Introducing the New Automatic Item Updates for Google Shopping

By October 22, 2014Google Shopping

Product Listing Ads Disapproved by Google for Pricing or Availability Issues?

Ever grow frustrated by ongoing disapproved Product Listing Ads (PLA) by Google because of some type of variance detected between your product feeds and data on your site?

You’re not alone. Luckily, Google’s helping you address this issue with its latest delivery: Automatic Item Updates.

What is Automatic Item Updates?

The moment you enable Automatic Item Updates, rather then disapprove of an ad if there’s an existing discrepancy, Google will update your PLA based on the microdata found on your site. This update is based on schema.org microdata, which is a structured data markup schema you add to your existing web pages. Google, and other platforms, use this metadata to get information about the products listed on your website. You can learn more about adding microdata to your site by visiting www.schema.org.

The biggest advantage of this new update is that you’ll no longer have to suffer through temporary disapprovals while you fix and update your data. Google will make the necessary changes to keep your PLAs active.

Other benefits of the automatic item update include:

  • Improved user experience, as consumers aren’t surprised by inaccurate information
  • Increased traffic to your product listings
  • Higher conversion rates, as users will know the correct price (as shown on Google Shopping), and won’t be sent to out-of-stock items
  • Minimized number of mismatches between your site and Shopping, which in turn reduces the risk of account suspension

This New Update Doesn’t Mean You Can Sit Back And Relax

In a world of total automation, we’re often quick to want to put our feet up, crack open a beer, and let robots and machines do all the work. But automatic item updates are not a replacement for regularly updating your feeds. In fact, if too many mismatches occur – even if you do enable automatic updates – the updates will cease operation and your account will once again be subject to disapproval.

You should use automatic item updates as a tool, and not as a solution. It will help address small issues found in your pricing and inventory, and can not handle being the monitor of your entire product listing. That’s your job.

How to Enable Automatic Item Updates

As we mentioned earlier, the first thing you need to do is implement valid schema.org microdata on your landing pages. Visit schema.org for more support.

Once your microdata is implemented, you can enable your automatic item updates by hitting the Automatic Item Updates tab in your Settings section of your Merchant Center account. You can choose updates for:

  • Price
  • Availability
  • Price and Availability

Is Automatic Item Updates Foolproof?

Even Google admits that these updates have their limits. As they state:

“… automatic item updates won’t be very effective if the price or availability of the majority of items on your website is updated multiple times per day.”

In instances like these (including when currency exchange rates impact the frequency of product updates), Google recommends you use the Content API for product data updates.

Get Support For Your Automatic Item Updates

With the new Automatic Item Updates, Google has added a new tool to your marketing arsenal, so that you ensure your customers receive the best (and most accurate) experience possible. Implementing updates may seem pretty straightforward, but ensuring that you use it to your advantage, without becoming complacent, can be tricky. OperationROI can help you make the transition to automatic updates, while still ensuring you adhere to necessary Google Shopping practices. Contact us at 1-888-277-5429, or fill out our contact form, for more information on how we can help.

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