September 19, 2013 was a very bad morning for many retailers on Google PLAs. It seemed that Google chose to use a broad-sword approach to suspensions in the last day, and if our observations are at all indicative of a larger trend, this was a very large scale suspension effort.
While we have noticed an increase in no-warning suspension in the last month or so, most surprising about this round of suspensions was the reason behind them.
Typically we see no-warning suspensions for items like banned vitamins/supplements or weapons related items, however many notifications simply listed the reason of suspension as violating policy on “Services”.
This is an unusually vague explanation, even for Google, so what does it really mean and why were so many retailers affected?
After speaking with Google on behalf of a number of clients, it seems the culprit is the listing of Gift Certificate items within the feed, which includes blank Gift Certificate forms as well.
If you have been suspended for a violation regarding Services remove any items containing the phrases ‘gift certificate’ or ‘gift card’ then resubmit your feed and fill out a Google reevalutation request HERE (More detailed description of how to get your Merchant Center back live can be found HERE).
Also check out the rest of the Google’s service specific rules HERE and make sure your feeds are adherent.