Google Merchant Center introduces a new policy targeting “automated content.” Reviews generated through automated programs or AI applications will be considered spam and violate the policy.
Google also clarifies its existing Merchant Center policies and enforcement measures. While Google accepts AI-generated content if it adds value and isn’t for search manipulation, the question remains whether reviews require human input, making AI-generated reviews an exception. Further examination may be needed.
The announcement regarding this policy modification was officially made and thoroughly explained on Google’s platform. Google has also taken the initiative to provide additional clarifications concerning its other policies within the Merchant Center. Below are the details recently shared by Google:
- Spam Control: Please refrain from submitting reviews that contain irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text. Any content with such characteristics should be marked as spam using the is_spam attribute in your feed.
- Safety Concerns: Reviews of regulated products that may cause damage, harm, or injury, such as guns, tobacco products, or regulated drugs, are strictly prohibited. Additionally, please avoid including content that depicts or encourages dangerous and/or illegal activities.
- Exclusion of Contact Information: To ensure user safety and privacy, please do not include phone numbers, email addresses, or URLs of other websites in your review content.
- Protection of Personal Information: Reviews containing personal information, such as full names, credit card details, national insurance numbers, or driving license information, are not allowed.
- Maintaining a Positive Tone: Offensive language, scenes of violence, personal attacks, defamatory content, or any form of profanity should not be present in your reviews.
- Transparency and Honesty: Please avoid submitting reviews that are paid for or lack authenticity. Reviews are most valuable when they are honest and unbiased, written by customers who genuinely made a purchase.
- No Illegal Content: Reviews containing or linking to unlawful content, such as the sale of prescription drugs without a prescription, illegal drugs, counterfeit products, or illicit weapons, are strictly prohibited.
- Malware and Phishing: Reviews with links to malware, viruses, or harmful software are not allowed. Content that interferes with the operation of networks, servers, or infrastructure is also prohibited.
- Respecting Copyrights and Trademarks: Reviews that infringe on others’ rights, including copyright or trademark violations, are not permitted.
- Originality and Attribution: Please refrain from submitting reviews that appropriate content created by others or involve plagiarism.
- No Sexually Explicit Material: Reviews containing sexually explicit material or the exploitation of children in a sexual manner are strictly prohibited. Such content will be reported to relevant authorities.
- Hate Speech and Extremism: Advocating against groups of people based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity is not allowed. Violent language, terrorist content, or encouragement of extremist behavior is also prohibited.
- No Cross Promotion: Reviews should not include promotional content for unrelated websites, products, or services.
- Staying On Topic: Reviews primarily discussing topics unrelated to the product, such as shipping experiences, political controversies, attacks on others, or unrelated personal experiences, may be removed.
- Impersonation: Reviews from individuals claiming to be someone they are not will not be allowed.
- Language Policy: Reviews should be submitted in their original language. Google will display reviews in the original language with the option to translate for users.
- Avoiding Duplicate Content: Each review should appear in one feed only and not be duplicated in feeds from different retailers. If a review applies to multiple product variations, please include relevant unique product identifiers and URLs with the review. Retailers should not send syndicated content from other sources. Duplicate reviews in multiple feeds may result in blocklisting.
Google makes sure that content and reviews on its platforms follow the rules. They use both computer programs and real people to check this. Computer programs use smart algorithms to keep everyone safe. But sometimes, more complicated cases need human experts to review them because they require an understanding of the context.
If content or reviews break the rules, Google takes action. They might remove the rule-breaking content or review, give warnings, or even suspend accounts if the violations happen a lot. When a picture is flagged for breaking the rules, it will also block any related review content.
When using Google Merchant Center, be familiar with its policies and enforcement. If you include reviews in your feed, make sure they are not AI-generated or automated. If they are, add the is_spam attribute to these reviews.
We greatly appreciate your feedback and eagerly await your response.
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