šŸ”§ Google Shopping: Common errors

Google Shopping Online Products provides you with errors reports indicating the blocking points for creating and / or updating your offers on the platform.

You can receive 3 types of alerts from Google:

  • account alerts: a simple warning, with resolution deadline or immediate suspension
  • feed alerts: usually problems with attributes
  • article alerts: automatic or manual refusal of certain articles; or refusal of articles for preventive purposes.

These explanations refer to the last two points. They are valid for Google Shopping via URL, but may also be helpful for Google API Services.

Common errors

Error referring to Category

Google_product_category / Valeur incorrecte [catƩgorie de produits google]

It is important to categorise products well to display them in the right category.

In Lengow, map the categoriesĀ you want to send to Google Shopping.

Thanks to our predictive tool, categories are suggested to ease this step (For example: Ā« Shirts & tops Ā» categories suggestion for our ā€œTopsā€ category below).


Categories suggestion

Lengow tip: If your categories are large and you want to add more granularity, you can create rules to refine the mapping and manage your Google Shopping ads campaigns.Ā To do so, use the 'product_type' attribute.

ErrorsĀ referring toĀ AttributesĀ mapping

According to categories,Ā attributes are mandatory. Make sure to fill in these fields in Lengow.

Refer to theĀ mandatory and optional fields list in Google's HelpCenter.

ErrorsĀ referring toĀ title

Capital letters

Google limits the use of capital letters in fields. Make sure your titles are not in capital letters. If so, use the UPPERWORD function for the Title, Description, and Brand attributes.


Upperword function to replace capital letters with lower cases in the title

See all functions available

Missing value [brand]

The brand has to be included in the title. Brand could be added before or after the product name.

Compose your title with attributes you want

Lengow tips: For better reading of your title add a space between the '$BRAND' field and the '$NAME' field.

ErrorsĀ referring toĀ color, size or gender

Size & coulour ā†’ Missing value [color] / Missing value [size]

This is a very common mistake, especially on products with variations like in the fashion industry (shoes, clothes ...)

In the search results, Google offers, according to categories, filters based on size or color. Filling in these fields maximizes your visibility and click-through rate.

What you can do:

1 ā€“ Indicate the size and color in the title of your product (in addition to the brand and product name)


Title composition example

Lengow tip: For better reading of your title, consider adding a space between each field.

2 ā€“Ā In the ā€˜colorā€™ or ā€˜sizeā€™ attribute map your corresponding values using the "$" symbol.

  • size guidelines: Refer to the Google documentationĀ here
  • color guidelines: Refer to Google documentationĀ here

3 - If you don't have a color field in your catalogue.Ā Use the ā€œColor Finderā€ app

"Color Finder" appĀ allows you to automatically extract all colors from your catalog from one of your existing fields (title or description ...) and inject them into a new color field.

Gender: Missing value [gender]

As for size and color, Google is waiting for a specific field for this attribute.
For products with genders, you have to categorize these products withĀ one of the values expected by Google.

You can indicate it:

  • in your title
  • in the ā€˜Genderā€ field, Dans le champ ā€˜Genderā€™, follow Google standard for the product to be accepted. Create a rule in Lengow to change the word ā€œwomanā€ in 'Female' / 'man' in 'Male' / ā€œall genderā€ in 'Unisex')


Convert your gender values with those expected by Google

ErrorsĀ referring to images

Google Shopping may reject your images if they donā€™t comply with their policies.

Your images must not contain a logo, text on the image of several products on the same image.
Image is a mandatory attribute. Make sure to fill in the ā€˜Image_linkā€™ field.

If you have other product views display them by using the 'additionnal_image_link' field (You can put up to 10 images).

Other imperatives:

  • White background image
  • No border
  • Weight of the image less than 16MB/image
  • Minimum size 100*100 pixels except for clothes. 250*250 pixels for clothes
  • ...

Further information on Google HelpCenter.


ErrorsĀ referring toĀ description

Non-compatible HTML tags [description]

Google only allows certain HTML tagsĀ so you can apply formatting to your descriptions.

To correct this error, remove HTML content from your descriptions that does not meet Google's expectations.

  • Use theĀ STRIPHTML functionĀ in Lengow to remove all HMTL tags without distinction.
  • Use theĀ Replace valuesĀ option at the Catalogue level in Lengow to remove only specific tags.


Remove HTML tags from your data using this function

Field description is too long

Google limits the description field to 5000 characters.
To truncate it 2 functions can be used.


Truncate your descriptions with this function

  • If you donā€™t want to cut the last word, use theĀ SMARTTRUNC function : SMARTTRUNC($textual_field,number of characters)


Truncate your description without cutting the last word using this function

Google may also decline some of your products if the following statements are present in your description field:

  • Promotional text ā€œfree shippingā€,
  • Capital letter or fancy fields (PRO-MO-TION, ą² _ą² )
  • Foreign language words
  • Redirection link

Refer to this non-exhaustive list, to go further.

ErrorsĀ referring to missing values

Missing or invalid data [condition]

Describe the status of the product being sold to users. It is important to define this value precisely because this data is used to refine the search results.

Expected values:

  • new [new]. Your product is new and has never been used. It is in its original packaging and has not been opened.
  • refurbished [refurbished]. Your product is not new; it has been repaired by a professional, it is "like new" and under warranty. The product may be in its original packaging or not. Sometimes we talk about remanufactured product.
  • second hand [used]. It is a second-hand product. It may be, for example, a product that has already been used, a product whose original packaging has been opened or is missing.

If in your catalog you have new products and refurbished products for example, youā€™ll create a rule to assign a status to each product or group of products.


Apply "new" value to products with "pretty" brand


Google tells you that the unique product code is missing for some products. In this case you must specify a value for the EAN or MPN attributes.

1- Fill in the GTIN field

In this case, the EAN makes it possible to distinguish the products.

If your product has an EAN code that you do not have, ask your provider to insert it into your source feed.

2 - If a product has no GTIN code (customizable product for example) fill in the 'No' value in the ā€˜Identifer_exist' attribute.


Rule to assign the value "no" to the "Identifer_exist" attribute

Lengow tip: if you donā€™t have a GTIN code, make sure to fill in your feed at least the attributes mpn [mpn] and brand [brand].

3 - If you do not want to export these products without a GTIN code, create an exclusionĀ to avoid sending the products if the 'gtin' field is empty.

ErrorsĀ referring to Google Shopping rules

Policy ā†’ ā€œItem disapprovals for policy violationsā€

This is related to Google Shopping rules (Drugstore products, adult products),Ā please refer to Google rules before displaying your offers)

ErrorsĀ referring to destination pages

This error indicates that landing pages can not be controlled by Google, which blocks the display of your product(s).

Check out Google documentation to submit your pages

ErrorsĀ referring to price

Google wants you to indicate your price and the currency.


Apply the desired currency at your price

The price displayed in Google Shopping must be the same as the price displayed on your site page. In other cases, your product will be in error and won't be displayed. Clearly indicate the currency and the price including VAT.

  • If you're offering a promotion in Google Shopping, make sure you change your landing page with the right price.

  • Also enter a price without the shipping costs.

  • Donā€™t send prices to 0.

All good practices are available here.

ErrorsĀ referring to shipping costs

Your shipping costs must be filled in as follows FR:::5.90 (Country initials, 3 times the ā€:ā€ character and price (Write a point (.) as a decimal separator)


Fill in your shipping costs by following this nomenclature

If you sell elsewhere than in France, change the first 2 letters and the amount of shipping if applicable.

If you want to offer shipping costs, youā€™ll have to set up a rule to empty the field. Make sure the same offer is available on your website.


Rule to offer shipping costs

Lengow advice: for each rule or exclusion, keep in mind to give it a name to remember to name it in Lengow in order to find it more easily and see what it's all about at a glance.


Articles in this section

Our Support hours:
9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. CET Monday through Friday