Google Cracking Down on Inaccurate Pricing
If there’s a discrepancy between a product’s price at checkout and the price that’s shown in Google Merchant Center, Google will take action against the retailer. While it’s always been Google’s policy to ensure that retailers maintain price consistency for their products, this practice will become more thorough.
Previously, Google would check price accuracy by reviewing a retailer’s Merchant Center data and comparing it to their landing page. Whether or not the price remains consistent when the product is placed into a customer’s cart has not been a focal point for Google—until now. Things like hidden fees are seen as deceptive, and Google will no longer tolerate inaccurate or inconsistent pricing. This includes ads, product listings, or product landing pages. The change will come into effect on April 6, 2021, giving retailers enough time to review their ads and listings.
Consequences of Inaccurate Pricing
If your ad or listing promises a lower price than a customer will receive at checkout, what are the potential consequences for you?
First, if Google spots an inaccurate price, they’ll issue the retailer a warning. The retailer will then have 28 days to solve the issue or else their Merchant Center account could be suspended.
The product’s price should not increase at checkout, it should remain consistent with ads, product feeds, and landing pages. Any additional charges such as activation fees or tax must be included in the price. Shipping costs must be provided separately, even if the shipping is free. Retailers don’t need to worry if the final price is lower than advertised, particularly if a promotion has been added.
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