manual review in the email you receive from Google.
Google Shopping disapproval due to image background
Google’s description of low image quality says, “…we recommend your main image…use a solid white, gray, or light colored background.”
Don’t believe that it is merely a recommendation.
To be safe, consider this recommendation a requirement. The main image associated with your item has poor image quality.
Google evaluates images on best practices, as well as published requirements. We recommend all images use a solid white, gray or light-colored background. Images that don’t have a solid white, gray or light background risk disapproval.
Google Shopping disapproval due to watermarks
Google Shopping feed specifications don’t allow watermarked images. “Watermarked” means a logo appears on top of an image. This is preventing others from stealing the image from a website.
While watermarked images may not be flagged at first, once they do, Google sends a “risk of disapproval” email. You must submit new images
within about 30 days.
This example is a clear violation of Google Shopping feed specifications. It does not comply with Google Shopping specifications.
If you have concerns about someone stealing images from your Google Shopping feed, don’t worry. Unless someone is logged into your Google Merchant Center, they don’t have access to your full-size image and it can’t be stolen. They can only copy the tiny version displayed in Google Shopping.
Some eCommerce platforms let you display a watermark on top of an image programmatically. This lets you display a watermark on your own website but also keeps the image clean for Google Shopping. It also avoids the need to manually add watermarks and maintain two separate files of images.
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