What does it mean when you receive an “Abuse of the Network” email from Google Merchant Center? First, let’s review the Merchant Center policy.
Google wants Shopping Ads to be useful, appropriate, relevant, and safe for users. Therefore, they do not allow any of the following:
- Malicious content
- Sites that offer little unique value to users and are focused primarily on traffic generation
- Merchants who attempt to gain an unfair advantage in Shopping campaigns
- Merchants who attempt to bypass Google’s review processes
Below is an example of an “Abuse of the Network” warning or suspension letter from Google Merchant Center:
Dear Google Merchant Center User,
Merchant Center Account: Example Store
We’ve reviewed your Merchant Center account and found policy violations.
Your Merchant Center account has been suspended, and your products are no longer being promoted.
Note that a suspension notification is also displayed in your Merchant Center account. In addition, related Merchant Center accounts may also get suspended.
Your Merchant Center account is in violation of the following policies:
AFFILIATE SPAM (ABUSE OF THE NETWORK)
Google Shopping doesn’t allow landing pages that are solely designed to send users elsewhere.
Visit https://goo.gl/Kpj4Fh to learn more on the Abuse of the Network policy.
Also, learn what you can do to address the “affiliate spam” violation: https://goo.gl/FH2qjv
The list of examples provided above is not an exhaustive list of all violating product listings. The sample is intended to help you identify the root cause(s) for the violation(s) found.
If you believe there’s been an error, we want to help. Contact your Account Manager or find out how to contact us by visiting support.google.com/merchants/
What are the common reasons for receiving this email?
- Excessive Advertising: Your site displays more ads and promotional materials than original content.
- Malware: Your site contains malicious software that is harmful or invasive to users.
- Limited Purchase Ability: Your site does not fairly allow all users to purchase a product, such as transactions that are strictly business to business.
- Doorway Pages: Your site contains landing pages solely designed to manipulate SEO rankings and/or send user traffic elsewhere.
- Know The Policy: Carefully review Google Merchant Center’s policy on malicious content and network abuse to avoid violations.
- Clean Your Site: Regularly check for malware and viruses that can result in suspension of your account.
- Request a Review: Should Merchant Center suspend your account, immediately remove the indicated problem and request an account review for clearance. Depending on the issue, this review should on average take three business days to process.
Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.