Thanks to Channable’s health check phase, the majority of common errors were solved for Channable’s users before reaching the Merchant Center. But sometimes, even though you create perfect feeds, you can experience an error.
This is the second installment for the Channable and Google blogs, to help Channable users master the Google Merchant Center. In the first installment, you can read about what information is mandatory in order to create good quality feeds for Google Shopping. Next, the top 10 errors Channable users experience when connecting to Google Shopping will be uncovered.
The following list of errors are the most common errors experienced by Channable users when connecting to the Google Merchant Center. Common pitfalls like the wrong categories and incorrect availability format were easily solved with Channable’s smart categorization and rules. Channable supports two forms of connections to Google Shopping, a feed that you upload or an API that provides a direct connection. The API connection will communicate the errors immediately in Channable. Whereas any errors from a feed will only be found in the Google Merchant Center. Some errors require extra effort from the user but Channable can help identify and solve many issues experienced.
1. Invalid GTIN
If you experience this error with your Google Shopping connection, you can still send products with valid GTINs with Channable’s GTIN check rule. The tool can identify which GTINs are valid and then, with the same rule, you can choose to exclude any invalid GTINs. You could also choose to remove the invalid value and use the tip below to ensure your products are sent successfully. This way any items with invalid GTINs won’t be sent to Google and the import will be approved. Once you input the right GTINs and rerun your feed or API, the rule will make sure the valid GTIN items are sent.
2. Insufficient product identifiers: missing two out of the three attributes (GTIN, brand, and MPN)
Channable’s support team often gets queries concerning this error. Whilst the fields GTIN and MPN are labeled as recommended in the finalize stage in Channable, you will need one of them. There is a nifty way to circumvent the problem within Channable. It involves setting the field ‘product identifier’ as ‘false’. You’ll need to create a new field and then a simple rule to set the new field as FALSE, if GTIN or MPN is missing. Further instructions can be found in our help center article.
3. Item requires a GTIN
Don’t be flummoxed by this rule having seen the two above. This rule will appear if you have submitted a GTIN but it doesn’t seem to be in the correct format. Channable can help you quickly identify which items these are, with that handy GTIN check rule. From there you can take the necessary action to make sure your feed is error free.
4. Temporary item disapprovals due to incorrect prices
It’s incredibly important to send Google the same price that is displayed on your website and, unsurprisingly, Google is very scrupulous about it. Otherwise, customers would be confused if they arrive on your landing page only to find a different price. So it’s important not to create any Channable rules that’ll modify your price for a Google Shopping connection.
This error can happen if your website updates before your import feed into Channable has had a chance to rerun. So, it’s important you make sure that your scheduling isn’t too long after your website is refreshed. If your prices update frequently throughout a day, Channable can offer to run your feed more often at an additional cost. If you’d like extra runs, please just get in contact.
5. Missing images
Having a visual accompaniment with your product ads for Google Shopping is a no-brainer. Make sure you’re not sending any products without an image. Channable made a specific rule to help you identify and potentially exclude the item.
6. Images too small
To advertise on Google Shopping, you need to supply Google with an image link. Prepared as you may be, Google found that many of Channable’s users are sending images that are considered too small.
- Images need to be 100 x 100 pixels and no larger than 64 megapixels.
- Images cannot be larger than 16MB.
- The visual in the image needs to take up 75-90% of the image.
For more information about how to fix this issue, you can refer to Google’s Merchant Center page to find the right dimensions for the images.
7. Generic images
Google considers generic images as images that are logos or use the text “no image available”. Within Channable you can see a thumbnail of the images in the item overview section but this error is best avoided by altogether having images in your feed that correctly depict what you sell. Further advice can be found in Google’s help page about generic images.
8. Product pages cannot be accessed from a mobile device
This error will result in your ad for that product not being displayed on both desktop and mobile devices. Essentially, the link cannot be accessed by Google. Google states that you can find the reason why they couldn’t access your URL in the column ‘crawl error’. More information on fixing it can be found on Google’s Merchant Center help page.
9. Product pages cannot be accessed (desktop)
Similarly to above, the link to your product cannot be located by Google and so they’ll disable the ad for that product. Common errors for inaccessible URL pages include ‘Page not found (404)’, ‘Too many redirects’, ‘Could not connect / HTTP 5xx response’, and ‘Hostname not resolvable’. Ways to fix this error are nicely explained on the product pages cannot be accessed page.
10. Automatic item disapprovals due to a policy violation
Unfortunately, Channable hasn’t yet been able to develop to the extent that it can identify what items violate Google’s policies. So you’ll have to read through their policy guidelines to see why your item was disapproved. Naturally, once it’s been identified you can always use Channable rules to exclude that particular EAN code or product group.
Hopefully, now your connection to Google Shopping will be even better. If you want to connect to Google Shopping with Channable but don’t already have an account, just sign up for free here. Build your connection to Google Shopping to perfection in your own time and only choose a subscription when you’re ready to go live. If you experience any Google Merchant Center errors that aren’t mentioned above, you’re always welcome to contact Channable’s technical support team.
Channable and Store Growers discussed these points in a knowledge session and shared even further insight into how important it is to solve disapproved items. You can watch the knowledge session here.