Recently we have noticed a small increase in some clients’ Google Shopping accounts coming under threat of suspension due to the way their prices are displayed in the feed, on the site or on both.
Google states “Google Shopping requires merchants to provide users with complete and correct tax information. The prices of the items submitted in the data feed must be inclusive of any applicable taxes such as value-added tax. The prices submitted in the data feed must be shown on the landing page.“
Many businesses have been running feeds that do not strictly comply to these rules in the way that prices are displayed – in particular businesses that sell mainly to trade where pricing tends to be excluding VAT – and in a lot of cases Google seems to have let them slip through the net.
This increase in feed suspensions could be a sign that they are starting to tighten up in this area. We are not yet recommending that you have to change the way your site displays prices, but you should be aware that they may well require it at some point soon.
In order to be compliant you would need to:
- Make sure the price in your feed includes VAT.
- Your product or landing page needs to show the price with the VAT added. If you display the ex-VAT price you will need to either change this use to the price including VAT or show them both.
- If you are showing both prices then the VAT inclusive price needs to be the “more prominent” i.e bigger or bolder of the two.
While you are tidying up your feed, Rory recently wrote a blog on best images practices and many of these are also important when it comes to maintaining a good, high quality product feed. You can read more here.
One concern that is brought up when some sites are penalised but not others: what can you do if your competitor seems to be breaching the rules but their products are still allowed to appear? In these cases teclan can raise the matter with Google on your behalf.