Troubleshooting your Google Shopping reviews feed
Updated over a week ago

Once you've uploaded your reviews feed, it's important to verify the status of your reviews in Google Merchant Center > Marketing > Product reviews. This section will highlight any warnings or errors that could be hindering the display of your reviews, along with the specific reviews that are affected.

This article's primary objective is to guide you through resolving these errors and warnings, ensuring that more of your reviews are showcased effectively on Google Shopping.

Review status categories

Following a successful feed upload, your reviews will fall into the following categories:

  1. Ready to Serve: These reviews have been processed successfully and include all recommended identifiers.

  2. Needs Review: While these reviews have been processed successfully, they might lack values or the suggested unique identifiers.

  3. Disapproved Items: Reviews in this category require corrections or removal.

Resolving merchant center warnings

1. Addressing "Missing or Invalid product_id"

Ratings and reviews are linked to products through various factors, with globally unique product identifiers (GTINs) being the most influential.

If you encounter the "Missing or invalid product_id" warning:

When you add the GTIN value, it will be automatically incorporated into the reviews feed. To confirm your setup:

In the absence of GTINs, Google seeks alternative identifiers like SKU, Brand + MPN pairs, and Product URLs for review matching. However, these alternatives often lack the precision of GTINs, potentially resulting in incomplete review-to-product matches.

If GTINs are unfeasible, consider adding SKU to your product and enabling the MPN identifier in Marketing and Social > More > Google Shopping > Advanced settings. This uses your added SKU as MPN in the reviews feed, bolstering identifiers for robust Google review and product alignment.

2. Addressing unsupported comment format

When a review includes a URL, Google will not accept it. For instance:

To determine which reviews are impacted, click on View examples. From there, you have two options:

  • Edit the reviews to remove the URL. Keep in mind that a notification email will be sent to reviewers, allowing them to approve or reject the proposed edit.

For other platforms

  • Edit the reviews to remove the URL. Keep in mind that a notification email will be sent to reviewers, allowing them to approve or reject the proposed edit.

3. Addressing unsupported comment characters

Some reviews contain characters that aren't supported and appear as ��

You can identify which reviews are affected by clicking View examples. Then, you have two options:

  • Edit the reviews to remove these unsupported characters.

  • Archive the reviews from the reviews feed.

4. Eliminating unnecessary tags

Reviews may contain avoidable tags, such as excessive and repetitive punctuation. Common examples are redundant punctuation marks.

You can identify these instances by selecting "View examples." Once identified, you have two options:

  • Edit the Reviews: Remove the redundant characters from your reviews.

  • Archive the Reviews: Opt to archive the affected reviews from the reviews feed.

By addressing unnecessary tags, you enhance the quality and readability of your reviews, contributing to a smoother user experience.

Resolving merchant center errors

1. Addressing "Spam (marked by the publisher)"

Spam reviews are identified as <is_spam>true</is_spam> in the review feed and are excluded from Google Shopping.

Additionally, hidden reviews are treated as <is_spam>true</is_spam> within the reviews feed.

To prevent this, you have two options:

  • Manually archive the reviews in the Reviews dashboard if you wish to retain control over the process.

  • Automatically, hidden reviews will be archived after 7 days, sparing you from manual intervention.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage and address the issue of spam and hidden reviews in Merchant Center.

2. Addressing low quality reviews

Low-quality reviews fail to meet Google's quality standards and are excluded from display. Some prevalent instances of low-quality reviews are:

Addressing irrelevant content

If your reviews predominantly focus on shipping, delivery, or lack relevant content, they are considered off-topic for Google Shopping. To manage this:

In cases where customers submit reviews with irrelevant content:

  • You have the option to archive these reviews from the feed.

  • Alternatively, you can encourage customers to update their reviews via the Reviews dashboard.

For other platforms

Managing personal information and sensitive content

Reviews containing personal information, such as phone numbers, email addresses, or URLs, are subject to disapproval within the reviews feed. To address this concern:

With PII active:

  • Reviews containing Personal Identifiable Information (PII) will be added to the feed. However, sensitive information will be appropriately censored with "*".

With PII turned off:

  • All reviews featuring personal information will be entirely removed from the reviews feed.

Preventing duplicate content across feeds

Each review should only appear within one feed and should not be duplicated across feeds from different stores. Duplications may lead to Google blacklisting specific reviews or even entire feeds. To prevent this:

  • Maintain separate reviews for each store.

  • Use Cross-Shop Reviews Syndication, submitting the feed for one main store exclusively.

By adhering to these practices, you'll ensure the integrity of your review content across multiple feeds while aligning with Google's guidelines for relevant and appropriate reviews.

3. Addressing missing content

In situations where reviews from your customers lack content, they will not receive approval from Google. To handle this:

  • You have the option to archive these reviews from the reviews feed,

  • Alternatively, you can prompt customers to revise their reviews.

Typically, when a reviewer submits content that's empty, often seen with the Single Reviews Email Template, we would use the product title as the body content to address this gap.

4. Dealing with "Item Too Big" error

If you encounter the "Item too big" error, it's likely due to the following reasons:

  • Excessive Attributes in Reviews: Your reviews contain over 1000 attributes.

  • Content Size in Attributes: The content within an attribute within an item exceeds 10 KB.

For reviews feed, this issue commonly arises when there are too many <product_ids> attributes, especially when:

  • Products Have Numerous Variants: All SKUs, GTINs, MPNs of a product (including its variants) are placed under one <product_ids> attribute. In such cases, consider removing weaker identifiers from the product feed.

  • Store Has Many Product Groups: If your store has numerous product groups, it's advisable to disable the Product group feature for the review feed. You can do this in Marketing and Social > More > Google Shopping > Review content. When disabled, reviews will only display for the primary products in the feed, while still showing based on groups in the live store.

Remember that the reviews feed updates daily. After making the necessary adjustments, there's no need to re-upload the reviews feed. The warnings and errors will gradually resolve within a few days, although it might take additional time for ratings to fully appear.

If you need help with Google Shopping reviews feed, contact our team at [email protected]. We're available to help 24/7!

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