I upload feeds to “base.google.com” which essentially contains a list of all the books I have for sale on www.ParadoxalPress.com. Which is alot of books, probably about 500,000+ titles since most are drop-shipped from the distributor (hey, compressed the datafeed is about 180MB worth of data!). Lately, over the past few months the seem to have been targeting me for the smallest little things. Once they find something they don’t like, well they shutdown your feeds (and therefore my sales drop significantly). The latest “excuse” is just beyond ridiculous:
Thank you for participating in Google Base. We’ve recently reviewed your items and noticed they contain errors. Because of these errors, we’ve temporarily removed your items from the search results. Please correct the following problems with your items:
– Missing image links
– Missing image links: We’ve noticed that some of the items in your bulk upload are missing image URLs, even though there is an image of the item available on your website. Please be sure your bulk upload contains an image URL for every item that has an image.
After you’ve corrected the errors, please upload a new version of your bulk upload with the same filename. We’ll notify you if any additional corrections are needed.
The Google Team
So in other words, you are shutting me down because one product somewhere in my feed (which of course they don’t tell me which one) has an image on my website and the link to the picture was not included in the feed? Sure a warning or some notification would be nice, would allow me to fix bugs in my feed generation tool. But COME ON, now I have to fix the problem, upload a new feed and wait something like one week for them to approve the feed and renable my ads. This is getting really old. And is costing me lots of business and money!
Last time, they shut me off because of a book which had “porn” in in the title, which violated the Google Checkout terms. They had nothing against me selling the book, just that I could not offer their checkout service if someone wanted to purchase it. Fine, this creates an odd situation since the availibly of a checkout method now becomes dependant on the contents of the shopping cart. But what really earked me was that to test the theory, I went to Buy.com and see if I could add the same book to the cart and use Google Checkout. And guess what, if course I could!
I obviously let them know about it. They said they would investigate. And now, over one month later (I just tried today) nothing has changed on Buy.com. So to me it indicates that Google has a bias towards their bigger accounts which to me is unethical (and probably illegal). At this point, I am strongly considering pulling everything away from google (besides basic search engine inclusion). But sorry, no more AdWords money from me!!!