EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line! Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear in the blog.
Tue Nov 17 2015 14:43:52

Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
I am a partner in a small, family-owned ecommerce business that sells. I'm writing to you because I am concerned about the treatment of small merchants on Google Shopping. 

I have been documenting my company's struggle with this issue for years and just this week we were suspended for carrying several products that included ingredients prohibited by the Google Merchant Center. We sell a wide variety of health and beauty products, including nutritional supplements.

What's interesting about this is that Google AdWords customer services reps confirmed to me on the phone that the two ingredients in question, lycopene and guggul, were not on the published list of unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements, but rather on an internal, non-public list. 

What's more concerning is that there are more than 20 sellers still selling the very same products on Google Shopping as we speak. According to Google, they simply can't police all of the sellers out there...despite the fact that all of the sellers of these products are easily discoverable by searching for the product on Google Shopping.

I have been cataloging this practice for years and I have multiple examples of my company being penalized for violating undisclosed policies while others sellers continue to sell the same products with impunity. 

Living in the real world, I'm well aware of why Google can't police these violations equitably (you can't tell me Walgreens wakes up to find its account suspended for selling lycopene). Yet they continue to claim that they simply don't have the technology to identify all of the transgressors.

Is this something EcommerceBytes has ever considered investigating? I'm stunned by how little discussion this sort of thing gets on the internet. Perhaps it's because I'm searching for the information using Google! I truly do think there is journalistic public service to be done here. 

Thank you for your time. 
Regards,
P.




Comments (5) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently   Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Nov 17 21:38:23 2015

Sounds like Google is being the judge and jury much like..well..you know. It is also possible one of your competitors has some kind of inside connection with Google or, more of a conspiracist, one of the big pharmas.

Here is some of what I found on lycopene, didn't look up the other one.

What is Lycopene?

Lycopene is a common carotenoid compound found in fruits, vegetables, and green plants that is responsible for the red color of tomatoes. Other sources include apricot, cranberry, grapes, pink grapefruit, guava, papaya, peaches, and watermelon.

The lycopene in supplements is about as easy for the body to use as lycopene found in food.

People take lycopene for preventing heart disease, ''hardening of the arteries'' (atherosclerosis); and cancer of the prostate, breast, lung, bladder, ovaries, colon, and pancreas. Lycopene is also used for treating human papilloma virus (HPV) infection, which is a major cause of uterine cancer. Some people also use lycopene for cataracts and asthma.

How does it work?

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage. This is why there is a lot of research interest in lycopene’s role, if any, in preventing cancer.

What is it used for?

The antioxidant activity of lycopene and its use in cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease have been widely documented.

Toxicities
No toxic effects were observed in rats treated with lycopene

Another article:
Lycopene-rich tomatoes linked to lower stroke risk - Harvard Health Blog  

Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently   Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently

by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 18 07:24:45 2015

I would suspect that those venues that were not affected provide Google with a larger amount of $$$ than the OP.  With Google search, the most effective keywords for better placement are $$$.    

Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently   Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 18 09:20:41 2015

If you're really worried about somebody messing with your sales of vitamins and supplements, wait till Obama & Co. bring down the hammer like they've announced they will be doing.

They can't go after ISIS and the terrorists, but they sure never miss the chance to destroy American businesses whenever possible. Google has become another branch of Big Government, plain and simple. In fact, they have way more power than our elected officials!

Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently   Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Nov 18 10:14:31 2015

Google has forgotten that they are supposed to be a search engine, NOT a venue that decides what a person sells or how they will list what they have for sale. Sales for we 'little' sellers were so very much better until Google hired an ex-eBay employee and then the writing was on the wall. At that point and I wondered how long it would take for her to spread the poison and it wasn't long. She must have brought with her the news that she could help make Google even more money than what they already had. Before that point, Google seemed to be a well regarded and well respected search engine. I haven't head a decent thing about them for years now anymore than I have heard anything good about eBay.

Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently   Google Shopping Metes Out Penalties Inconsistently

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 18 13:38:15 2015

Not exactly sure I "get"  what "Google shopping" IS???  Is this a seperate site or is it just using the Google engine to search for products from a variety of sellers?

If this is not an illegal product I would think calling an attorney and asking about RESTRAINT OF TRADE might be useful.  Also your States and the US Attorney General might be able to help.  

And yes just like ebay their refusal to SEE that their OWN search turns this product up but refusing to enforce their OWN (undisclosed!!!) policies is--troubling.  



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.