SEO

Google Merchant Center releases new ‘inappropriate titles’ warning

Google Merchant Center has started issuing a new warning for “inappropriate titles”.

The message appears to specifically apply to Google Discover and Demand Gen ads within Google Merchant Center.

Product titles that fail to meet Google’s criteria face being penalised with restricted visibility in the US, according to a screenshot of the warning:

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Why we care. A drop in visibility means your campaign will be seen by fewer potential customers, unnecessarily wasting your budget and harming your ROI. In addition, getting Google to lift a penalty can be a lengthy process and, depending on how long it takes, this has the potential to have a long-term impact on your account, negatively affecting the visibility of future campaigns.

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Google’s requirements. In order to avoid this kind of penalty, your product title must meet the following requirements as set out by Google:

  • Assets must meet the Discovery and Demand Gen product ads quality requirements
  • Assets can’t contain obscene or offensive language, including but not limited to profanity and sexual innuendos
  • Assets can’t use placeholder text, distasteful formatting such as nonsensical punctuation or capitalization or incomplete sentences.
  • Assets can’t be longer than 10 words before a delimiter
  • Asserts can’t contain excessive details like product codes, SKUs or part numbers that aren;’t part of the product name.

Reaction. Google Ads Ecommerce expert, Dennis Moons, flagged the issue on X, prompting a number of other marketers to report similar experiences. Some have commented that there may be a “bug” with the warning as it is being issued to product titles that are “harmless”. However, Google is yet to respond.

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Deep dive. Read Google’s Discovery and Demand Gen Campaigns guide for more information.

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About the author

Nicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book ‘Mastering In-House SEO’.

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