Google has updated its Merchant Center policy to no longer automatically disapproved free listings for products that have login required and/or restricted purchase access. Google said it now will list these products as active but with the caveat that they may “have limited visibility on Google.”
What changed. Google said previously, Google Merchant Center accounts with the “Login required” or the “Restricted purchase” issue were automatically disapproved.
Now, free listings in Google Merchant Center accounts with this issue status are still active, but their products have limited visibility on Google. This only impacts free listings.
What is login required. Google explained “Login required” issue status means that customers visiting your store website need to provide account access information, such as entering a username and password or installing a program, before being able to view your products.
What is restricted purchase. Google explained “Restricted purchase” issue status means that the ability to buy products on your store website is limited to certain customers as defined by location, device type, information provided, or some other exclusive criteria. Fields like business information should be optional and content should be consistent and available to visitors in all locations.
Why we care. If you have been juggling these policies on your e-commerce site with these login required and/or restricted purchase listings in Google Merchant Center, you now should know that the status won’t be disapproved. Instead, Google will show them as active but these free listings may not show so highly and often in Google Search and Google Shopping.
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Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.