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New Google Shopping Requirements from Feb 2016

New Google Shopping Requirements From Feb 2016

This morning I had a new online store suspended on Google shopping due to policy violations that will become compulsory in February 2016.

Google regularly changes its requirements in feed specification to improve search ability of the products in google shopping. This creates a continuing headache for store owners as modules purchased for their stores to create these feeds will require updates, which in turn will cost for the update. Also if your feeds are generated using custom built server side code this will also cost the store owner for the developers investigation and coding time to make the required changes.

In the case of our suspended feed, both were for violations to do with the store rather than the feed. From February 2016 it will be compulsary to have a ‘Returns and Refunds’ section on your site that clearly shows to the customers how to return their order. (

Also it will be a requirement to have a secure checkout which uses SSL even if you use a third party payment provider to handle all your card data. Google want store owners to be responsible and encrypt all personal information like, login, name and address using SSL when communicating with the server. (

Payment and transaction processing, as well as processing of any personal information of the user (such as the address), must be secure (SSL-protected, with a valid SSL certificate).

If your store does not use SSL at checkout, then you will need to contact your developer to establish how this can be done. In some cases it could be easy but really depends on the age of the site and the gradual inclusion of absolute urls that could stop your pages from rendering properly in HTTPS.

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